Giles Li: Spoken Word from Boston

Posted on November 13, 2009 by


Giles Li

Giles Li, photo from

by Laura Adrien

Thanks to the Asian Student Association, Emmanuel College was lucky to host Boston based performer Giles Li on campus this past Thursday night.

Li, a spoken word poet, both captivated the crowd with his humor and stirred them with the politics of his poetry. He entered the Modular Unit on a light note, sharing stories of growing up, of his family, and of meeting Keanu Reeves. The audience’s nervous laughter, along with his own, took on a more comfortable tone as Li warmed up, confessing that he hadn’t performed in front of an audience in several months.

Throughout the performance, Li blurred the barrier between audience and performer and set the crowd at ease in between pieces, just before he pushed them back with the power of his work. Poems such as his Crappy Xmas Poem in 7 Parts and Grizzly Bear brought to light the normally unseen politics behind society, the disparity between one history and the other. A powerful yet modest speaker, Li’s work gives voice to the everyday struggles and emotions much of America deals with, but rarely talks about.