Jaclyn Friedman
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Jaclyn Friedman

Band Spoken Word Comedy


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"Jaclyn writes poems that are brainy and fierce, deep and unafraid, and performs them with all the gusto of a flirtatious hurricane." - Michelle Tea


"Boston's fiercest, most fiery femme" - GenderCrash.com


"shockingly talented" - msmusings.net


Jaclyn's poetry grips you like hot coffee through jeans, a searing splash that tugs at your skin and makes you jump, and then fades to a warm, wet glow. In live performance, she delivers the goods, with a wit and intensity that can expand to fill any venue and a sensual style that infuses every performance with intimacy. Don't take your eyes off her for a minute; you don't know what she might do or say next! - Marina Wolf Ahmad (founder, Big Moves)


A partial list of Jaclyn's print publications:

* The Pedestal -- December 2005. Poem: "Watermelon Basketball"

* Pinned Down by Pronouns. Edited by Toni Amato and Mary Davies -- 12/03. Poem: "Meeting at Babel"

* PW.org (official site of Poets and Writers Magazine) -- 5/03. interview: "Mark Doty on America, Home, and the Poet as Spokesperson"

* PoetsAgainst theWar.org -- 4/2/03. Poem of the Day: "State of the Union"

* Sojourner -- 1/02. Poem: "Things I Never Knew I Loved"

* Shameless. Edited by Hanne Blank -- 2002. Short story: "Deeper"

* Sojourner -- 8/01 through 9/02. Column: "Where Your Mouth Is"

* Sojourner -- 5/01. Essay: "I Propose a Gastronomic Revolution"

* Underwood Review -- Fall/Winter 1999. poems: "George," "Tuesday," "Untitled"



Called "the hardest working woman in feminism" by Michelle Tea, Jaclyn Friedman is a writer, performer and activist. With advanced training in both theater and writing, Jaclyn has been performing as a poet since 1995, when she saw Patricia Smith seize the stage, and, began immediately to write for and compete in slams. The slams honed her sense of rhythm and solidified her belief in the word as a living thing, a powerful magic that can both build and destroy relationships.

Jaclyn is a dynamic and powerful performer whose work deals with issues of sexual and cultural violence, empowerment, sexual and gender identity, and love and loss. She has shared the stage with the likes of Olga Broumas, Letta Neely, Saul Williams, and the legendary spoken-word troupe Sister Spit. She also starred for several years in The Yellow Dress, a touring one-woman play about dating violence.

Jaclyn teaches workshops on Performance Skills for Writers, Page vs. Stage, Using Writing and Theater to Break Through Taboo, and other subject to students of all ages in community groups and on college campuses. Her poems and nonfiction can be found in numerous publications, including PW.org, PoetsAgainstTheWar.org (where her poem "State of the Union" was selected as a Poem of the Day), in the Underwood Review, and in the Lambda Award nominated anthology Pinned Down By Pronouns. Her opinion column, "Where Your Mouth Is," was a popular monthly feature in Sojourner: The Women's Forum until the magazine's untimely demise in October 2002, and she now produces a monthly podcast by the same name, which can be heard on AlterNet. Jaclyn holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has received a 2001 Cambridge Poetry Award, a 2004 Somerville Arts Council Artist Grant, and a recent fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. She is a contributing writer for PopPolitics.com.

Jaclyn writes, "I want my work to leave you with a sense that something has just happened to you, but you're not yet sure what. I want you to experience alchemy. I love wildness and precision equally, and relish contradiction.

My poems strive simultaneously toward fear and hope like a sin curve approaching zero on two axes. This tension and impossibility creates a kind of taut beauty. There's almost always a "you" in my poems, but whom the you is changes everything -- when the "you" is the reader, and the "I" is the speaker, we are forcibly linked and involved in the subject of the poem. When the "I" is the speaker and the "you" is someone else, not the reader, someone specific, the reader becomes an eavesdropper, and the poem takes on the vulnerable tone of a secret, a private communication.

Above all, I want you to not just listen, but to enter the world of my work, and by extension, the world. Here's hoping it disturbs, unsettles, comforts, and changes you."

In her spare time, Jaclyn plots for world domination through truth and secretly watches reality television. Her favorite lipstick color is Wicked.