Carlos Andrés Gómez
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Carlos Andrés Gómez

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1999

Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Established on Jan, 1999
Solo Spoken Word Latin




""Carlos Andrés Gómez Inspires Students with Spoken Word Performance""

Renowned spoken word poet, author, actor and playwright Carlos Andrés Gómez gave a fantastic performance to around sixty students in the campus center on April 16.

The event was sponsored by VIVA, Lawrence’s Latin American culture club. According to junior Osbani Garcia, VIVA’s president, “VIVA raises awareness of Latin American culture on campus and outside of campus. We felt the need to bring a speaker either from a Latino background or with an emphasis on Latino culture. Carlos was the perfect speaker.”

He added, “We knew that a posse scholar in Lafayette had shared his great experience with Carlos with other posse scholars at other schools. I could say that we found out about Carlos through the ‘posse-scholar-network.’”

In the past, Gómez has worked as a social worker and a public school teacher in Harlem, the south Bronx, Philadelphia and Manhattan. He is from New York City, but in his own words, “I grew up all over the world.” More recently, he has taken his slam poetry act on tour everywhere from Europe to Africa and the Caribbean, leaving a trail of awards and increasing fame in his wake.

Gómez described his work as “Raw, real and revealed.” He added that “when I get it right, I think I can connect with anyone -- regardless of race, class, religion, sexuality, age, whatever -- because there's something universally human about opening yourself up and inviting the world in.”

Gómez’s poetry deals mainly with race, gender and discrimination in general. Senior Drew Donica said, “The best part of the show was the last piece he did called ‘genocide’ where he discussed what it was like to tell a student in an under-privileged public school what genocide means, grappling with how the hate that causes genocide is similar to the hate present in impoverished U.S. communities.”

When he arrived in the Esch/Hurvis room, Gómez said that Lawrence was one of the most beautiful places he had ever performed. He was also impressed by the students, whom he called “Amazing. They're so open, friendly and exuberant.”

The Monday night show was an undeniable success. The students who attended and even Gómez himself were impressed by the energy and enthusiasm in the room. Gómez said, “It felt like performing in my living room for family and close friends. The crowd was alive, raw, open, and exhilaratingly present. I've done close to 50 shows at schools in the Midwest and last night was probably my favorite one.”

The student audience gave Gómez a standing ovation to show their appreciation. According to Donica, “The event was inspiring, intense, eye-opening and hilarious.” He added, “I have seen stand-up poets before, but Carlos was by far the most engaging and inspiring poet I have ever seen.” - The Lawrentian

""Gómez's Poems Slam Laurier""

Travelling slam poet Carlos Andrés Gómez gave a powerful and tear-jerking performance last Wednesday at the Turret

Where were you last Wednesday night? Perhaps getting your $2.50 drink on at Phil’s?For the lucky 200-plus students and professors who were at the Turret last Wednesday night, there was much more than a cheap night of drinks offered. Rather, it was a mind-blowing, perspective-changing experience.

Thanks to Laurier’s very own professor of sociology Dr. Jasmine Zine, last Wednesday saw the traditional feel of the Turret turned upside down from loud chaotic night club to a venue for intense passion, social awareness, creativity and honesty. With the help of three students, Carly Wardell, Randell Duguid and Eryn LeClare, as well as support from the Arts Student Advancement Program and the Laurier Students Public Interest Research Group, Dr. Zine introduced Laurier to a powerful and intense form of creative expression.

Carlos Andrés Gómez, a poet, actor, activist, brother, teacher and social worker, shared his humble and appreciative self with Laurier. Commonly referred to as a “slam poet,” Gómez expresses his poetic voice through the art of spoken word. Having toured at universities across North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Africa, Gómez is breathing life back into the lost art of spoken word. This athletic man with a sensitive side shatters the stereotypes so often associated with artistic men. Doing so is a large part of what Gómez is trying to achieve on his multi-national university tour. Prior to his performance, Gómez led one of Dr. Zine’s third-year sociology classes in a workshop designed to raise questions about the stereotypes, assumptions and the binaries that shape our society.

Would you classify yourself as white? Black? Male? Female? Gay? Straight? Good? Bad? Latino? Asian? Caucasian? These rigid social constructions are questioned by Gómez, who in turn encourages us to question the socially constructed binaries and assumptions that shape our day-to-day lives. Despite having shared the stage with the likes of Mos Def, Wyclef Jean, Saul Williams and Immortal Technique, Gómez remains humble. Taken aback by one of Laurier’s very own, the slam poet invited the talented Britta B to open up for him. The fourth-year arts student, who informed me that she has been participating in the art of poetry since the age of four, blew away all expectations during her short performance. Speaking poetically about domestic violence, Britta B brought tears to the eyes of more than one audience member.

“I have such a passion for poetry and find it to be an imaginative, powerful form of communication,” she shared after her performance, assuring me that she was not in the least bit nervous about speaking in front of such a large audience. “It’s about a love for language,” Britta B continued. “It gives you this experience of helping and encouraging others to share emotion.”After Britta B’s performance, Gómez took the stage, encouraging the quiet audience to contribute to the performance. “Slam poetry is an interactive thing,” he assured everyone before speaking out about genocide, sexism and issues of feminine self-esteem, racial stereotypes, politics and poverty. “If you hear something you like, let me know; clap, snap, yell out, whatever you’re feeling,” he continued. The audience ran with it.

There is something to be said about an art form that encourages one to reflect so deeply on one’s own role in solving social issues. In his poem “Distinctly Beautiful”, Gómez condemns himself along with others for perpetuating the sexual objectification of women in western culture.

Honesty of this nature sent chills through my spine, and by the positive chatter that filled the Turret after a serious encore, it’s safe to say that Gómez left a lasting impression on everyone present.You can check out his live performances on Youtube or visit his Myspace page at - Cord Weekly

""A Poet's Voice" (COVER STORY)"

Carlos Andrés Gómez has a way with words. He's been called a prophet, praised for his powerful message on and off stage. The 25-year-old award-winning poet and actor has made it to the National Poetry Slam Championships twice, performed on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and grabbed a leading role in Spike Lee's blockbuster, Inside Man. If you haven't heard this "spoken-word" artist on Telemundo or the MTV-U-sponsored Fight Apathy Tour, you might have heard of him: His performances generated over $40,000 to fight HIV/AIDS. Straight from the mouth of this former social worker and teacher comes a message about speaking up, making a living as a modern-day poet and helping others.

1. Prophet: One gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight; especially: an inspired poet.

He stands luminescent under the spotlight, eyes glowing. His hands whip left and right. The audience holds their breath as words flip off the stage, potent in their honesty and raw emotion.

On stage or off, Carlos tells it like it is. In the world of poetry slams, where energetic poetry performances are scored Olympic-style by audience members, Carlos learned to drop verse as entertaining as any Top Forty rapper.

"Some like it spelled out," he almost whispers in a performance of his poem breath stroke. "But my love doesn't speak literacy, and these metaphors don't sing literally, and these stanzas aren't about imagery or simile. Quite simply this is about a feeling..."

On the slam stages he found a platform to talk about issues he cared about, making us re-think our views on HIV/AIDS, violence, racism and poverty. "Often times the greatest writing is putting down on paper what you know you shouldn't write," Carlos says. "The greatest writers, the greatest painters, the greatest artists, are the ones that are putting down the last thing in the world that you should put down."

He's turned his passion for poetry into an unlikely and influential career by fusing it with the modern-day stage. He's on YouTube and MySpace. He's self-published a CD. He's in Hollywood. He's a far cry from your English class, textbook poet.

The verbal vanguard used to ride the bus to the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City to read at open mic nights and slams. In 2001, he won the Pronoun Showdown Philadelphia Grand Slam and by 2003 had joined the NYC/Nuyorican National Slam Team. As the creative director of the Fight Apathy Tour in 2004, Carlos set out with fellow artists to promote HIV/AIDS awareness on college campuses. The effort garnered an MTV-U sponsorship and national attention. Today Carlos has performed at over 100 colleges and universities touring around the country and the world. After landing a leading role in a 2006 box office hit, the young artist's growing audience just got much bigger.

2. Prophet: An effective or leading spokesman for a cause, doctrine, or group.

Like his poetry, there are no frills to Carlos. He laughs off the extravagant things reporters write about him. He really listens when you speak and you've got to respect him for that, especially when you know something great is resting on the tip of his tongue. In his expressive style, he tells the story about the day he discovered poetry eight years ago.

"I discovered for the first time this outlet that was a completely new world and completely different than anything I'd ever found in the past," Carlos says. "And for once it was something that I desperately felt like I needed and I definitely felt like I wanted."

That was the day poet Martín Espada read at his high school, back when Carlos was more likely to be yelling on the basketball court than climbing the stairs to a stage. He started writing everywhere and anywhere he could - on scraps of paper, cardboard cup containers, and even his arm. He stumbled upon different performance poets, such as Saul Williams. He read page-poets who broke boundaries and took risks, like Audrey Lore and Pablo Neruda - writers he wasn't exposed to in school.

In the summer of 1999, Carlos stood up in front of his first audience at a café in Providence, Rhode Island. Soon after he moved on to the world of activism and slams at the University of Pennsylvania, where his poems grew to be lyrical and his verbal dexterity mesmerizing. But despite the high honors he earned on the slam circuit, Carlos pursued an even higher purpose.

After working at a camp for children infected with HIV/AIDS, he had felt compelled to put his words to work. With a long-time friend, he created a tour that fused music with poetry and called it The Excelano Project. Touring in Canada, the Caribbean, Africa and the U.S. during 2002 and 2003, they raised $40,000 to fight the disease.

Today his poetry tours actually pay the bills. His manager and booking agent organize his schedule. His flash website and MySpace page list his speaking engagements. In the early years, however, tours like The Excelano Project meant breaking even - Brass Magazine

""Latino poet, actor Carlos Andrés Gómez is challenging toxic masculinity""

Colombian-American award-winning poet and actor Carlos Andrés Gómez, 36, is pretty open about his emotions and his active role as a father.

“I cry every day, I change my daughter's diapers,” Gómez told NBC News.

But it wasn’t always like that.

The author of the memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood and actor (he was in Spike Lee's "Inside Man") remembers growing up believing that in order to be a man he needed to be ready to fight at all times, objectify women and suppress his emotional self.

“I think of myself at 17, I remember feeling this pressure to conform to this one dimension of masculinity... be part of a culture that doesn’t represent the person that I’m inside,” Gómez said.

After making a life in New York with his wife and two little girls, Gómez decided to unlearn what he was taught about masculinity and embarked on a mission “to dismantle the stereotype about what it means to be a man.”

Gómez’s tipping point was years ago when he was a very young man. He accidentally bumped into another man at a club, immediately triggering a confrontation. But just when they were about to start fighting, Gómez experienced a sudden surge of emotions that brought him to tears. He was taken aback by how people reacted to his emotional display “as if crying, or showing vulnerability, was the most insane thing.”

Since then, Gómez has been on a mission to promote positivity and self-expression, going around the country and spreading the message through spoken word, poetry, TEDx Talks and a book, challenging toxic masculinity behaviors that often fuel bullying and “locker room talk.”

Some scholars have used the term toxic masculinity to refer to what are considered “stereotypical masculine gender roles” such as limiting the kinds of emotions boys and men are allowed to express and imposing social expectations that men seek to be dominant or aggressive.

In some parts of Latin America, aggressive concepts of masculine pride are perpetrated by what’s known as machismo culture.

In one of Gómez’s most recent efforts to eradicate these behaviors, he partnered with AXE and rapper KYLE for #SeniorOrientation, an initiative that Grammy-award winning artist John Legend launched last year to encourage high school seniors to foster an environment of inclusive masculinity.

Gómez and KYLE visited high schools in California and Chicago during the month of October, which is considered to be National Bullying Prevention Month, to motivate high school seniors to encourage others to own the way they each express their masculinity setting an example by allowing themselves to be vulnerable and honest about their emotions.

“There’s no one way to be a man,” Gómez said. “Even though change is a scary thing, even if it's for the better, we can set that tone to act unapologetically.” - NBC News

""Slam Poet With A Cause""

“ ‘Carlos, how many thirteen-year-olds do you know that are HIV-positive?’ Honestly? None. But I do visit a shelter every Monday and talk with six twelve-year-old girls with diagnosed AIDS.”

Slam poet Carlos Andrés Gómez brought life to the stage of Collis Commonground on April 12th, as a part of his “Rebel with a Cause” tour. Following an opening act by Dartmouth’s slam poetry group, the Soul Scribes, Gómez’s performance targeted the most sensitive aspects of American society—the Iraq war, rape, racism, classism, cultural identity, masculinity, historical treatment of minorities—and his frustration, anger, and disappointment about these issues were palpable in his lyrics. “I don’t care whether I offend you,” he said, “but I want to access you, so you’re going to have to feel and deal with all of it… I’ve had people who’ve said they hated what I said but respect me, and they’re going to think about it.” His feelings are largely inspired by his personal background as a Latino male in the US, as a social worker conducting HIV/AIDS education, and as an inner-city public school teacher. While Dartmouth students sat in respectful silence after his first deeply moving poem, Gómez was gratified to see that the audience was still absorbing its intensity, instead of rendering automatic applause, which would have trivialized the moment. He burst out: “You are SEXY!” (He also cited Dartmouth as one of his top four performances.)
“Writing a poem is like having sex. If you’re not willing to get naked, it’s not going to happen.” ~ “Poetry Like Sex”

Gómez’s poetry seethes with emotion, and its vital power to connect with an audience lies in his ability and willingness to access and lay bare those personal feelings. The sexual vulnerability of a poem that purrs “I want to be/inside you” (“Yeah, I said it!” he replied to the ooohs from the audience) demonstrates his belief that the personal is political, that “you can own a bodega and sell fruit and be one of the most radical people on earth.” In other poems, he cries out his anguish over his students who have been failed by the educational system and the myths of America. Anguish over his job, as a social worker, to inform clients that they’d contracted HIV (“if only I could think of you the way I am forced to refer to you in attendance logs”). Anguish over the men trapped in prisons and the girls raped by family members, on the street or in forced prostitution.

A few poems into his performance, tears were staining his cheeks and Gómez informed the audience, “I don’t wipe the tears off my face,” establishing the model for masculinity he wants to set. Voicing discontent with the kind of male role models he encountered growing up and a complicated relationship with his father, Gómez rejects the narrow, macho construction society promotes. He explained, “I believe that a real man is the opposite of what I was told... I think that a real man is courageous, and I think that requires a man that is patient, and a man that is able to access his emotion and vulnerability, that leaves the tears on his face, that is not homophobic.”

Masculinity constructs and fatherhood have also motivated some of his larger projects—he recently performed a one-man play, Man Up, and in two months will be in Sudan and Rwanda conducting research for another play, A World Without Fathers. His poems addressing masculinity interweave with issues including gang violence, war, drugs, prisons and rape. In “How to Fight,” a poem he did not read during this performance but was included in the booklet offered for sale, Thunder and Burning Shrapnel, he addresses the distraction of gang violence for which men who “choose to kill/or scrap or punch/and confuse it/with fight.” Real fighting would target the underlying injustices of society; it would be a fight for rights.

“Our children can’t hear the truth at school if a person says fuck. Can’t even talk about fuck even though a third of their senior class is pregnant. I can’t teach an eighteen-year-old girl in a public school how to use the condom that will save her life and that of the orphan she’ll be forced to give the foster system.” ~ “What’s Genocide?”

There’s nothing like working within the educational system to realize how ridiculous and harmful much of its bureaucratic policy is. Gómez exclaims against the censorship of valuable literary works for what the school considers inappropriate language—“Their high school principal told me I couldn’t teach poetry with profanity.” He condemns the game of denial that pretends social problems don’t exist, when students are in desperate need of real education about the circumstances of their life. The lack of comprehensive sex education is a particularly strong example of the harm of this political policy.

Gómez further denounces, “Your books leave out Emmett Till and Medger Evers. Call themselves world history and don’t mention King Leopold or diamond mines. Call themselves Politics in the Moder - The Dartmouth Free Press

"“Carlos Andrés Gómez headlines Buffalo Poetry Slam Championship”"

To craft the powerfully raw yet breathtakingly intimate poems that made him a poetry slam star, Carlos Andres Gomez didn’t have to go far for inspiration.

The 25-year-old spoken word artist and playwright spent time working as a social worker and high school teacher in some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods.

He worked as a substance-abuse counselor, an HIV educator and an outreach worker. His clients were in crack houses, shooting galleries and prisons. There, Gomez struggled to find words to reach them and convince them to seek help — testing, housing or treatment.

Tonight, Gomez will headline the Buffalo Poetry Slam Championship in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

“All those people I worked with — people in very challenging circumstances, desperate circumstances — had a raw authenticity that would cut through everything else,” Gomez said. When he sat down to write, it “marked my work,” he said.

He’s looking to project a “genuine, clear voice that cuts through,” he said.

“Even if you don’t like poetry, don’t have an ear trained to listen to it, even if you don’t comprehend intellectually all the things I am saying, in your heart and your spirit you can apprehend all of it, feel it and sense it, and understand it emotionally,” he said.

The voice that cuts through has propelled Gomez onto the national stage, with appearances on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and a film role in Spike Lee’s “Inside Man.”

Recently, Gomez started performing his first one-man play, “Man Up,” which revolves around the idea of what it means to be a “good man.” He’s also preparing to travel to Rwanda and Sudan in August, to work on a play called “A World Without Fathers.”

Another project, a documentary film with director Lisa Russell, will feature Gomez traveling through Africa with young poets from New York City, working with them to confront their biases about Africa.

Today, he warns young would-be poets not to write poetry to chase the dream that poetry will make them famous or rich.

“I always tell people that if you write, you’re writing for the most selfish reasons — not for fame, because that is an illusion. Do it to keep yourself sane. Do it for yourself. To keep yourself connected to your world, happy, clear.”

The success of “Def Poetry” has “given exposure and permission to a lot of people to explore and to find poetry,” Gomez said.

But it has had negative effects, too.

He still believes everyone can be a poet, Gomez said. “But where the bar is set, for what is demanded of the art form, is very low, and it needs to be raised,” Gomez said. “People need to be more challenged and more varied in how they express their voice.”

“[Some poets are] pandering now, because they want to get on ‘Def Poetry’ or want to get on whatever,” Gomez said. “I say, respecting an audience is not about what the audience wants to hear, it’s what they need to hear. Miles Davis would turn his back on an audience that had come to hear him. [Thelonious] Monk would walk circles around his stool and hit one note — that was his solo. You have to challenge an audience.”

- The Buffalo News

""Carlos Andrés Gómez: Poetry, Passion, and the Anti-Princess""

Poet. Actor. Speaker. Writer. Student. Friend. Husband. Father. Latino. International. Outsider. Advocate. These are just some of the many words and sides of Carlos Andrés Gómez, who spent a day and evening with the Lincoln School community, but the one identity that describes him best is, simply, infinite.

"We are all works in progress. We are all many things. We all have infinite identities," Gómez said.

As a poet, Gómez's work speaks volumes about who he is and how that collides with perception, others, and the world in which he lives. In order to share that wisdom and find out more about who Lincoln students are, he visited two of Ms. Maizel's 7th grade English classes, where girls had been studying spoken word poetry for the past few weeks.

"Carlos was generous, interested, and enthusiastic about the girls and their work. He offered honest critiques which not only were sensitive to their age but honored the vision of their poems," said Ms. Maizel. "He's top notch. I wish we could keep him here all year!"

Gómez taught them some valuable tricks of the trade: that the best moments in poetry are when you're surprised by what comes next; that physical gesturing activates the memory; and that one of his ways to remember his work on stage is to pretend to watch his performance from the outside instead of inside his head, and the words will come much easier.

They had a chance to see those suggestions in action at assembly, where he performed five of his poems for a rapt crowd: "Hallelujah," "Everything," "Song for Mike Brown," "What Does Hispanic Look Like?," and "If a Princess Tries to Kidnap Your Daughter," all of which were rooted in his own personal experience as a grandson, friend, activist, member of the Latinx community, and father, respectively.

He uses narrative to propel his work forward, because, as he said: "Anyone can disagree with someone's opinion, but no one can disagree with someone's story."

The poem "If a Princess Tries to Kidnap Your Daughter," is about his 14-month-old daughter Grace, but it is also about traditional gender roles and the limitations that society imposes upon children at a young age.

"Ever since my daughter arrived on this earth, and even before, people were trying to establish what she could and could not do and could and could not wear and could and could not be. Why can't she wear colors other than pink, why can't she like science or dinosaurs or basketball?" said Gómez. "My hope is to always try to challenge things that are deeply rooted in the way we think, try to challenge and dismantle convention, to make people think about things differently."

He spoke in the evening to the greater Lincoln and Providence communities and shared more of his incredible work, where his message about girls resonated.

"It was really valuable to hear from a male feminist," said a student. "He engaged so intensely with the audience. The way he spoke about his daughter and his concerns for the world she would grow up in were particularly moving."

Gómez encouraged his listeners to share their own lives whenever they could, to address the hard stuff in a way that's accessible by using art, stories, and open dialogue.

"You can only expect the people in front of you to be as open and courageous as you are. We have to do that kind of messy work to get our community to where it should be," he said to a curious and grateful audience. And where is that, exactly?

"I want to live in a world where we can all be whatever it is that we want to be," said Gómez. "I want to live in a world where we can all just be who we are." - Lincoln School (Providence, RI)


"Volta" (LP, 2022)

"Opus" (LP, 2021)

"Vitruvius" (LP, 2010)

"Fate by the throat" (double LP, 2008)

"Live from New York" (LP, 2005)



CARLOS ANDRÉS GÓMEZ is an award-winning spoken word poet, speaker, and equity and inclusion strategist from New York City who has performed and delivered keynotes at more than 1,000 colleges and universities across 47 U.S. states, collaborated with John Legend on a project to counteract bullying, co-starred in the Spike Lee film "Inside Man" with Denzel Washington, and drew a standing ovation at the Obama White House. A former social worker and public school teacher, Carlos is a passionate advocate for healthy masculinity and equity and inclusion. He is also the International Book Award-winning author of the poetry collection "Fractures" (selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey as the winner of the 2020 Felix Pollak Prize) and the memoir "Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood" (Penguin Random House, 2012). A star of HBO’s "Def Poetry Jam," you may recognize Carlos from his viral poems, “What Latino Looks Like,” “Where are you really from?” and others, which have garnered more than 10 million views online.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, Carlos was named 2021 Georgia Author of the Year, 2016 Best Diversity Artist by Campus Activities Magazine, and Artist of the Year at the 2009 Promoting Outstanding Writers Awards. He is a proud Colombian American and father of two.

"Carlos was by far the most engaging and inspiring poet I have ever seen."
- Drew Donica, Lawrence University student

"Powerful and tear-jerking, a mind-blowing, perspective-changing experience."
- Shannon Busta, Cord Weekly 

"Carlos is killing it -- he's such a powerful speaker."
- John Legend

"a truth-telling visionary."
- Sarah Higginbotham, Brass Magazine

"Powerful, truthful, and sublime."
- Dr. Cornel West

"***** (5/5 stars) Gomez lays himself bare, a quarter of the audience shed tears yet the show was uplifting."
- Bernie Greenwood, Hairline Magazine

"Gomez's performance is part classic artiste and part lyrical prophet. Think Keats, meets Bob Marley meets Tupac Shakur."
- Searlina Bodden, Caymanian Compass