|Guest performers included folk poet Alix Olson
who has preformed twice on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and
Maya Chinchilla, director of “Made in Brazil Dreams at
Work,” a film showcased in this year’s Girl Fest
In this intimate setting the energy level of the audience was
high for each performance. This was the kind of night when there
was a synergy shared between the performers and the audience.
The poets fed off the audience’s energy and their performances
Many of the poems tackled topics such as love, loss, betrayal,
body image, and personal political convictions.
Although a predominantly female event, the guys were more than
welcome to attend and perform so long as they agreed to one rule–“Ladies
First,” Geissler insisted.
One young man performed a piece titled “The Poem My Ex
Would Have Wrote About Me.”
Another young man, Chad from the Big Island, was faced with the
situation most performers fear most. In the middle of his performance
he lost his place and openly admitted, “I am choking up
He quickly consulted notes written on his hand, while the encouraging
audience began rooting and chanting “Go Chad, Go Chad.” Luckily
he found his place and continued his performance.
Maya Chinchilla talked about her body image. In her performance
she preached that her curvaceous body came from her Latin heritage
and that she is very proud to be a plus-size gal. The audience
cheered her on.
Not all the pieces were lighthearted. One young lady performed
a piece in which she described being violated by a male friend.
She said that Girl Fest had given her the strength to perform
at this year’s event.
A very animated Alix Olsen, who bears a striking a resemblance
to actress Lily Taylor, wore a black T-shirt with Army green
lettering “On a mission.”
She was on a roll with her poem that expressed her personal political
convictions. In closing she said, “That is why I am a radical
That had the crowd jumping up out of their seats and cheering.
Geissler said, “Girl Fest is a grassroot’s movement
in the direction of peace. Women speak and teach. Women have
much to say. Women’s opinions and values are important,
and we share them through art and education. That’s why
When asked her goal for the event Geissler said, “I hope
that one more woman finds her voice and the courage to use it.”
For more information about GirlFest visit www.girlfest.org.