Carlos Andrés Gómez brought a powerful performance of words and encouragement to UWT.
The public talk and poetry reading was held at WPH late on Thursday, April 4. The performance was recorded by UWT to be shared on YouTube.
Gómez brought a live, energetic performance of some of his popular pieces, which can be viewed easily on his Tumblr at carlosandresgomez.tumblr.com.
It was clear to me as he was performing that he was also reading the audience members and tailoring the performance to them. Gómeznoted onstage that the crowd was quite a bit friendlier compared to his usual standoffish New York crowd.
Gómez’s work could be described as transformative. A poem about his grandmother becomes a reference to society: “every gasp on this earth is beautiful.”
The poet worked with his hands as he weaved his tale, accentuating imagery as he delivered his words.
He bridged poems with stories about working with kids in a writing workshop, where he makes them write 24 things that make them feel beautiful and his frustrations over watching them struggle with the task.
Other poems performed included “Handstitch,” on the topic of LGBT rights framed in a story about a military recruiter, another about women’s rights, and his thrilling conclusion with the poem “What is Genocide?”
In a meet and greet, I asked the poet what he thought about Tacoma. He replied excitedly, “People are so genuine here! Write that down!” When asked if he had advice for aspiring writers or performers, he said, “Get out and read your work as much as possible.”
You can get his new book of poetry, “Man Up: Cracking the Code of Modern Manhood,” from his website at carloslive.com.
More information on National Poetry Month in Tacoma can be found at http://www.poetrytacoma.com/nationalpoetrymonth.