Gina Loring Poetry Event
On Wednesday, September 9, the Multicultural Affairs department presented an online Zoom event featuring poet and vocalist Gina Loring. Loring has performed all over the world, including in multiple countries as a guest of the United States Embassy under the Obama administration. She has also been featured on the HBO television series “Def Poetry” and “Lyric Café” on BET.
The event started with Loring performing a prayer song she wrote herself; the song was about all of the hardships that everyone has faced and continues to deal with this year. In the song, she also sang about the “revolution” that everyone has inside of them. After the song, Loring spoke of freedom in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement; she said the revolution is action, “there is only now.” She also mentioned how there is a lot of stress in the world right now. Loring then did a poem about our ancestors, the ones who lived in a time when people were being put into concentration camps. She then did a piece called “Walking Prayers;” this piece was to honor women and was about how everyone in the world came from women and how women are also warriors. The next poem she performed was called “Say Her Name;” this piece was for women of color who have been violated and or murdered and whose stories are not getting the attention they should. She crafted this poem for the Say Her Name movement, which works to bring awareness to Black women who have been victims of police brutality.
Then, Loring did a poem about and discussed Tina Turner and the hardship she has faced in her life; the poem was about what Tina Turner today would say to herself as a child. Loring chose Turner to be the focus of this poem because she wanted a contemporary, strong woman. Loring also sang a love song that she recently recorded, which will be released soon. Her next poem was called “The Last Word,” about a fatherless daughter. Like many of her other pieces, this was about her life. This poem was about how she didn’t meet her father until she was twenty, and how he was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and got to spend his last few years with him. Loring concluded her performance with a piece called “Somewhere There is a Poem”.
Loring said that she doesn’t try to force creativity; for her, it is natural and can be like a “spiritual experience.” For her, it can come from dreams or daily activities like driving or walking her dog. She also said that when creativity does come to her, she wants to “be open and let it flow.” Loring first started writing when she was fourteen at boarding school; she said she was very unhappy and started writing as a “place to put [her] emotions.” However, she never set out to be a poet, because her dream was always to be a singer. Everything in her poems are things that she has lived through or what she has seen and thinks. Poetry and performing have given her power and the space she needed to help process grief. Loring also said that she can also tell when a piece is not finished because it is missing something.
On September 23, at 2 p.m. Mountain time, Loring will be hosting a workshop and answering more questions for students and faculty at Eastern New Mexico University. To pre-register for the event, go to: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3ujGtTxbQ4OpiEf8Qd0Ydg[RD3]