Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Pretty sweet, Cantabbers: if you made it out to catch Sara Brickman’s workshop last night, you got almost ninety minutes of fresh ideas and two new poems to show for it! Sara was kind enough to let us share one of the workshop’s two-part prompts as a Tip from the Bar, but if you’re still lamenting that you missed the workshop, put our Lyd Havens event on July 11 on your calendar right now.

Sara Brickman, by the way, rocked our mic as beautifully as expected last night, from finals-stage-level performance to MFA-polished craft and, of course, the sweetsweet combination of the two we are always seeking. Our slam worked out to be a glorious pride-month showdown, with Myles Taylor taking top honors over Lip McDonald in the final round.

Next week: we welcome one-time Cantab co-host and Lambda fellow Sean Patrick Mulroy. And for those gunning for early qualification for the 2019 slam team? Yep, we’ve got an open 8×8 just for you.

Tips from the Bar: Sara Brickman’s Nightmare Prompt

Guest workshopper Sara Brickman offered a two-part prompt in a workshop before her show:

FIRST: Write down your most recent nightmare. If you can’t remember it, write down an anxiety dream, or a recurring nightmare you can remember.

THEN: [Highlight this text only after you’ve completed step 1.] Imagine you are on a dinner date with the physical manifestation of this nightmare. Where are you? What is being served? Don’t end the poem before dinner is over (whether you get dessert is up to you).

[Highlight all the way to here for the complete prompt.] Good luck!

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 13, 2018: Sara Brickman

Split This Rock poetry contest winner Sara Brickman. Photo by Sam Smith.

Split This Rock poetry contest winner Sara Brickman. Photo by Sam Smith.

Sara Brickman is an author, performer, and community organizer from Ann Arbor, MI. A 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow, Sara was named the winner of the Split This Rock Poetry Contest by Natalie Diaz. She is the recipient of a grant from 4Culture, A BOAAT Fellowship, the Ken Warfel Fellowship for Poetry in Community, a TENT Writers Fellowship, and is a member of the Bread Loaf and TILL Writers Convergence communities. Her work appears in Indiana Review, Muzzle, Shift, The New, and the anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls. A nationally recognized performer, Sara has been featured on Button Poetry and collaborated with musicians Mary Lambert and Hollis Wong-Wear. As an educator, she has taught at universities, high schools, needle-exchanges, and community organizing projects nationwide. Sara lives in Charlottesville, VA, where she is currently a Henry Hoyns Fellow and MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Virginia.

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, June 6, 2018

HOLY WOW, CANTABBERS!!11!1!! We are still recovering from a truly awesome slam this past Wednesday, when eight poets took the stage for a four-round slamstravaganza to determine the one and only Boston Poetry Slam rep to the 2018 Individual World Poetry Slam. At the end of the night, only one poet was left standing, and a beautifully supportive packed room was there to see it. Ready for the rankings? (You’re not ready:)

1. JR Mahung
2. José Zepeda
3. RebeccaLynn
4. Neiel Israel
5. Myles Taylor
6. Sam Zilli
7. Lip McDonald
8. Cassandra de Alba

Congratulations to JR, who will represent us at the indy tournament this October! And, please, a huge round of applause for all the competitors, who, to a poet, left their heart and soul on our little stage.

This week: we’ve got glorious goodness ahead of us on Wednesday, folks. Do you need to write a poem this week? Look no further than Sara Brickman’s early-bird workshop; this award-winning poet and smart-as-a-whip workshop leader will help you generate something new. Can’t make it for our 5:30ish workshop start time? No worries: our regular-length open mic will start at 8:00 p.m. as usual, with Sara taking the stage for a full feature set around 10:00, and an open slam in our 8×8 series to close the night.

Tips from the Bar: The Area 51 Prop Department Prompt

What object that we use every day is actually alien technology? How do you know?

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 6, 2018: World Qualifier Finals

The Boston Poetry Slam will preview our summer of slam with the second and final night of the annual World Qualifier to select the Boston Poetry Slam’s sole representative to the 2018 Individual World Poetry Slam! This year’s IWPS will take place in San Diego, Calif. from October 10-13, and our World Qualifier slam winner will be entered into the event.

Tonight’s winner-take-all competition will feature the top eight finishers from the May 16 World Qualifier Speed Slam. The four-round night, including one limit-breaking 4-minute round, will culminate in a head-to-head finals to determine who will represent the BPS in the not Bay Area this fall.

Our final roster is confirmed, and the order of the first round will be:
1. RebeccaLynn
2. Cassandra de Alba
3. José Zepeda
4. Neiel Israel
5. Sam Zilli
6. JR Mahung
7. Lip McDonald
8. Myles Taylor
sacrifices: Zeke Russell, Meaghan Ford

For more details about how the slam works, you can check out the full rules and format for the World Qualifier Series.

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. An slightly shortened 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; proceeds will go toward funding the World Qualifier winner’s trip to IWPS this October.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What a sweet Cantab week, folks! It was our great honor and pleasure to host Evan Jymaal Cutts for his farewell-to-Boston hello-to-MFA-program feature. Evan treated us to a long-arcing set and an unflinching joy of self; this badass co-host will be much missed when he departs for parts southwest.

Our slam was a surprising two-poet heads-up affair: Red Maienza, one-time Last Chance teammate to Evan, and fellow co-host Nora Meiners slammed off in a three-round competition that came down to the very last poem. Nora took the win and the $10, sending Red back to New Hampshire empty-handed (but you can hear them again here soon at our July 18 NorthBEAST Regional).

Next week: it’s indy finals! The World Qualifier series finishes up with a four-round, progressive elimination slam featuring top finishers from the speed slams. It’s a $5 cover that night to see Myles Em Taylor, Lip McDonald, JR Mahung, Sam Zilli, Neiel Israel, José Zepeda, Cassandra de Alba, and RebeccaLynn take the stage in this winner-take-all knock-down slam. Bring your judging face and your beer dollars! See you in the basement!

Tips from the Bar: Privacy Policy

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Cantab Feature for Wednesday, May 30, 2018: Evan Jymaal Cutts

Evan Jymaal Cutts performs in the 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team series. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Evan Jymaal Cutts performs in the 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team series. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Evan Jymaal Cutts is a 23-year-old Boston native, poet, journalist, and writing workshop facilitator. Evan was a member of the Emerson College 2017 CUPSI Team and 2017 National Poetry Slam “Last Chance Slam” Team. He puts his faith in Black joy, his mother and father, and the power of imagination. His poetry navigates expressions of Blackness, Boston, narrative, and magic. His poetry is published in Broken Head Press, Apogee Journal, Voicemail Poems, Maps for Teeth, and The Merrimack Review.

Note: due to circumstances beyond the spotlight’s control, Bill Moran’s spotlight feature has been canceled this evening. We hope to reschedule Bill on his next New England go-around.

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. The Last Chance speed slam will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 23, 2018

If there’s a better way to celebrate an impending long weekend than a sweet open mic full of sweethearts, then sweet Chrysanthemum Tran sweetly driving a sweet little pickup truck through your sweet misconceptions about language, we’ve sure never heard of it. Chrysanthemum showed off the performance skills and flair for language that make her one of slam’s top competitors, as well as the delicacy and penchant for a solid side-eye at colonialism that make her such a sought-after feature. Did you miss your chance to purchase Chrysanthemum’s chapbook, A Lexicon, at the show? We have high hopes that you’ll get another chance when the Providence Poetry Slam Team returns to visit us to slam…

In the mean time, of course, we are still out here collecting slam winners for the next Champion of Champions series. RebeccaLynn and Evan Cutts took an arm-and-arm besties run at the final round last night, with RebeccaLynn coming out on top for another first-in-the-8×8 win. Don’t weep for Evan’s loss, though; we’re excited to bring him back to the stage next week to celebrate his work in a full feature set. See you there!