Christopher Gutierrez

Christopher Gutierrez

BandSpoken WordWorld

Unflinching and from the hip, I take the audience through the triumphs and tragedies of life and explain how there is strength in vulnerability and how wonderful life truly is. With humor and a casual, straight-forward approach, I illustrate how positivity comes from in the most unlikely of places


In the same fashion Do-It-Yourself punk bands have built their fan base for the past 30 years, Chicago author Christopher Gutierrez has carved his own niche into the literary world relying on that same aesthetic. In the span of three short years, Gutierrez has gone from sporadic zine publisher and part-time blogger to full-time writer and public speaker, self-releasing 3 books, a spoken word CD, a live DVD, several mini-books and fanzines all under the umbrella of The Deadxstop Publishing Company.

Since the release of his first book On the Upswing of Life, Love and Regret in 2005, Gutierrez has built a strong foundation of loyal readers garnering over 10,000 hits a day on his popular blog ‘Askheychris.’ The advocacy of his readership helped him sell two pressings of the book with no major distribution, land him a feature piece in the Chicago Reader and a sponsorship as in-house spoken word artist by on the Vans Warped Tour. His work ethic and online presence also earned him a position as a staff writer and guest blogger for popular social-networking site

June 2007 saw the release of his second book A Life Deliberate, a personal collection of memoirs as humorous and emotional as they are uplifting. Following the release, Gutierrez set off on a full US tour including dates in Canada and a stint in The UK spanning England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These dates documented the beginning of what would become his third book, Notes from the Deep End: A Year in the Life of a Touring Author, a collection of journal entries spanning his initial tour dates following the release of A Life Deliberate, a Northeast tour with friends and fellow Chicago natives 2*Sweet and his speaking engagements at Rutgers University, The University of Massachusetts, The University of North Carolina, The University of Colorado, Utica College and the University of East Anglica in England and many others. The Chicago date was filmed and released as the “Live from Chicago” DVD.

This past year has been a busy one for Gutierrez with no indication of slowing down. Notes from the Deep End was released in June and once again he immediately followed up the release with a full 6-week tour of the U.S. He has also been hosting his own weekly three-hour online radio show through aptly titled This Deliberate Life and making plans for future visits overseas. Though he isn’t a household name, Gutierrez continues to inspire thousands of people with an uplifting message and a DIY attitude.


i know

Written By: christopher gutierrez

"i know."

i think everyone wants to be someones something.
boyfriend. girlfriend. husband. caretaker. beauty. enemy. hero. stalker. solution.
to feel appreciated. to have purpose. to be indispensable.
its a hole that we're born with and always so desperate to fill. its that void that writers, lonely kids, misfits and self-loathing sensitive artists tend to talk about on road trips and over late-night coffee.

its what fills the words of mothers and born-again christians and rape councilors and patriotic soldiers. that 'i have a purpose' kind of confidence; spoken with a hints of pride, nervousness and anxiety, because no one knows if their knees will hold up under the weight, expectation and responsibility of it all.

ive been in living in the shadow of those people. often jealous, i just couldnt wrap my brain around what they found, and why i couldnt find it myself. for all of my short-sighted attempts, not once have i truly felt that i had purpose. oh sure, ive been humbled beneath the words of kids i meet after my speakings, but any feelings of appreciation i have are almost immediately overshadowed by my inability to understand why people believe what they do. what they see in me. again, just something i can not seem to grasp.

the self-deprecation in my writing/speaking isnt some clever emo marketing tool. its a trait that i havent been able to shake since i was that awkward dirty kid in 3rd grade who refused to take off his 'return of the jedi' trucker hat because everyone made fun of his frizzy hair. i was in smart-kid classes for 2 years. regardless of what the red pen said at the top of the papers, when i looked in that mirror, never once did i feel like i belonged. so after some people died and my family fell apart, so did my grades. i wont lie to you and say there wasnt a sigh of relief when i was "demoted" back into the average kid classes.
simply put: i dont see it. who knows why. im sure with some intense therapy i might be able to get to the root of these things, but fuck, i dont have health insurance let alone thousands of extra dollars just to hear some doctor tell me that mommy didnt hug me enough or that i have some post-traumatic stress disorder that was never truly dealt with. so instead of waiting for a hero or a pill, ive made it my lifes work to excavate this shit on my own.

because i want to fill that void just like you.
i want to know what it feels like to become whole.

yesterday, i went back to that high school to speak to more classes of teenagers. initially, i was under the impression they were privileged kids; you know with all their manicured lawns, dorms with house mothers and gated living communities. but it was actually the opposite. they were kids that came from rough backgrounds and had been given an opportunity by an organization. i read a story on a wall one of the girls had written about how her first mommy was killed by her boyfriend and how her new mommy loves her. i learned that several of the students had to flee from their homes in africa due to civil wars and that one was actually born in a prison.
i stood in front of a class filled with indifferent kids and 'got real'. no script. no idea of where i was going to go. it was as if every speaking i had done before was simply practice for this. i watched as my words slowly moved their shoulders forward. i paused to see if i could hear any whispering. and when i knew i had them, i said something that no one had ever told me when i was their age.
i held up a book. my book. and i said, "i am not a good writer. but i wrote a book. good or bad, i wrote a book. and this book has taken me to 8 countries in the last year. see, im not the dude who writes books. im the kid in the back of the class counting down the minutes on the clock. but me... i made this."
i held that book in front of my face and said, "if i can do this, so can you."

i paused and said, "i believe in you."

afterward, i took questions and milled about the room as the kids went back to talking to each other and waited out the last few minutes of class. as the bell rang and the kids began to leave 2 kids came up to me and were asking me questions. i knew they didnt have much time left before they had to leave so i looked at one and said, "listen, i know you sometimes see this place as oppressive, but i have to tell you, you are unbelievably lucky to be here. to have this opportunity. there are kids out there that would kill to have a teacher care about them. i know, because not one teacher ever pulled me aside to ask how i was doing."
one of the girls who was shuffling her feet looked up at me, met my eyes and under her breath said, "i know."

that was all it took. one moment of vulnerability coming from a loud-mouthed little kid. it was real...and that was all it took for me to finally be able to feel that twinge. that twinge ive been so jealous of my entire life. that i am doing exactly what i should be doing.
and i f


- On the Upswing of Live, Love and Regret
- A Life Deliberate
- Notes From the Deep End

- Make Your Mark. "Live in Chicago"

- The Dirt of an Electric Boy

Set List

90 minutes.