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Words! A Bloomington celebration of poetry and spoken word

Organizations from across the community are joining together to celebrate the spoken word in March.  Confirmed events are listed below and more are expected to be added soon. Want to add your spoken word event to this calendar? Email Danielle McClelland at director@buskirkchumley.org with the details.

Bloomington Poetry Slam
Friday, March 2, 2018
at The Bishop, 123 N. Walnut St. (18+ venue)
$5 at the door

Featured Performer: Adrienne Nadeau (Chicago, IL)
To sign-up for the open mic or poetry slam competition,
please email bloomingtonpoetryslam@gmail.com. Space is limited!

Local, long-term, all welcome, competitive slam, where poets sign up, throw up their best words, in an environment of friendly pressure and performance. Two year organizer Hilda Davis is turning over the reins to Daniel “Sully” Sullivan in 2018, and this supportive writing community continues to thrive.


Window Horses
Monday, March 5, 2018
at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E Kirkwood Ave

Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, Window Horses is a feature animation about love—love of family, poetry, history, culture.

Rosie Ming, a young Canadian poet, is invited to perform at a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran, but she’d rather go to Paris. She lives at home with her over-protective Chinese grandparents and has never been anywhere by herself. Once in Iran, she finds herself in the company of poets and Persians who tell her stories that force her to confront her past: the Iranian father she assumed abandoned her and the nature of poetry itself. The film is about building bridges between cultural and generational divides. It’s about being curious. Staying open. And finding your own voice through the magic of poetry.

This screening is sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Middle East.


Andrea Gibson
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E Kirkwood Ave

One of the most celebrated and successful poets in the field began their career in 1999 with a break-up poem at an open mic in Boulder, Colorado. Gibson then leaped into the forefront of spoken word poetry on the national scene in 2008 when they won the first ever Woman of the World Poetry Slam. Author of three collections of poetry and currently working on an illustrated collection of their most memorable quotes for Penguin (Winter 2018), Andrea has also released seven full-length albums.

The most recent album, HEY GALAXY was created in the midst of another project as a result of the current political upheaval in the United States. Gibson was working on an album entirely about love, accompanied by an orchestra, but after the 2016 presidential election they felt moved to put forth a more social justice-oriented project. “There’s a quote that says, ‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.’ I wanted to do that. I wanted to make something political and human and gutsy in its revolt. Something beautiful in its sweetness and rage and vulnerability. Something loud and tender at the same time.”


Reja-e Busailah
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
at the Global and International Studies Building, Room 3067

The Center for the Study of the Middle East presents an autobiographical narrative laced with poetry. Reja-e Busailah, professor Emeritus from IU Kokomo, is an established poet and the author of In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood. Blind since infancy, Busailah earned a PhD from New York University, and taught in Palestine and Morocco as well as Indiana. He also founded a school for the blind in Kuwait and the organization Project Loving Care, which helps Palestinian children who are experiencing financial need. He will read from his poetry and discuss his childhood in Jerusalem.

Spoken Word Series
Thursday, March 8, 2018
at The Players Pub
Price: TBD

Check back soon for more details!