Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 21, 2017: NorthBEAST Regional 4×4 Team Slam II

Boston Poetry Slam official logo, by Gary Hoare.

Boston Poetry Slam official logo, by Gary Hoare.

Team slam is back! We continue our summer of slam with the second of three Nationals-style 4×4 matches, welcoming four Nationals-bound slam teams to our virtual cage match for a four-round slam. This heart-of-the-summer regional will showcase work from the following teams:

  • The icy-hearted gale-force north-side team, MAYBE including two well-loved Cantab slammers, hailing from Slam Free or Die;
  • A return engagement from our bitterest rivals from south of the river, Boston’s House Slam;
  • Representatives from far-flung Connecticut’s Verbal Slap;
  • and your own beloved home team.

This show will have a slightly shortened open mic and will sell out quickly, so we advise arriving for door time at 7:15 to catch a seat… Otherwise, you’ll be waiting until July 12 for the last of the summer’s 4x4s. Cover charge is $5 to help raise funds for our team to travel to Nationals in Denver this August!

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the slam begins at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What a sweet and fabulous open mic at the Cantab this week, folks; maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s our low-key/high-talent summer crowd, or just maybe it was the perceptive and good-humored generative workshop run by feature Jon Sands before the show, but good thinkers and writers turned out and turned up for our show’s opening open. Jon featured as the headliner with a conversation-starting set, and the night closed with two hard-working slammers, Alex McDonald and Evan Cutts, making quick work of a head-to-head slam. Evan took the night and the ten bucks, qualifying him for the 2018 team slam series: look to your future, folks.

Next week: we’ll present the second of three 4×4 NorthBeast Regional Team Slams. These are Nationals-style bouts, just like what folks will see in Denver this August… But better, of course, because we’ll hear work from our favorite New Englanders. This week will be an especially local-notable bash, featuring your home team up against poets from Boston’s House Slam, Manchester’s Cantab-centric Slam Free or Die team, and a pair of reps from Connecticut’s Verbal Slap teaming up with some all-star locals. It’s a $5 cover to raise money for our team’s trip to Denver; bring a little extra for a drink at the bar, and maybe for some product from our local teams!

Tip from the Bar: What’s My Name Again?

You show up at the wrong place: maybe you meant to meet your family for coffee but walked into an AA meeting, or maybe you meant to have kids but turned out to be bad at it. Okay, roll with it; what happens now?

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 14, 2017: Jon Sands

Jon Sands, NYC poet and podcast host. Photo by Jonathan Weiskopf.

Jon Sands, NYC poet and podcast host. Photo by Jonathan Weiskopf.

Jon Sands is the author of The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing), as well as the co-host of The Poetry Gods Podcast. His work has been published widely, and anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014. He is a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC, and teaches creative writing for adults at Bailey House in East Harlem (an HIV/AIDS service center). He is the Co-Program Director of the Dialogue Arts Project, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam. He tours extensively, but lives in Brooklyn.

In addition to his feature, Jon will also present an early-bird workshop at the Cantab before doors open for the show.

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the feature performs at approximately 10:00. An open poetry slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Workshop for Wednesday, June 14, 2017 with Jon Sands: Emotional Historians

Join Jon Sands, the night’s scheduled feature, for an early-bird workshop at the Cantab Lounge before the show. We welcome all comers to this one-hour generative workshop.

Description of the workshop, Emotional Historians, from the workshop leader:

How can we construct poems that acknowledge our complicated and dynamic world? How can we guide our readers into what it feels like to be us, alive in 2017? In this workshop, we will explore and produce poetry that reveals the full spectrum of human emotion. Bring a notebook, pen, and a sense of adventure, as we take our art to the edge of the universe, and bring back proof that we’ve been there.

Feel free to email the SlamMaster with questions or to reserve a spot.

The workshop begins at 5:30, with latecomers admitted until 6:00. Drop-ins are welcome! Cover charge is $5-$10 sliding scale, which includes admission to the evening show. The venue is 18+ (ID required). For more information on the night’s open mic, slam, and feature from Jon Sands, click here.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 7, 2017

We’ve arrived, folks: with the good weather and empty bar-and-coffeehouse stools in Boston comes the summer of slam, our annual region-wide ramp-up to the National Poetry Slam, this year taking place in Denver, Colorado. Seven New England teams represent at NPS this year, and four of them faced off at the Cantab last night! When the dust cleared, the final scores looked like this:

1. House Slam 110.1
2. Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge 106.1
3. Providence Poetry Slam 102.2
4. Northampton Poetry Slam 97.9

Of course, you know the scores don’t tell the whole story: after a blisteringly energetic spiel by host Kieran Collier, and a sacrifice by John Pinkham to test the time-and-scorekeeping skills of mathinatrix Cassandra de Alba, the teams took the stage with grace, power, craft, humor, and a really cool smattering of brand-new work.

In fourth after drawing the A spot came the rookies of Northampton, a freewheeling foursome of gentle narrative, cutting commentary, and honed slamming presence; this particular crew will be entering national competition for the first time this year, and we are proud to host their first warm-up outing in the city. Providence Poetry Slam, known both for their precocious youth poetry scene and late-blooming start in the slam season, drew the D and held their own bringing complex on-page work to the stage; gird yourself for when they unleash their true performance power later in the season, when they return to slam with us on July 12.

The home team pulled the dreaded B spot and despite a slow-scoring start to the night, pulled the top two individual scores of the night (and three indy round wins), good enough for a second-place finish. Finally, the night’s big winners came from the House Slam, who brought not only the strong individual work we’ve come to expect from our across-the-river neighbors, but two brandy-new group poems seemingly designed specifically to blow the judges’ minds. Congratulations to everyone on a night well slammed!

Looking for more 4x4s, and (dare we say it) more group work? Check it: we’re back in just two weeks with another 4×4 that will include the home team, House, and the northside luminaries of Slam Free or Die.

In the meantime, don’t forget that Jon Sands will be our June 14 feature next week, including a 5:30pm generative workshop, open to all, for a $5-$10 sliding scale that includes admission to the show. Hope to see you there!

Tip from the Bar: Six Degrees of Wikipedia

After nearly a month of absence, we welcome bartender and tipmeister Adam Stone back from his vacation! To celebrate, he offers a prompt to generate up to two poems for you.

1. Go to the Wikipedia page (or, sure, crack open an encyclopedia) about a concept you already know a lot about.
2. Now follow a link (or reference) from that page to another.
3. Repeat step 2 five more times.

Welcome to the concept for your prompt! Using the page you’ve landed on:
* Try writing a poem about this subject. OR:
* Try writing a poem that connects this subject back to the subject of your starting page.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 7, 2017: NorthBEAST Regional 4×4 Team Slam I

Boston Poetry Slam official logo, by Gary Hoare.

Boston Poetry Slam official logo, by Gary Hoare.

The summer of slam gets a kick-in-the-pants preview with the first of three Nationals-style 4×4 matches– meaning four teams in four rounds, the ultimate balanced format for a poetry battle of strategy, emotion, and wits, and a precise parallel to the competition our local teams will face at the National Poetry Slam. This slam will pit four local Nationals-bound teams against one another, including your home team.

Our field on this night will include:

This show will have a slightly shortened open mic and will sell out quickly, people, so we advise arriving for door time at 7:15 if you want to get in to catch the show… Otherwise, you’ll have to come back on June 21 or July 12 for the next 4x4s we’ve booked for the summer. Cover charge is $5 to help raise funds for our team to travel to Nationals in Denver this August!

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the slam begins at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A very lucky crowd turned out for the Cantab last night in what marked the first of many sweet evenings with our summertime crew: an unhurried, thoughtful open mic, followed by a substantial portion of Maya Phillips‘ MFA thesis, all its academic glory polished up with Maya’s elegant and powerful reading voice. The slam was a bare-bones affair with just four folks jostling for the ten-dollar prize: the final pairing matched up grizzled vet jeff taylor against fresh-faced rookie Alex McDonald. In a true spring victory, Alex took the prize, leaving jeff to slam another day.

If you liked Maya’s style this week, then you might want to mark your calendar for one of our latest bookings (event page forthcoming): on August 23, local reader Danielle Legros Georges will present a full set on the Cantab stage. Or, if you’re most missing the EPP slams of yore that Maya used to curate, you’ll love watching our 40% Emersonian team slam off next week on June 7, facing teams from House, Northampton, and Providence. Heads up: it’s a $5 cover charge for the show next week to raise money to send our team to Nationals, and we’ll be looking for judges for the slam that night, so we hope you’ll bring a friend to help support the slam!

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, May 31, 2017: Maya Phillips

Maya Phillips, Brooklyn poet and 2011 Boston Poetry Slam Team member.

Maya Phillips, Brooklyn poet and 2011 Boston Poetry Slam Team member.

Maya Phillips was born and raised in New York. Maya received her BFA in writing, literature, and publishing with a concentration in poetry from Emerson College, where she served as SlamMaster of the Emerson College Poetry Project and competed at CUPSI as a member of the 2010 and 2011 slam teams. In 2011, she represented the Boston Poetry Slam at the National Poetry Slam as a member of the Cantab slam team. She currently works as the associate content producer at the Academy of American Poets and is an MFA poetry candidate at Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She lives in Brooklyn.

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the feature performs at approximately 10:00. An open poetry slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Older posts «