Albany Poets is proud to announce Wil Gibson as featured guest at the 2016 Albany Word Fest edition of Albany Poets Presents at Restaurant Navona (formerly The Midtown Tap & Tea Room). Albany Poets Presents puts a spin on the typical poetry event in the local literary community by highlighting one poet every two months with an interview and Q&A session following the reading.
Host Thom Francis explains, “The first two readings with Alan Catlin and Dan Wilcox have been great experiences to talk to long-time local poets. With the Word Fest edition of Albany Poets Presents I wanted to bring in a nationally touring spoken word artist to find out what it takes to balance traveling the country performing and staying invlived with life and family.”
Albany Poets Presents will also be recorded live to be distributed through the Albany Poets website and other outlets.
Wil Gibson was born from a good idea and a bottle of bourbon and raised in some of the poorest communities northern Illinois and eastern Arkansas have to offer.
He has had collections published with Moon Pie Press (Home and Other Places-2012), Sargent Press (A Couple’s Guide To Panic Attacks w/ Jen Jacques-2013), Great Weather for MEDIA (Harvest the Dirt-2015), has been published online and in print with Midwestern Gothic, Radius, Yellow Chair Review, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Electric Cereal, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net 2015, was featured on Button Poetry, and in early 2016 will release Quitting smoking, falling in and out of love, and other thoughts about death with Swimming With Elephants Press.
He has performed with or opened for Regie Gibson (no relation), Charlie Neville, Andrea Gibson (no relation), mybrightestdiamond, Brother Ali, Toki Wright, Patricia Smith, and Kurtis Blow (among others), and has been the featured poet in well over a hundred dive bars, high schools, colleges, poetry slams, libraries, living rooms, restaurants, prisons, coffee houses, and churches from Bellingham, Washington to Boston, Massachusetts and beyond.
He was runner up at the 2010 and 2011 Arkansas Grand Slam, audience favorite 2010 Arkansas Grand Slam, three time (2008-2010) Portland, Maine/Port Veritas Grand Slam Champion, one time (2010) New Hampshire/Slam Free or Die Grand Slam Champion, one time (2015) Humboldt County Grand Slam Champion, has won the chance to represent Portland, Maine 6 times (2008-2012, 2014) and Humboldt County, California once (2015) at the National Poetry Slam, including the 2011 semifinal team, and has coached 3 (2008, 2012-2013) NPS teams.
His mentors have included Jason Carney, Ryk McIntyre, Mike Macklin, Nick Fox, Billy Tuggle and Jay Davis, but you shouldn’t hold that against him.
He has toured nationally solo, and as part of: Uncomfortable Laughter (w/ Beau Williams, Kait Rokowski, and Ryan McLellan), guyslikeyou (w/ Beau Williams and Ryan McLellan), The Uncomfortables (w/ Billy Tuggle), is an honorary member of Chicago 4 Star Poetry (w/ Billy Tuggle, Andi Kauth, Rik Vazquez, Melanie “George” Decelles, Ashley Hart, and Patricia Smith), and was a founding member of the nonprofit organization Port Veritas in Portland, Maine.
He likes people and dogs a lot. He would like to pet your dog, and maybe talk to you a few minutes about lighthouses or random historical facts.