Marc Beaudin, an Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation artist-in-residence, is a poet, theatre artist and ABAA-member bookseller in Livingston, Montana. He is the author of Life List: Poems, the hitchhiking memoir, Vagabond Song: Neo-Haibun from the Peregrine Journals, and several other books. His work has appeared in numerous journals including Cutthroat, High Desert Journal and Whitefish Review, and has been widely anthologized in publications fighting for environmental and social justice. A frequent performer of poetry and spoken word, Beaudin has worked and recorded with a variety of musicians at venues across the country, including Billy Conway (of Morphine), Bill Payne (of Little Feat), The Northwoods Improvisers and the Big Sky Jazz Trio. He has directed and designed over 30 productions for the stage, and has written several produced plays. Despite all available evidence, he believes the Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D is more powerful than all the guns, smokestacks and coal trains in the world.
The Full Story (more or less):
Marc was born in Bay City, Michigan on Easter Sunday and the anniversary of John Booth’s final theatre performance. He claims to have nothing to do with either event. He lived in a house of skeleton keys, in a neighborhood of back alleys, broken down fences and good climbing trees. He spent his childhood absorbing the toxins of Dow Chemical, General Motors and dog knows who else. He was educated mostly in the forests and lakes of northern Michigan, but less substantially at Saginaw Valley State University with a degree in honors English.
After college, he stuck out his thumb and rode the highways and backroads to most every part of the U.S., as well as long stints in Mexico and Central America. Time off the road was mostly spent at a dilapidated delirium-scape apartment above the long-gone Paul’s Liquor on Saginaw’s eastside, or at various cabins, tents and tipis among the pines and bracken ferns “up north.” During these years, he published the chapbooks When God Was a Child, The Lost Writings of Miscellaneous Jones and Saginaw Songs (with fellow Saginista poet and comrade Al Hellus – RIP). He also published an autobiographical novel titled A Handful of Dust and edited an anti-war anthology called Jihad bil Qalam: To Strive by Means of the Pen.
Other homes and respites from the road have included Symposia, a wrinkle on the map of reality, and Squatemala, an anarchist, independent nation at war with the City Noxious Weed Task Force, where the [legendary] Organic Beef Compound had their first and last performance. While at Squatemala, he helped found and run the radical theatre and arts collective The 303.
Eventually, he found his way to the northern Rockies and the “Grizfork Studio,” a one-room cabin in the shadow of the Absarokas near Livingston, Montana. Writings there as well as various Saginaw locations resulted in the collection The Moon Cracks Open: A Field Guide to the Birds and Other Poems. He recently has moved into Livingston where he and his cousin opened the used book store, Elk River Books.
Life List: Poems was published in 2020 by Riverfeet Press, and was named a 2020 Honor Boook Winner by the Montana Book Award. His previous book Vagabond Song: Neo-Haibun from the Peregrine Journals, was called a “jazzy, freewheeling, rollicking road trip into the heart of the Eternal Now” by The Montana Quarterly. He’s also a co-editor of Unearthing Paradise: Montana Writers in Defense of Greater Yellowstone. He frequently performs poetry and spoken word either solo or with a variety of jazz and rock musicians, notably, The Northwoods Improvisors, Billy Conway (of Morphine) and Bill Payne (of Little Feat). In past days, he fronted the poetry/rock bands Miscellaneous Jones and Remington Streamliner.
Marc has directed and/or designed over 30 plays at nine different venues. Favorites include a production of Sartre’s No Exit, that he translated & adapted from the French original, Amadeus, Macbeth, The Exonerated, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich and Proof. He is the founding artistic director of the Caldera Theatre Company.