Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 20, 2017: Jackie Perry

Local poet and numbers cruncher Jackie Perry. Photo by Esther Li.

Local poet and numbers cruncher Jackie Perry. Photo by Esther Li.

Jackie Perry was born in Boston and grew up on the south shore of Massachusetts. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Health in 2016.

By day, she crunches numbers in spreadsheets for a bunch of doctors and nurses. By night, she attempts to write poetry and then perform it on the open mic at the Boston Poetry Slam. She is a big fan of coffee, penguins, and flying trapeze.

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 Out of the Blue Recap for Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Anybody know a good plumber? Have we got a job for them: last night, just after setup was complete at the Cantab, the sound of rushing water and a rapidly filling bar area forced our staff to jump the bar and clear the room. What to do? How about: give your grandest thanks to Michael F. Gill, longtime doorman and networker extraordinare, who led us down the street for an almost on-time at the generous (and fortunately available) Out of the Blue Gallery. Already home to the longest-running poetry open mic in Cambridge, Stone Soup on Mondays, the gallery took us in, seated us, and amplified us, all in time to run our usual open mic and welcome feature and TESTIFY author Simone John.

Invoking our new space was a great group of utterly unflapped open mic poets, all capped by a glorious feature by our headliner; Simone took us down the intense and necessary path her documentary work blazes for readers and listeners. If you missed the gift of her work last night, you can treat yourself to a purchase of TESTIFY straight from Octopus Books, or catch her at one of her many fall readings: her October 13 gig at the Haley House Slam comes to mind.

You might have noticed that we had no open slam last night: don’t worry, we’ll be back in the poetry competition business next week at the Cantab, with room for you to hop into the fifth competition of our 8×8 series. Our welcome-back-to-the-basement feature will be local favorite Jackie Perry.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 13, 2017: Simone John

Testify author Simone John. Photo by Stephanie Lamb.

Testify author Simone John. Photo by Stephanie Lamb.

Simone John is a poet, educator, and freelance writer based in Boston, MA. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College with an emphasis on documentary poetics. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wildness, The Pitkin Review, Public Pool, and the Writer in the World. She is a contributing editor at Gramma Poetry.

Testify (Octopus Books) is her first full-length book of poems, released in August 2017. Find her online at simonejohn.com or on twitter @simoneivory.

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, September 6, 2017

September has sprung, Cantabbers, and with it comes the slow and spiraling fall of many perfectly good college students to the depths of our slammy little basement. Welcome and welcome back to our thoughtful and skilled open mic poets, who put on a great show for us on Wednesday, all as preview for a rawly honest feature and narrative from Al Gundy that included a bit of Walrus Walter, a bit of Super Grover, a bit of family-back-and-forth improv, and a truly genuine helping of Al’s sincerity. The six-poet slam started out casual, but progressed through friendly competition to a fierce head-to-head between finalists Kieran Collier and Meaghan Ford. Meaghan reigned supreme in the final round, earning $10 to go and sending Kieran off to slam (or host) another day.

Next week: we are exceptionally proud to present Simone John, an extremely strong local writer beginning the fall leg of her tour behind TESTIFY, her first full-length book of poems. For those interested in testing their own strength, we’ll have signups open for the fifth poetry slam in this season’s 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: The John Ashbery Prompt

Write the narration track of a nature documentary for an animal with ennui.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 6, 2017: Al Gundy

Whimsical rhymer Al Gundy. Photo by Jon Beckley.

Whimsical rhymer Al Gundy. Photo by Jon Beckley.

Al Gundy is a Boston-based performer of rhyming poetry, and a frequent flyer at the Boston Poetry Slam. His work delights with its elaborate language, musical meter, and whimsical tone.

Al also enjoys cartooning, and for very young audiences, he makes funny faces.

You can follow his work at algundy.com and on social media.

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, August 30, 2017

Welcome to September, poets! Last Wednesday, we said goodbye to August with an open mic packed with newcomers and with polished slammer Liv McKee in the feature slot. Liv brought us a sweet selection of thoughtful narrative, personal story, and punchy haiku in a beautifully performed feature; visit Liv and the crew up at Nitty Gritty Slam on a Tuesday in Albany sometime for a taste of one of our not-so-distant neighbors.

The slam that night was a solid four-poet affair with a strong Emersonian lean: the final round came down to one-time teammates Evan Cutts versus Myles Em Taylor. Evan took the final round win and the $10, leaving outgoing 2017 team member Myles to slam another day.

This coming Wednesday: we’ll feature local rhymester and favorite Al Gundy, as well as the coveted fourth open poetry slam in the series.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 30, 2017: Liv McKee

Capital Region NY poet Liv McKee. Photo by Robert Cooper.

Capital Region NY poet Liv McKee. Photo by Robert Cooper.

Liv McKee is a queer spoken word artist, dancer, musician, and farmer living in the Capital Region of New York. Liv has featured and organized poetry events at venues all over the Northeast and currently competes with Albany’s Nitty Gritty Slam. She placed 33rd out of 100 poets at the 2016 Individual World Poetry Slam in Flagstaff, AZ this past year, and took 1st at the 2016 Emily Dickinson Slam in Amherst, MA, the 8th Annual QEW Regional Slam in Buffalo, NY, the WordxWord Women’s Invitational in Pittsfield, MA, and Wordfest in Troy, NY. Apart from (or wildly integrated within) writing and performing poetry, in her free time you may find Liv swimming, singing, mountain climbing, having conversations with the moon, and playing old time fiddle music. She hopes her poetry leaves you cut, bandaged, bathed, and heartened.

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, August 23, 2017

Welcome back, fall Cantabbers! The summer regulars had to push over and make room for a flood of returning folks and new poets at last night’s open mic, oddly coinciding with the advent of the school year and all cooperating beautifully to piece together a lovely open mic. Our feature was the eminent, the approachable, the deeply serious and deeply playful Danielle Legros Georges, premier Boston Poet Laureate and very engaging reader. If you missed your chance to purchase her book at the show, we hope you’ll visit Barrow Street Press to pick up her 2016 published work, The Dear Remote Nearness of You.

The slamthereafter, the second in our new 8×8 series, featured a cavalcade of eight poets, all raring for the win. The finals came down to a heads-up pairing between newcomer George Abraham and veteran Cantab slam host Kieran Collier: from the one-spot, George took the win and the $10, ready to spend it right back here in his new local economy. Welcome to the neighborhood, George!

Next week: it’s New York State Capital Region poet (notice how that’s not NYC) Liv McKee! This complex and complete performer brings word from a powerhouse slam we expect to take NPS 2018 by storm. Come on out early (like, real early, because it’s crowded right now) to get on our open mic, sneak in at the 10:00 breather, and/or stay late for the third slam in the 8×8 series, all starting with a 7:15 door time next week.

Tips from the Bar: The Wanda Coleman Ghost Line Prompt

Use what Rachel McKibbens calls a “ghost line” to begin your poem; select a line from another artist as a jumping off point for your piece. When you’re done, erase the first line to make the poem your own.

This week’s ghost line from the bar comes from Wanda Coleman’s Bathwater Wine:
“When the book is closed, the words starve.”

Older posts «