By: Katie Olson, Editor-in-Chief
In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, TWU’s Campus Activities Board and Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach collaborated to bring Hispanic Heritage Poetry Night, with award-winning spoken word poet Carlos Andrés Goméz. The spoken word performance took place on the lawn of the Jones Hall Green Space, across from Hubbard Hall.
Goméz, formerly from New York City has performed at over 300 colleges and universities along with touring over five continents. On Monday, Goméz performed some of his poetic pieces for TWU’s student body, including his closing piece that he wrote during his time as a teacher, called “What’s Genocide.”
In an interview, CAB Public Relations Coordinator Bailey Whatley explained how Goméz was invited to perform for Hispanic Heritage Month’s Poetry Night.
Whatley said: “CAB goes to a conference called NACA, the National Association for Campus Activities. We saw Carlos Andres Goméz at this conference and immediately thought that he would be a great person to bring for a poetry night during Hispanic Heritage month.”
Whatley also believes that the poetry night adds to the culture of TWU. She shared: “TWU is a very diverse campus, and CAB is very excited to be doing this event during Hispanic Heritage Month.”
She added: “CAB hopes that people will get a deeper appreciation for their own culture, as well as a culture that some people may not really know about.”
Students in attendance gathered together in groups or individually to hear Goméz speak. His positive energy and warm performance elicited many reactions, from applause to laughter and even understanding from members of the audience as Goméz spoke about everything from his cultural heritage to different aspects of identity.
First year biology major Sonya Moze shared: “The whole concept that he’s been talking about, I feel like he’s talking to me. Since my name is Sonya, and I am black, I understand what he’s talking about – the racial diversity and everything about how to tolerate people.”
After his performance, Goméz signed copies of his book Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood for students in attendance as well as flyers, taking photos with students on their cell phones and offering warm introductions in the form of hugs. He also shared the reason behind his passion for spoken word poetry.
Goméz elaborated: “There’s something so dynamic about spoken word that it’s poetry that’s accessible to anyone. I feel like that sort of democratic essence at the core of spoken word is something that very much appeals to me.”
Goméz added that he felt spoken word is meant to be a dynamic journey that allows listeners to feel a colorful mix of emotions. Most importantly, he hopes that the audience walks away with an experience that they can look back on as positive and fulfilling through the more difficult times of their lives.
Goméz concluded: “The most important thing is that I want people to feel affirmed. I want them to be reminded of how powerful and beautiful and necessary they are. And I want people to leave feeling like they are enough. When I have a great show that vibe and that connection with the audience is what I’m always aiming for.”
For more information on CAB events please visit http://www.twu.edu/student-government/campus-activities-board.asp, or follow CAB on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @TWUCAB.