Leader of Educational Programming
Gleason is a Michigan poet and performer, whose sharp tongue and soulful heart educate, encourage, and inspire.
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.
They love kayaking and biking.
Connection To GR, Thoughts on Liberation, Reclamation
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To me, the word Liberation means the ability to exist, move, create, and thrive without interference. The ability to dream and manifest without limits.
Reclamation means to take back. It is about ownership, empowerment, and pride.