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In each issue of BUST, Amber Tamblyn reviews a book of poetry. From our May/June 2019 issue, here's her review of Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson has been one of the world’s most important spoken-word poets for well over a decade. But with their latest collection, Lord of the Butterflies (Button Poetry Press), the non-binary author has evolved into something far more profound; a deeply inspired writer, wholly unafraid of life’s unknowns. The book takes a potent and critical look at the confines of gender, the cruelties of America, and the kindness of love. Gibson also writes commandingly on the revelations of a life in-between definitions; a life that is neither male nor female, a life that is not God fearing yet still faithful. In the opening poem, “Your Life,” the author writes: “Choosing your life/and how that made you into someone/who now often finds it easy/to explain your gender by saying you are happiest/on the road, when you’re not here or there, but in-between/that yellow line running down the center of it all/like a goddamn sunbeam.” The collection is a most nourishing salve for a nation fraught with existential crisis, its very values teetering on the verge of extinction. Gibson’s words do not point to all the answers, but they do shoot to soothe with perfect, heart-swollen aim.

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By Amber Tamblyn

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

 

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