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Gabrielle Bouliane, Angel

I got a phone call late Friday night letting me know that an old friend of mine, Gabrielle Bouliane, had lost her fight with cancer down in Austin, TX. I’d known her for well over 20 years, though the last contact I had with her was to send her the lyrics to a Loretta Lynn song on Facebook as she traveled through Tennessee on her way to Texas last year. She was a Steam Donkeys insider from way back, with all the benefits and liabilities such a position imposes.

But then, she was a lot of things to a lot of people, and her circle of friends was huge. A passionate and compassionate soul who spread a lot of love from her hometown in Buffalo to her adopted homes in Seattle and Austin, Gabrielle really hit her stride as a slam poet whose performances left audiences spellbound. She was always a champion of other artists, too, and a fervent promoter of the form. Plus, she had a discerning eye for a good cowboy boot.

Her sad passing has left a hole in many people’s hearts. Circle this Valentine’s Day for the tribute/benefit being held in her honor at Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St., 2-8pm.

Here’s a video of her final public performance, recorded December 5, 2009, at the Austin Poetry Slam, shortly after being diagnosed with stage four cancer late last year.

UPDATE: Click here to download the Nietzsche’s event flier, which describes the tribute in greater detail and doubles as a costume!

  • Please disregard the 2pm-8pm time slot for Valentine’s Day. There’s no way Gabrielle would’ve stood for a party ending before prime time, and neither would any of her friends. Sorry for the misinformation. Stay tuned. We’ll publish the lowdown more accurately as it continues to take shape.

  • colleen o’mara

    Thank you so much Buck. There is more info about the event at the facebook event “Bunny Up for Gabrielle” with a link to a paypal account for donations too.

  • molly muffoletto


  • Paul Painkiller

    Hey Gabrielle, Thanks for lighting up with a beautiful smile every time we ran into each other. And for always……..ALWAYS, having an encouraging word. Also thanks for leaving us a video with words of wisdom, that almost made me cry. If there is an afterlife, may you remain the enlightened spirit that is as fucked up as the rest of us, love you Gabrielle!!

    Your Friend,

  • This angel touched my life.

  • I suspect that her contribution to the world is just beginning.

  • She was an artist and a friend of the artist. Godspeed you poetic Empress with the radiant smile and the hand extended.
    Dan Dwyer