DMU poet tackles nerves and taboo topics

by Kas Ellis

A poet wanted to break taboos on certain subjects with her performance at a student cultural event in Leicester.

Amy Gibbs, a creative writing student at De Montfort University (DMU), spoke at the Undergrad Poetry Hour during Cultural Exchanges with her four poems which could be seen as controversial.

“It’s important to get that out to people,” Amy said. Her poems highlighted issues such as sexual assault, suicide, and self-harm.

Despite the nature of her themes, she said that her poems were well received by the audience, and she enjoyed reading them out despite how daunting she found it.

“You don’t understand how many people are in the room until you stand up,” Amy said.

She was nervous that she was going to freeze up, but said that she looked in the crowd to find familiar faces to read to.

Amy said that, by nature, she was a very closed person but university has helped her become much bolder with her work, and she volunteered to read her poetry in spite of any apprehension.

When asked how she managed to overcome any nerves, she mentioned how important eye contact is, and said that the audience are ‘friends you haven’t gotten to know yet.’

Even though the poems she did perform were not originally the ones she intended to read, due to her original document crashing, she said that it felt good to get the thoughts and feelings off her chest nonetheless.

“It was like a therapy session,” she said.

She believes that the more people talk about the topics she raised, the less taboo they become, and she hopes that she inspired others to let their feelings out in the form of poetry.

Amy said that she would ‘absolutely’ do another speech like this one, and invites others to sign up to similar events in order to experience the cathartic affects it had on her.