Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Movement Matters: An interview with Andy Karol
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Michael Workman

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

This is an excerpt from Movement Matters, an interview series from the arts publication Sixty Inches From Center, by writer Michael Workman; it investigates art at the intersection of dance, performance, politics, policy and issues related to the body as the locus of these and related socio-cultural dialogues on race, gender, and ability.

This installment touches on the topics of being a genderqueer parent and early days of bringing poetry to the stage with Andy Karol, a writer whose work has been featured at Green Mill's Uptown Poetry Slam, Salonathon, LitMash, Center on Halsted, CAKE, Homolatte, Spilled Milk Open Mic, Women & Children First Bookstore and so many others.

Michael Workman: How did you first get involved in performance poetry?

Andy Karol: Well, about six years ago, I was dating someone who was really into performance poetry. I didn't know much about it at the time. They shared some books and videos with me, and I was like, "Okay, this is good stuff." They also mentioned how "we" need to check out the poetry slam at the Green Mill some day. Then, they brought me to a show where Andrea Gibson was performing at Northwestern, and I just felt so damn much. I mean, I was overwhelmed with feelings. And I saw how everyone else was so effected in that audience. While walking to the car I kept joking around and talking in non-stop metaphors and trying to be all lyrical, but there was a very serious part of me that knew I needed to write. And thank God I was driving because I was probably so annoying that I'd have been left there in that parking lot alone with my eureka moment had I not been the one with the keys.

So, anyway, that was a pretty passionate relationship ( read: we broke up and got back together way too much! ), and after I was dumped pretty hard this one time, I took my broken pieces to the Green Mill to see what this slam poetry thing was all about. That was in September of 2012, but I remember exactly where I was sitting. That night, there was a joke onstage going between the MC's because supposedly, one of them, J.W. Basilo, hadn't written a love poem ever to his then-girlfriend. So, he and Marc Smith, the founder of slam poetry, came up with a contest and said they'd award three bucks to whoever could write the best love poem during the break, and then the winning poem, voted by the audience, would be said to the girlfriend over the phone during the show. Well, I wrote my poem on a cocktail napkin, included a bunch of kinky carnival metaphors, and won by audience vote. I was shaking so badly on that stage, but it felt so damn good being there. I still have that napkin somewhere in a box, by the way.

Anyway, that was how I first got into this world of performance poetry.

MW: You have an 8-year old son. How has it been being a parent through all of this? What lessons would you like him to learn from you about finding and being yourself?

AK: It has been an adventure. My son, Noah, is amazing. All parents think that about their own kids, right? I think of him every step of the way. That's something that makes me different than other poets without kids. For instance, I had a great show last night and came home feeling ecstatic and just grateful, you know? But then I thought about Noah and how I haven't seen him in two days because of co-parenting and rehearsals and me needing time to work on things like memorization, and I felt this deep sadness and missed him immensely. And these two days will extend to four days due to holidays and more rehearsals I have.

I love what I do, but there is sacrifice involved. It's tough because I also know that if I don't let this creative self out and be my best, hardworking self, then I'm also not as good of a parent as I could be to him. I've had weeks away from him at a time because of tours or slam commitments, but I know I'm showing him that life doesn't stop when you're an adult. I know I'm showing Noah that following dreams is the only way to live. Noah, like most kids, is pretty observant and sees how his mom is not like most, or any, other moms he knows. I think he's still proud of me though. Once I had him at an open mic, and he was helping run the bake sale. I think he was six at the time. When I went onstage to perform, he wrote on his iPad that the bake sale was closed. He wanted no sales during my performance!

I know I'm lucky to have him in my life. I hope one day he can look back and know I did my best. I hope he's never afraid to be himself, to feel emotions, and to live the best life he can, even in a world that tries to tell you who you are before you can show them everything you're not. I hope every day he's thinking, "You ain't seen nothing yet!"

Read the full interview and more coverage of Chicago art + culture at .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Dance for Life raises $233,000+ for dancers with critical health and life issues 2017-09-22 - Chicago Dancers United ( CDU ), which mobilizes Chicago's dance community by raising funds through dance, welcomed nearly 2,300 guests at the 26th ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Rumer Willis spins tunes and tales at Hard Rock 2017-09-20 - Actres/singer Rumer Willis has carved out a strong career on her own, apart from being the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. ...

Gay News

FALL DANCE PREVIEW Innovation abounds this fall 2017-09-13 - Chock full of innovative performances by local independent dance makers as well as opportunities to see new work from some of the most ...

Gay News

Auditorium to mark 50th anniv. with dance companies 2017-09-13 - On Sunday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m., the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy., will commemorate the 50th anniversary of its grand reopening ...

Gay News

People react swiftly to DeVos' changing Title IX guidance 2017-09-11 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) was among those groups and individuals who expressed concern over the decision by U.S. Secretary of ...

Gay News

PFLAG responds to DeVos' planned change to campus sexual assault guidance 2017-09-08 - WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, PFLAG National—the nation's largest and oldest organization uniting families and allies with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ...

Gay News

Illinois Attny Gen blasts US Sec of Ed's scrapping of guidance on campus assault 2017-09-08 - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today condemned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' decision to replace guidance that ensured college campuses around the country ...

Gay News

'Queens on Wheels' Sept. 8-10 2017-09-06 - Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 S. Michigan Ave., and Do312 bring back their skate night series with a weekend of "Queens on Wheels" ...

Gay News

Education, Justice sued for papers on guidance withdrawal regarding trans students 2017-08-23 - NEW YORK ( August 23, 2017 ) — Lambda Legal yesterday filed a federal lawsuit to compel the U.S. Departments of Education and ...

Gay News

Dance for Life stuns while raising funds 2017-08-23 - The 26th annual Dance For Life gala and concert—held Aug. 19 at the Auditorium Theatre— continued the tradition of serving as a fundraiser ...


Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.