Masculine Behaviors Analyzed by Poet

Shane Shuma ’22, Staff Writer

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Poet and actor Carlos Andrés Gómez presented a lecture in which he shared moments in his life, both from his memoir, Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood and his memory, that changed the way he viewed masculinity in the context of poetry.

Gómez began his talk with a story from his past experiences in a children’s soccer league, a sport that young boys were expected to play.  During one of his games, Gómez was injured and was forced to continue playing in the game. He argued this kind of attitude makes it harder for men to express emotion and ask for help when they need it. 

Gómez explained that he was raised to be “hyper-masculine” by his traditional Colombian family growing up which made it hard for him to express his true self. He reflected on his interest in poetry and writing and the secrecy of his habits. Gómez then attended a poetry reading events where he discovered his passion. 

Gómez also emphasized the importance of poetry to create more connections between men and masculine topics where he shared a story about how he reconnected with his machismo father who was often away from home for work. He wrote him poetry, and the two connected over it. Gómez ended his lecture with some sampled poetry readings that focused on the issues of masculinity, race, immigrants, colonization, and his dyslexic family member.

The talk was well attended by students and faculty. Gregory Edwards ’20 enjoyed the presentation, describing Gómez as an “incredible public speaker with a magnetic performance.” “At first, I found his tales a bit crude but after getting used to his rather informal way of presenting,” Edwards said, “I found his mannerisms and choice in narrative flow endearing and not only attention-grabbing but also effective in delivering moral fiber.” Clarke Forum student project manager Carolina Celedon ’22, shared positive sentiments and said, “Gómez unpacked what it means to grow up within a machista framework and how masculinity should evolve to allow men to express their emotions openly and participate in the arts.” Celedon described Gómez’s lecture as one of her favorite Clarke Forum events because she “appreciated how Gómez acknowledged his own privilege as a white presenting, cis man and talked about how this identity allows him to reach an audience that would otherwise not listen.

  The Clarke Forum lecture  “Reimagining Modern Manhood” took place on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7:00 p.m. in ATS.

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