In January 2020 we welcomed our first Nantucket Book Foundation Visiting Poet, songwriter, author, workshop facilitator, and educator Regie Gibson. His visit centered on the singular nature of poetry and the universal and timeless nature of words shaped to convey story. Regie Gibson’s gift is a unique presentation of a melding of musicality to the structure of a poem. Languages have a beat. We are creatures of sound, and Regie Gibson understands that. A musician rooted in African traditions, his music is a hybrid of jazz, funk, rock and hip hop. Reflective of his curious and expansive mind, his poetry is a sweep of the stories told through time; classic literature to tribal tales to contemporary stories, pulling a common thread of humanity tight. There is a percussive quality of his words: creating the beat of image and idea and theme coalescing in his own fusion of poetry. Language is our means to unify; to come together in a shared experience. As Regie wrote: “We’re bound together in community based on love, not just what we fear. What we run toward, not just what we run away from.”
Regie has performed, taught, and lectured at schools, universities, theaters and various other venues on two continents and in seven countries including Havana Cuba. Regie is a former National Poetry Slam Individual Champion, and was selected one of Chicago Tribune's Artist of the Year for Excellence for his poetry. He has co-judged the Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Competition with Marc Smith and Mark Strand, has been regularly featured on N. P. R., and has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.