Pole Dancing To Gospel Hymns
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Pole Dancing To Gospel Hymns

4.66 of 5 stars 4.66  ·  rating details  ·  660 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Andrea Gibson's dynamic and timely new book, Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns is a energetic collection of stirring and introspective poetry. Hauntingly vivid, the poems voyage through a soldier's lingering psychological wounds, to the curious questions of school children on the meaning of "hate", to a lover's witty and vibrant description of longing. Gibson's poems deconstruc...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published June 13th 2008 by write bloody publishing
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Community Reviews

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This book is magnificent in every sense of the word. I loved it and, even more, I love Andrea Gibson. Please read this book. It's eye opening.
Andrea Gibson is my favourite spoken word poet. I'm so thrilled to have some of her works in a book. Particularly one that is signed.
Incredible poetry. Andrea Gibson is a master.

I've given it 4 stars instead of 5 because of the quality of the book itself - where was the copy editor? There are typos throughout and the layout detracts from the poetry. The line breaks aren't quite ideal, either, especially after listening to the poems performed so many times on youtube. I don't know whether that had to do with the poet's decisions or an editor's because the poems she has on her website are split differently.

There are some othe...more
In her first book of poetry, Andrea Gibson spills ink everywhere and punches glass windows that shouldn't be there. Her voice is loud, to the point and reaches you with metaphorical genious.

This book is for the first time poetry readers, The Harvard English Professors and everyone in between. Your life will be revolutionized to include Andrea's scope. Her aim is fearless and no heart more outwardly held.

Also, check out her new book The Madness Vase
"She pole dances to gospel hymns."

The thing that first caught my attention about this book was the title. The rest unfolded for itself. Andrea Gibson is one of the fiercest contemporary poets I've ever come across, and watching her perform her poems while reading them myself made the experience so much more poignant and life-changing.

A full five stars deserved. Cheers for Andrea! :)
As if I needed a reminder that Andrea is perfect.
In "Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns" Andrea Gibson explores vivid imagery and bold, eloquent language. This was the first of her work that I have experienced and at first I was not sure what to expect; I had never heard of her and the title of the book seemed rather risque to me. However from the moment I flipped open to "Photograph" I was immediately hooked. As I read through her poetry I found that many of her metaphors and descriptions resonated with me in a very interesting way. I feel like I w...more
Donald Armfield
99 pages you could rip one out and pass it around and everyone will find something they like.

Andrea Gibson is one of my new Female poets. Her words hit you with rage and serious matters with her own beliefs behind them.

in "Swing Set" she shows her rage a powerful poem about same sex relations.

Others that I liked Pole Dancing, Anything, Titanic, Every Month and When the Bough Breaks (which is themed poetry based on war)

Great stuff! will be reading more from Ms. Gibson.
I love Andrea's poetry and how over the top beautiful and romantic it is. She has a long way to go to even see that men are people though and her classist ideas at times rub me the wrong way, but hey, sometimes when I stop to think about things, I realize I am the poor, urban, rather conscious and introspective white/native male putting himself through college, that maybe is all too rare for people to encounter. Still, Andrea prides herself on being a safe place and an advocate, and even though...more
Donna-Marie Riley
I absolutely adore Andrea Gibson, but I do think her poetry works better performed than read off the page. I also noticed more than a few typos in the book, which was a little disappointing.
I don't know why I didn't mark this as "read" awhile ago. I finished in two sittings, in my bed. Gibson's radical and political slam poetry is addictive and vulnerable, and this collection brought me to tears several times. I highly recommend reading her works, although I do not like her latest work "Madness Vase" as much as I like "Pole Dancing."

I met Gibson last Thursday when she came to the Joynes Reading Room at UT; in person she is as genuine and unabashedly emotional as she is in her poet...more
Dave Logghe
Irreverently titled, fantastically written. I don't know that I've ever been more jealous of someone's words.
This book completely changed the way I live my life and the way I look at it. My decision to read this book was probably one of the best ones I've ever made. If you haven't read it, you need to. Andrea Gibson knows exactly how to get her message across without taking herself too seriously or poking you in the ribs. Words from these poems roll around in my head probably every single day and have had a large influence on the way I live, and I don't know where I would be right now if I had not pick...more
Yet another amazing book by Andrea Gibson. Although there were alot of typos in the book, I'm still giving this 5 stars, because I just absolutely love her poetry. I find the performance of the poems alot more interesting than reading them, but because I've listened to her poetry so much, I could almost hear her performing the poems. Also, reading the poems was amazing because you could take in the beauty of every metaphor and line, without missing anything. I would recommend this book to everyo...more
I read this in one sitting!
This is officially the best thing I've ever read.
I much prefer to hear Andrea Gibson aloud, but I could hear the timber of her voice in each poem.
Jan 26, 2011 Bernadette rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: poetry readers, poets, fans of SLAM
Shelves: poetry
Absolutely spectacular collection. I only wish it had been longer. I found many of the poems of hers that I couldn't find online. I read the new ones that startled tears and changed my opinion on a variety of topics. Her writing is harsh and honest - dealing with truths in ways few others dare. Even if Slam isn't your style, I totally suggest reading this because of the startling nature in which it's presented.
"She pole dances to gospel hymns."

The thing that first caught my attention about this book was the title. Gets to your core. Her word are like drum beats pounding into your soul and rectifying the rhythm of your heart.
Extremely thought provoking, the religious aspects were insightful and imaginative- and the imagery was breath-taking.
The rest unfolded for itself.
Phenomenal second read.
On to her next book!
Factually speaking, Andrea Gibson is awesome. A spoken word poet by trade, her written work is meant to be heard and seen and sung. This volume is physical and exciting, and I’ll just leave this with a quote:

I’ve never seen a bomb drop. I’ve never felt hunger.

I’ve also never seen lightning strike

but I know we’ve all heard the thunder

and it doesn’t take a genius to tell something’s burning.
Andrea is one of my favorite poets of all time.

Her work is most breath-taking when read out-loud, and full of detail. It is almost always centered around social and political issues.

I loved this collection so much that I went to one of her readings and waited 1/2-3/4 hour afterward to ask her to sign this book.

I would recommend this most highly to those who enjoy slam poetry.
Ms. Gibson is a first rate slam poet. Her poems deconstruct the current political climate through stunning imagery and careful, moving crafting. She's a performance poet of the highest order. I highy recommend this book of her poems written, but also advise you to check her out performing "Say Yes" on YouTube. It's a masterpiece. You can also get her spoken words CD's from CDBaby.
I was so excited when I finally got my hands on this book. There were only a few things that I hadn't read before but that didn't stop me from reading them over and experiencing them again. While her written word is no match for her performances (youtube it). You can't help but feel yourself get pulled in.

This woman, is simply amazing.
I read this collection of poetry for the first time today. I found it both thought and emotion-provoking, which is really what I'd hoped for. I bought Gibson's second collection at the same time and am really glad I did, as having done that means I have immediate access to more beautiful, relevant, and powerful poems.
Sandra P.
Beautiful, heartwrenching, real poetry.
Great collection of poetry by Andrea Gibson. One of my favorite break-up poems, and some of my favorite love poems in here. No one quite speaks about love, loss, life, and social issues like Ms. Gibson. A must read for any poetry-loving queer searching for a little insight to life.
Whilst it is a given that this textual version of Andrea's slam poetry is not as powerful as her live performances, this book of words and imagery and beautiful beautiful breathtaking writing is one that everybody should read.

Youtube her. You will not be disappointed.
I really cannot think of any words fitting enough to describe this book. Andrea Gibson's writing is nothing short of phenomenal. I wish I could rate it with five million stars, but I can't, so five stars it is! This is one book I will read over, and over, and over again.
Wennie Hong
I absolutely loved this collection. Andrea Gibson is ridiculously talented. The way she strings together her words is breath-takingly beautiful. You will not regret this purchase, nor will you regret spending time reading and contemplating the depth of her poetry.
Everything Andrea Gibson does is phenomenal. Her work always leaves me speechless with my mind running a million miles an hour, and every single time I listen to or read her poetry, I find something new that I didn't catch the first time. Incredible!
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Rousing audiences internationally with her poignant message and her genuine interest in generating change, Andrea's words are a perfect mixture of fabulous and fierce. Exposing truth and sparking conversation Andrea's sharp imagery reaches both the intellect and the heart bringing her audiences to a human place and frequently to their feet.

Andrea is a queer poet activist whose work deconstructs th...more
More about Andrea Gibson...
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“Cause I don't wanna be a witness to this life,
I want to be charged and convicted,
ear lifted to her song like a bouquet of yes
because my heart is a parachute that has never opened in time
and I wanna fuck up that pattern,
leave a hole where the cold comes in and fill it every day with her sun,
'cause anyone who has ever sat in lotus for more than a few seconds
knows it takes a hell of a lot more muscle to stay than to go”
“I know this world is far from perfect.
I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.
I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.
But every ocean has a shoreline
and every shoreline has a tide
that is constantly returning
to wake the songbirds in our hands,
to wake the music in our bones,
to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that new born river
that has to run through the center of our hearts
to find its way home.”
More quotes…