Beth Murch is a village wyse womyn, radical reproductive justice activist, full-spectrum birth worker, and internationally competing spoken word artist. When she isn’t chanting down Babylon, dancing naked in the rain, or calling little Buddhas forth from the womb, she is creating and disturbing peace with her literary craft, which draws upon themes of social justice, sexuality, nature, spirituality, loneliness, and feminism.
Murch is a well-known performer in Waterloo Region and beyond, sharing her spoken word with a variety of audiences. Her annual performances at the Kitchener erotic literary event Cliterature have been known to bring down the house and her humourous instructional workshop Get The Clit 101 was transformed into the film Cherry On Top by Femme Fatale Creations. Murch is Kitchener-Waterloo’s three-time poetry slam champion and she competed at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2012 and again as K-W’s team captain in 2013 and 2015; the Ontario International Poetry Slam (2012); the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (2015) and she has featured in poetry scenes in across Canada and the United States. Murch was the inaugural champion of Hot Damn it’s a Queer Slam (2015) and represented Canada at the international festival Capturing Fire in Washington, D.C. She has been published in Bearing Witness: Childbirth Stories Told By Doulas, Joyful Birth, Oratorealis, Soother: Femmes Grieving Family & Fertility, Wicked Banshee, Zeugma!, Firebrand, Breadcrumb Scabs, Proud Magazine and OUTVisions Magazine. Murch’s poetry has also been played on the Vancouver Co-op radio show “Wax Poetic “, and the New Zealand radio show “Friend of Marilyn”. Murch’s passions include placentae, memento mori, cat memes, herbalism, and religious kitsch. In her spare time, she enjoys baking bread, painting pictures of goddesses, and learning to knit. Her goal is to live on the edge of the woods, healing people with mysterious herbs, telling fortunes, and decorating her headwraps with feathers, bones, and shells.
“Beth Murch is blood and guts. Placenta and righteous fury. She is also the gentle barely audible wind once the tempest is past. At times she is sassy, others vulnerable, often heartbreaking…occasionally all in the same poem. She is brave to the point of relentless saying things most are afraid to say…things we don’t want to hear but must be said. She will rip you open…or gently lull you to sleep. Her work is not fluffy reading. It is complex, challenging, beautiful and human. It encompasses places we have been…says things we have thought, but never dared utter even to ourselves. It makes you want to love better, be a little braver. You feel a little less alone simply by reading it.” – Daniel Mark Patterson
Photograph by Lindsay Allen