Olivia Gatwood reading on-stage

Olivia Gatwood: The 26-Year-Old Poet You Should Be Watching

Olivia Gatwood was born February 23, 1992 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And, in her short twenty-six years on this planet, this woman has taken no small-steps toward proving her brilliance, strength, resilience, and power.


At just sixteen, Gatwood led twenty other women in a class-action sexual harassment lawsuit against their boss at a local bakery. She now works as a Title IX Compliant (a federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.“) and runs community-building workshops on sexual assault prevention and recovery.


Gatwood has gained international acclaim for her poetry, which illuminates the power and vitality of girlhood, adolescence, and growth. She has been featured on HBO, VH1, BBC, MTV, Huffington Post and more. Not to mention, she has been a finalist for the National Poetry Slam, Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWPS), and Brave New Voices.


In 2017, Gatwood released a collection of poems titled NEW AMERICAN BEST FRIEND and to-date has sold more than 200,000 copies. The book, an anthology of exposed vulnerabilities and gut-punching personal encounters, takes it reader into the mind and heart of teendom and girlhood. It is funny, heartbreaking, raw, gritty, and relatable in the most human of ways. Thought Catalog called it, “The book I wish I had as a teenage girl.”


Her new collection, WHO ARE YOU ALWAYS DRESSING UP FOR?, is set to release in 2019. 


Check out some of Gatwood’s work below:



One more thing when they call you a bitch, say thank you. Say thank you, very much.



Featured Image via Button Poetry