POET REGIE GIBSON'S MESSAGE HITS HOME
On December 9, 2008, the multitalented Mr. Regie Gibson visited Watertown High School as the third writer in the WHS Visiting Writer Series 2008-2009. In two one-hour performances given in the Lecture Hall for students and staff, Gibson delivered poignant and entertaining poems describing his adolescence, his fascination with the power of language, and his need to shape and interpret his experience through the spoken word.
His pieces, which ranged from satire to elegy, and from statement to song, often vacillated between powerful soliloquy and stand up comedy. From his rendition of Romeo's silky poetry to Bush's stilted lapses in speech, Gibson did what few speakers can do: he kept full houses mezmerized for two entire shows. Following his performances, Gibson fielded questions in the WCAC cable studio and performed additional pieces for Ms. Ventura's Communications class. By the time he left the school, his audiences at WHS understood why Kurt Vonnegut said of Gibson, "You sing and chant for all of us. Nobody gets left out."
Gibson, a musician, father, teacher, and former National Poetry Slam Champion, added Watertown High to an expansive list of schools and universities that includes Arlington High, Belmont High, Hampshire College and Harvard, as well as other impressive venues such as Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall. Gibson, a celebrity on the poetry slam scene, has worked with Patricia Smith, Kurt Vonnegut and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Gibson's poetry has been published widely in anthologies and, in 2001, EM Press published his first full length poetry collection, Storms Beneath the Skin. To get a peek at his dynamic pieces, search for Regie Gibson on YouTube.