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Spoken word artist to perform for LGBTQ+ Celebration Month


Courtesy Photo | Rachel Gleason Facebook 

Rachel Gleason, a spoken word poet based in Grand Rapids, will perform as part of the Office of LGBTQ Services’ LGBTQ+ Celebration Month programming.

Gleason’s work often focuses on the relationship between faith and sexuality. She will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 it the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium. 

When Gleason is not performing, she co-hosts The Drunken Retort, a spoken-word poetry, stand-up comedy and open-mic series at Stella's Lounge in Grand Rapids. Gleason and Drunken Retort co-host G. Foster II also visit local schools to teach students their craft.

In these poetry workshops, Gleason shares personal poems to encourage honest expression among students.

“Even 20 years later, all I’ve ever wanted was validation from you,” Gleason says to her mother in one of the pieces she’s shared with students. “Not birthday cards with Bible verses and poems that you wrote in strict stanzas and ABBA rhyme schemes calling me back to God and my sacred femininity.”

Gleason’s Facebook poetry page lists geology, paranormal studies, gender studies, history and cults as other poetic inspirations. Her chapbook “New Kind of Rebellion” explores growing up LGBTQ in a fundamentalist evangelical home.