Cantab Recap for Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What an exceptional open mic this week, folks: really thoughtful work, a great range of emotion and entertainment, and a deep thread of generosity of spirit running through the night… Oh, wait, was it RebeccaLynn’s feature night? Well, that all makes perfect sense. RebeccaLynn took the stage in a whirlwind of one-to-two-minute poems, leaving us breathless in between but resuscitating us with the best bar banter in the biz. And okay, maybe you missed your chance at the night’s zines or beautiful broadsides (designed by Allison Truj), but you can still order a chapbook, Bloom, directly from the artist, or, even better, contribute to her fundraiser to get to this month’s Winter Tangerine workshop in NYC.

The night’s slam, the fourth in the final 8×8 of the season, was a great example of how competition really heats up in the winter: after three hard-fought rounds, Kye took the top score over Sara Mae in the final round. Kye joins a heckuva lineup getting ready for the 2018 Team Selection Slams in January.

Next week: spider enthusiast and poet Austin Hendricks arrives for a full feature. May we gently suggest you bring your science poems to the mic for this beloved local?

Tips from the Bar: the RebeccaLynn Prompt

Write a poem about an intense emotion that you have felt/are feeling. Craft it carefully. Begin the poem knowing that you will stop writing when you are only 2/3 of the way down the page, or a minute or less in.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, December 6, 2017: RebeccaLynn

Poet, bartender, and slam champ RebeccaLynn. Photo by Marshall Gillson.

Poet, bartender, and slam champ RebeccaLynn. Photo by Marshall Gillson.

RebeccaLynn is queer, black, and surviving in Boston. She enjoys rap music, philosophy, and her mom’s cooking. She hopes to continue sharing her narrative of her survival with anyone who will listen. She is currently the reigning Champion of Champions at the Boston Poetry Slam, as well as a 2017 Pink Door fellow. Her artistic influences include Kendrick Lamar, Maya Angelou, and Frank Ocean.

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 Recap for Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Poets! Wizards! Muggles who retain hopes for magical outcomes! Gdangit, folks, you all packed the house on Wednesday for the Hogwarts House Slam and it might be the most fun we’ve had since we made the four MBTA train lines slam off against each other. Twenty intrepid poets (plus one sacrificial Sorting Hat) represented Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Gyffindor, and Ravenclaw, slamming off against one another in a truly rollicking slam featuring a satisfying array of costumes and a fabulous selection of poetic work, all to celebrate twenty years (wait, these novels can drink next year??) of Harry Potter.

In a surprise that comes as a surprise to no one who has ever attended a poetry reading, the final points awarded were as follows:

  1. Ravenclaw 140.7
  2. Hufflepuff 137.3
  3. Gryffindor 136.3
  4. Slytherin 128.7

Congratulations to Captain Cassandra de Alba’s Ravenclaw team: Kayti Lasaiezideh, Kieran Collier, Sophia Holtz, and Myles Taylor, who will be awarded the House Cup just the instant that thing comes back from cleaning. We also would like to thank our judges, Caroline, Evan & Leah, George, Elle, and Cori, and offer a special tip of thanks to our Sorting Hat sacrifice, Nathan Comstock.

Next week: we are extremely pleased to presented a feature from our three-time and current reigning Champion of Champions, RebeccaLynn! We’ll also hold the coveted fourth open poetry slam in the current 8×8 series.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 29: Hogwarts House Slam

Hogwarts seal courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, based on original design by Eleanor Taylor.

Hogwarts seal courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, based on original design by Eleanor Taylor.

Can it be? The Harry Potter books are old enough to have been coming to the Cantab for at least two years? Come celebrate the 20th anniversary of the J.K. Rowling favorites with a slam at the Cantab. Four teams will slam off for House points and glory (obvs): Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin.

Our roster is now complete! Thanks (and good luck) to all these poets who have promised to produce a new poem on theme or in persona for their House, to be scored in an even more irrelevant way than usual. Announcing our slammers:

Gryffindor Ravenclaw Hufflepuff Slytherin
Capt. Jordan Peterson Capt. Cassandra de Alba Capt. Zeke Russell Capt. Catherine Weiss
Claudia Wilson Kieran Collier Anna Binkovitz Joshua Elbaum
Lip McDonald Myles Taylor Jackie Perry Leah Rose
Meaghan Ford Kayti Lahsaiezadeh Sam Rush Dawn Gabriel
Chloé Cunha Sophia Holtz Sam Mercer Shannon Mckenzie
Sacrifices: Nathan Comstock, John Pinkham

Our open mic will also welcome anyone writing to the HP theme, including costumes and props. Please note that only registered service owls, cats, or toads will be permitted inside the venue this evening.

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 invitational slam begins at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, November 22, 2017

It’s a five Wednesday month this November, Cantabbers, and you know what that means: not cold nor wind nor the worst traffic of the year can stop us from hunkering down for a bonus night with our weekly chosen family. This week’s feature came from John Pinkham, much-loved bartender, slammer, and golden-hearted local. John brought us a set with the perfect narrative, rhythm, and banter for a cozy crowd in need of good friends on a cold night. Catch up with him in coming months to grab a copy of his the new chapbook he brought to the show, Fracture.

The slam featured a tight foursome including two one-time locals returning for stage time… Who were promptly eliminated by Cantab regulars looking for their first slam win of the season! Sara Mae and Myles Taylor, sworn enemies and possibly EPP classmates, faced off in the final round for the big ten bucks. When the dust cleared, a most relieved (and now highly qualified) Myles stood as the victor.

Next week: so you’ve been waiting for months– or possibly for twenty whole years– and the time is finally here… Our next Wednesday show will feature our first ever Hogwarts House Slam, a four-team slamstravaganza wherein (obviously) Gryffindor and Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff and Slytherin will battle for Cantab supremacy! HP-themed work is also welcome (but not required) on our open mic.

Tips from the Bar:

Imagine you are gloriously happy in the future.

Write a poem to invent a way to time travel to your expected existence.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 22, 2017: John Pinkham

Boston poet John Pinkham. Photo by Christopher Clauss.

Boston poet John Pinkham. Photo by Christopher Clauss.

John Pinkham is a poet from Boston. Apart from creating undrinkable bespoke cocktails at the Cantab Lounge, John was a member of Slam Free or Die’s 2017 National Poetry Slam team. John has published poems, but prefers forgetting about deadlines. Drawing inspiration from his family’s Boston Italian roots, his poems can be paired with a large iced regular from Dunkin’ Donuts and a pizzelle cookie.

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 Recap for Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Some of us have been waiting a long time to hear Ricky Orng feature at the Cantab Lounge; last night, we finally got our wish! Ricky took us through stories of family and food, language and missed connections, and through all of it wound the substantial joy he makes part of his craft. You can catch Ricky at the East Meets Words reading on second Fridays, just down the street on Mass Ave., or book him as part of his latest duo project, Adobo Fish Sauce.

Our slam drew six poets in the mood for a face-off as we count down the last few (just six, people) slams left to qualify for the 2018 Team Selection Slams. The final pairing came down to previous winner Anna Binkovitz and the yet-to-qualify Allison Truj… True to form, Anna pulled no punches, but Truj came out on top at the end of an exceptionally enjoyable slam.

Next week: is there something… imperfect… about the family you might be headed home to see for next Thursday? We mean, of course not, and how rude of us to suggest– but if you’re looking for an unconditional welcome to warm your week, we would like to most heartily suggest our feature from John Pinkham! As usual, we’ll close the night with the family-style argument we like to call an open poetry slam.

Tips from the Bar: Secret Squirrel

Did you ever dream of having a pet your parents wouldn’t allow? Did you actually try it (or know someone who did)? Start your poem with the story of your secret animal friend.