crushing a bird :: simone beaubien :: bio|
What people are saying:
“The woman who made Wednesday night Saturday night.”
“Simone Beaubien knows how to put together a show.”
"Being coached by Simone is like riding a giant hummingbird. Pretty, determined, subtle, and it can find its own sugar."
"Beaubien is probably most famous as the slammaster for the Boston Poetry Slam Wednesday nights at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge. And rightly so: The Boston Slam is an amazing operation, packing massive amounts of high-quality poetry into a gargantuan show that stretches late into the evening. As a piece of organization, it’s a marvel. But that same impeccable sense of organization, that same meticulous eye for detail, can be found in her poetry, resulting in engaging, almost-delicate insights into love, war and the spectrum of emotion in between. She’s an impeccable performer, and everything you’d want a young slammer to aspire to."
"Beaubien's gift isn't for merely great words in great order; she crafts whole people out of her work who move on the page, who speak, folks who are sassy and go bowling. The poems aren't observations... They're testimonies from people you can't wait to hear the next word from. It is muscular work by someone who knows her way not only around a page, but the world."
"I have suspected for a long time that there is a subliminal bassline in Simone Beaubien's poetry and performance. Take a look around the room while she's reading--you'll see heads nodding together, locked in to her words. And those nods are signs of something more important than simple agreement with or appreciation for what she's saying. Her work connects deeper than that, accessing that very human music that makes us laugh and love, cry and fall out of love. This connection is the mark of good poetry, and it's rarer to hear than you might believe. Don't miss your chance."
"Simone Beaubien’s poetry fulfills Robert Frost’s great dictum: it begins in wonder and ends in delight. Her subject matter may be bright or dark, but there is always a moral compass and the needle points unerringly to the human heart.
"If the Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge is considered the premier open mike venue in the country it’s because Simone has set so high a bar in the fusion of poetry and performance.
"As weekly host, and producer of poetry festivals, her creative abilities are only matched by an absence of ego— a rare combination. Whether she draws upon local or national talent, we all want to do our very best for her. And we do."
Richard Cambridge, 1997 National Poetry Slam Masters Champion, Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize recipient
"Her affections are voluminous, but always roped off with a dig, sometimes tiny, sometimes private. While other performers may manipulate the audience with legerdemain, histrionics, appeals to easy reflexes, she creates new reflexes one never imagined. The better part of the audience straightens their reflexive gasps into whispers of delight at the astonishing guile of it all.
"One wonders when she has time for it all—the tiny fractures, the studious terminations of affairs, the exuberant low-jinx and high junketing, the witty ripostes with her cousin, the satires. She manages, better than just about anyone who has ever attempted it, to set homage firmly and audaciously into the stirrups of parody... Hers is a wise and satisfying admixture of poetic craft and storytelling."
Tom Daley, professor, Online School of Poetry
"We are fortunate to have a large group of poets who read for our “Poetry Soup” poetry club, all of whom are outstanding poets, but few of whom inspire students as much as Simone. It is not only her youth, her vitality, and her accessibility that grab my students, but also the sheer strength of her poetry. Simone does not need to rely on any tricks of performance to make her audience respond. While her delivery is always spot on, ultimately, the words speak for themselves. Rarely have I heard a “spoken word” poet pack so much substance into every poem. And I am not alone in my opinion. Some of our other guest poets go out of their way to attend our readings when they know Simone is the evening’s feature.
"Simone approaches each topic about which she writes with a fresh, honest perspective that engages even the most reluctant student. She serves as an outstanding role model for teenagers, inspiring them to reflect on their lives and summon the courage to express their feelings. She answers questions about writing with clarity, wisdom, and humility. Students tell me that often after Simone’s visits, they go home and write into the wee hours of the morning...
"However, what I love most about Simone Beaubien is the way she defies all the stereotypical myths my students hold about poets. Neither pompous nor depraved, Simone looks and speaks like anyone else... That is, until she starts reading her poems. Then she transforms into someone quite magical, and my students recognize the possibility that they just might be able to do the same."
Deb Szabo, English and Creative Writing teacher, Newburyport High School
"When an old man looks for someone to take over his labor of love, he hopes for a son or daughter who can exceed what he has accomplished. That is what I found since Simone Beaubien took over the Cantab. She leads with poetry complex and deeply meaningful. She commands leadership and wrangles poets adroitly. She is sensitive to others. And she has created a persona beyond anyone who went before her.
"In the Makati district of Manila the Philippines stands a life-size bronze statue of revolutionary hero Gabriela Silonga astride a charging water buffalo. She leans to one side, scimitar on a downward stroke, fierce smile on her face. Kind of reminds me of Simone Beaubien doing poetry.
"If we are, as Augustine said, angels on horseback, we do well to remember that some angels can be feisty creatures indeed. Simone Beaubien's performed poetry fuses intelligence, humor, and humanity with a hint of hurricane. She intends to overcome any distance between you and what she loves."
Michael Brown, founding SlamMaster of the Boston Poetry Slam