Booking, Media & Press

GLEASON

Poet. Performer. Motivational Speaker.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Booking,

Media

& Press

“Grand Rapids spoken word poet Gleason performed with ferocity and told their life story through poems, songs and conversation. Using a prominent theme of strength through vulnerability in their poetry, the poet left a mark on Central Michigan University students who attended the performance.” -Central Michigan Life 

Community stage spotlighted artist Rachel Gleason

Posted by Grand Rapids Pride Festival on Saturday, June 15, 2019

BIO

Gleason is a Michigan poet and performer, whose sharp tongue and soulful heart
educates, encourages, and inspires.

They are the Director of Education of The Diatribe, a nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting, inspiring, and empowering the youth through poetry.

Gleason’s work has been commissioned by local and national organizations, including The Hope Network and The National Fair Housing Alliance.

They have represented Grand Rapids in poetry slams on national stages and co-coached The
Retort United Slam team from 2017-2019, which took home the third-place trophy for Group Piece Finals at the 2018 National Poetry Slam.

Raised in a fundamental, evangelical church where their faith was often at odds with their soul, Gleason’s art is rooted in the idea and that poetry is a way of seeing the world, a way of seeing god in unexpected places.

They believe in pipe dreams and that words have the power to change the world.

They have spoken at TEDX events, education conferences, and universities across the country and their work has been featured by NPR, Pride.com, Curve Magazine, and DivaMag UK.

“Gleason has been a guest teacher at Open Circle on several occasions. They are a uniquely gifted communicator who generously and vulnerably offers poems, stories, and wisdom – and most importantly – presence to everyone she encounters. The world needs more Gleason.”
– Matt Laidlaw, Spiritual Director, Author

REVIEWS

Gleason did an amazing job at our National Conference!

“Their poetry and delivery style is unique and uplifting!

Gleason came highly recommended to us and we were not disappointed as we received nothing but positive comments.

We can definitely see ourselves working with Gleason again in the future!”

-Gregory C. Parrish, Vice President Resource Development & External Affairs, National Fair Housing Alliance

Versatility + professionalism + talent all in one

“Gleason is truly the silver lining on the horizon of where the the land (the artist) meets the sky (the art).

If all of the beauty in between is the perfect sunset – then their storytelling ability, teaching artist chops, and charisma makes them the perfect sunset.

Don’t think about where they fit, or “if they are the right artist”. Just book them, and you’ll see you made the right choice.

– Marcel “Fable” Price, Grand Rapids Poet Laureate

Insightful and powerful

“Gleason’s poetry is insightful and powerful. Their public presentations are an inspiration to people of all ages.

They are a model for everyone to speak their truth.”

– Leslie Newman, Event Coordinator, C3 Inclusive Spiritual Connection”

I knew Gleason from their work over the years as one of our area’s top spoken word poets…Not only has Gleason’s reputation as an artist grown over the years, it was also their ability over all these years to share the stage with other voices is why they were our first call as a fitting partner to produce our community stage, where we welcomed ten featured local artists and over twenty other voices to address the festival audience.

We could not have done it without them and the team of artists they assembled (and welcomed) to make our annual fundraising event held in the heart of Grand Rapids our most successful Pride Fest of all time.”

– Tommy Allen, Board President and 2019 Pride Fest Entertainment Producer

“Gleason, the dynamic spoken word artist in Grand Rapids, Michigan, (gives) an intimate and emotional look at gender identity.”

– Curve Magazine

“‘Rambo Renegades’ details Gleason’s journey with gender and finding empowerment through femininity. This spoken word poem about gender will give you chills.”

-Pride.com

PERFORMANCES

UPCOMING EVENTS

Follow us on Facebook to learn about upcoming events.

PAST EVENTS

Gleason has performed at events across the Midwest since 2015, including:

Grand Rapids Pride Festival

TEDx Muskegon

Central Michigan University

Indiana State University

2018 National Fair Housing Conference, Washington DC

GLEASON LOVES TO SPEAK AND PERFORM AT:

Universities
LGBTQ Events
Festivals
Churches & Spiritual Organizations

Conferences
Rallies & Marches
Community Events & Shows

Common Themes:
LGBTQ Identities & Struggles
Spirituality
Mental Health
Social Justice
Empowerment

A NEW KIND OF REBELLION

Gleason’s book of poems that pull back the curtain on growing up LGBTQ in an evangelical home, “New Kind of Rebellion” is as refreshing as it is intimate.

It is an image-driven journey into the depth of one person’s resolve against societal and religious norms. Find it on Amazon.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Raised in an evangelical cult, my faith was often at odds with the wellbeing of my spirit.

By thirteen I was being groomed as a prophet, and yet felt completely voiceless.

As a queer person, I was in constant fear of being outed. When I came out at 19, I lost everything. But gained more.

Today, I write and perform as a means of unlearning the shame and condemnation I was taught early in life.

My art is rooted in the idea that poetry is a way of seeing the world, of seeing god in all the places and experiences I was once told god could not exist.

It’s about seeing god in the mundane, in the ugly, in science, in history, in myself.

The heart of my work is about reclaiming my voice, my holiness in hopes that it will help others to do the same.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Raised in an evangelical cult, my faith was often at odds with the wellbeing of my spirit.

By thirteen I was being groomed as a prophet, and yet felt completely voiceless.

As a queer person, I was in constant fear of being outed. When I came out at 19, I lost everything. But gained more.

Today, I write and perform as a means of unlearning the shame and condemnation I was taught early in life.

My art is rooted in the idea that poetry is a way of seeing the world, of seeing god in all the places and experiences I was once told god could not exist.

It’s about seeing god in the mundane, in the ugly, in science, in history, in myself.

The heart of my work is about reclaiming my voice, my holiness in hopes that it will help others to do the same.

CONTACT

Contact Gleason to inquire about speaking engagements, book performances and connect with one of West Michigan’s most engaging, inspiring activists.

EMAIL GLEASON