Spoken Word: Poetry 

Moving ForWords Productions


Jeanette Beebe Poetry Reading Java Joes Des Moines Iowa

At age 15, Jeanette founded Moving ForWords Productions (2003—2011), an arts project that was inspired by the poetry slam community in her hometown, Des Moines, Iowa.

The mission of the project was to use art to open up conversations about gender, both on and off the stage. 

With the help of a Kinko's copier Jeanette self-published four poetry chapbooks from her spoken word performances: Wry Rhetoric (2004), Beyond Balloon Animals (2005), Checking In (2006), and Double Digits on Luin (2007).

As a teen, she hopped on the Midwest poetry slam circuit.

She's shared the stage with "Slam Papi" Marc Kelly Smith (Chicago) Mighty Mike McGee (Omaha), Big Poppa E (Des Moines), E.G. Bailey (Minneapolis), and Shane Koyczan (in Des Moines, IA).

As a freshman at Princeton University, Jeanette was selected to participate in V-Day's 2006 activist workshop at Tulane University, which benefited the New Orleans Regional Alliance Against Abuse (NORAA). Jeanette organized and directed a production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues at Princeton University that raised $3000 for WomanSpace (Trenton, NJ).

Through Moving ForWords, Jeanette co-published, contributed to, and edited Princeton University's Prism Magazine, the Des Moines Poetry Slam's Circus Diem zine, and Second Run, a literary journal founded by Jim Coppoc (Iowa State University). 

Jeanette Beebe Prism Magazine

Jeanette worked with the Minnesota Spoken Word Association and the Juno Collective to form "Teens Rock the Mic", an outgrowth of the Youth Speaks network. As a member of the inaugural Minneapolis team (out of 600 auditioning poets), she helped raise $8,000 to compete in the 2005 International Youth Poetry Slam Championships in San Francisco. "Teens Rock the Mic" raised $20,000 to launch and sustain "Quest for the Voice", a spoken word poetry circuit. "Quest for the Voice" (now "Be Heard MN") was designed to build on the "Teens Rock the Mic" tradition: to select a six-poet Twin Cities team to participate in the Youth Speaks Brave New Voices Festival, which attracts over 500 teen poets each year for a week of workshops and community building. 

Jeanette Beebe Spoken Word Princeton 2006.jpg

"A young woman of vision." — Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Founder, The Juno Collective

"Bright, smooth, woah." — Marc 'So What' Smith, Founder of the Poetry Slam (Green Mill Bar, Chicago)

"Sparkling." — Diablo Cody, Minneapolis City Pages

"I've heard outstanding praises of [her] talents (and witnessed it myself) ...  The real purpose of the event is to show how amazing our whole community is outside the classroom, so I can't think of a more awesome person to ask to perform." Daphra A. Holder '07, organizer of "This is Princeton" showcase, Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University

"Both brave and bold." — Jordan A. Bubin '09, Princeton University

"Jean was my director in a theater production at Princeton University. She is an incredibly driven and dedicated individual who applies her entire self to a project. A pleasure to work with." — Jazmine da Costa '09, Princeton University

"A very talented and creative thinker." — Katalin Lovasz, former instructor, "The Politics of Gender and Sexuality", Princeton University

"[The] poem says EVERYTHING I try to communicate in two classes. It is great. [...] So many great lines." Dr. Kathryn Bell McKenzie, who taught "Underneath Unum" poem (broadcast on KEOS-Touchstone Radio) in two doctoral classes at Texas A&M University

 

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