Cantab Recap for Wednesday, December 7, 2016

As the nights get longer, poets, so does the Cantab swell with more folks looking to escape the cold world outside! This week saw a full room for a feature by Northampton Jasmin Roberts, who rolled through a nearly all-off-page set of her classic pieces, finishing with a taste of where we hear her work moving. The slam segment of the night began with just one poet looking for the prize: Zeke Russell. In the final hour, seven more poets rushed in to usurp his plans, but only RebeccaLynn came close: the final round, a rematch of pairings past (and surely pairings future), saw Zeke eke out a win over RebeccaLynn for the ten-dollar prize.

Next week: it’s cold, it’s dim, and 2016 has been kicking your butt, but Scott Woods is here to buoy you up! Or, rather, he’ll be here on December 14, a reschedule from his missed show in September, and not a moment too soon. Come laugh, learn, and shift with gleeful discomfort in your seat when Scott takes the stage this coming Wednesday.

Tips from the Bar: Down to the Crossroads

Go down to the crossroads, and meet your Devil there. What do you talk about? Is there a soul sold, and in exchange for what?

SPECIAL BONUS PROMPT: write about the poet laureate of a place you don’t like.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, December 7, 2016: Jasmin Roberts

Northampton poet Jasmin Roberts. Photo by Guangpyo Hong.

Northampton poet Jasmin Roberts. Photo by Guangpyo Hong.

Jasmin Roberts hails from Brooklyn, NY, and has lived in the Pioneer Valley for the last eight years. She is an alumnus of Oberlin College and holds a graduate degree from UMass Amherst. She joined the Northampton Poetry scene in 2013, and is the two-time grand slam champion of Northampton, heading Northampton’s National Poetry Slam team twice. She also represented Northampton at the 2015 and 2016 Individual World Poetry Slam competition, as well as the 2016 Women of The World Poetry Slam competition.

Jasmin not only prides herself on writing hard-hitting and introspective poetry that educates and offers commentary on current world issues, but she also likes to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, by using words like “fuckability” and “homotastic.” She will make you laugh your ass off and question your place in the world in the span of three minutes, and she’ll do it all sporting 4-inch heels and skinny-jean overalls.

For a sample of Jasmin’s work, check out “Black Man, White House” on YouTube via SlamFind.

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 30, 2016

It was a dark and stormy night this past Wednesday in Cambridge, folks, but that didn’t stop a hardy and enthusiastic crowd from piling into the venue to see a feature from Gabriel Ramirez. Gabriel dropped a little rhyme on us before launching into the narratives that helped push his National Poetry Slam teams to semi-finalist finishes, then closed with a remarkable themed mini-set from his chapbooks about his brother. Looking forward to seeing what those poems inspire in our open mic in coming weeks.

The slam was an intense foursome of gotta-qualify-for-2017 poets, coming down to a split decision over rounds one and two between Nora Meiners and Allison Truj. After the third and final round, Truj emerged with the victory and the ten dollar bill! Congratulations to Truj on her first open slam win in three years(!) (welcome back!) at the Cantab Lounge.

Next week: tell your friends, tell them to tell their friends, and if y’all have haters, make sure you tell them, too… Jasmin Roberts is coming all the way from her Northampton scene and her poems are gonna mess you up good. Come celebrate with us in the basement as we wind down the end of 2016!

Tips from the Bar: It’s All True

Find a setlist for a band you don’t usually listen to (examples here). Let it inform the arc of your poem.

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series Featuring Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah on December 1, 2016

This reading is part of our monthly LGBTA+ series, Moonlighting. Click here for more information about this recurring show.

Moonlighting feature Ghanian-Boston Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah.

Moonlighting feature Ghanian-Boston Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah.

The featured reader for December 1, 2016 is Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah.

Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah is a Ghanaian American poet living out the diaspora in Boston (Massachusetts). He is both Black & alive. Emmanuel is the current Walltalk teaching artist at the Institute of Contemporary, Boston. He is an associate editor at Pizza Pi Press and the reviews editor at Winter Tangerine. Emmanuel has had work published in The Hartford Courant, Narrative Northeast, and Bird’s Thumb. While writing this personal biography, Emmanuel realized he was referring to himself in the third person. This upset him. He chose to write a list of some things that make him happy instead: hot carbs, brightly colored chapbooks, the long sigh at the end of a good book.

This show in our monthly Thursday LGBTA+ series takes place at Article 24, 458 Western Ave. in the Brighton area of Boston. An open mic begins at approximately 8:00 p.m. and the headliners follow the open mic. The show is all-ages and a $3 donation is requested.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 30, 2016: Gabriel Ramirez

New York poet Gabriel Ramirez. Photo by Nicholas Nichols.

New York poet Gabriel Ramirez. Photo by Nicholas Nichols.

Gabriel Ramirez is a Afro-Latinx poet, activist, and teaching artist. A youth mentor at Urban Word NYC, Gabriel has received fellowships from The Watering Hole, Willow Books and Callaloo and has performed on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre, United Nations, Lincoln Center and the Apollo Theatre. In addition, he has been featured in The Huffington Post, VIBE Magazine, Blavity, Upworthy, The Flama and at a TEDxYouth Conference.

Gabriel has gone on to represent New York City at the National Poetry Slam festival on top semi-finalist teams in 2014 and 2015. You can find his work in various spaces, including Youtube, and in publications like The Volta, Jasper, VINYL and forthcoming in The Offing, African Voices and Afro-Latino Poetry Anthology (Arte Público Press 2016).

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 23, 2016

Glory, glory: big ups to all our poets who hung around town this week to gather for our first-ever High School Reunion slam. Sixteen poets (plus two stellar sacrifices) showed out for a half-hilarious, half-heartbreaking, all-awkward show full of the stories of adolescent dance regrets, forgettable fashion choices, unforgettable first loves, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and every kind of sex or lack thereof. It was almost enough to make a few of us miss high school… ALMOST.

Special thanks to our much-missed guest host Emily Carroll, and our hardy judges who were opaque in their motivations but consistent in their enumerations: despite strong individual showings from all four teams, the Freshmen (Millenials!!1!11!!) stayed solid through four rounds to take first place over the Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors– yup, in that order. Sure, maybe it’s youth, maybe it’s competitive fire, but mostly we just think it’s a grand up-and-coming all-star team; congratulations to Emily Taylor, RebeccaLynn, Evan Cutts, and John Pinkham for taking top honors.

Next week: it’s a rare fifth Wednesday of the month, and we’ve got a rare feature for you to match… NYC poet and Callaloo fellow Gabriel Ramirez will be in town. You’ll also have a chance to try your hand in the open slam (one of only five remaining to qualify for the 2017 Boston Poetry Slam team). We’re also pleased to announce that Moonlighting will continue with our monthly December show, hosted in our new space in Brighton and featuring Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah!

Tips from the Bar: That Guy Works for a Living

Write about the job you held for the shortest amount of time. Include why you quit/left/were fired.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 23, 2016: The High School Reunion Slam

Announcing the High School Reunion Slam! Flyer by Cassandra de Alba.

Announcing the High School Reunion Slam! Flyer by Cassandra de Alba.

In the words of our beloved 2016 Boston Poetry Slam Co-Rookie of the Year, Zeke Russell: HIGH SCHOOL IS BULLSHIT! HIGH SCHOOL IS BULLSHIT! HIGH SCHOOL! IS! BULLSHIT!

In the spirit of time healing all wounds, even those sustained from being mercilessly stuffed into a locker for the fourth time in as many weeks, we invite you to join a cast of Cantab regulars, irregulars, special guests and left fielders on Tofurkey Day Eve for a true-to-life reunion of the snarkiest kind. Four slapdash slam teams will take each other on in a grand mockery of Homecomings past, as the Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors each dare to rally for the downtrodden and heroic underdogs we all surely remember being. Homeschoolers, didn’t-stay-in-schoolers, and lifelong-school-of-hard-knocks poets and listeners are all enthusiastically welcomed to this soft-focus cavalcade of hard-nosed nostalgia.

Although our roster for the slam is full, poets are encouraged to bring on-theme work to the open mic! Boomers, X’ers, Gen Y, MTV Gens, and, yes, even Millennials are invited to present your poem-appropriate adolescent angst.


Official all-star slam roster:

SENIORS JUNIORS SOPHOMORES FRESHPPL
Dawn Gabriel
Michael Brown
Lea Deschenes
Sue Savoy
Nora Meiners
Eirean Bradley
Valerie Loveland
Wes Hazard
Chloé Cunha
Mckendy Fils Aimé
Emily Eastman
Porsha Olayiwola
RebeccaLynn
Evan Cutts
Emily Taylor
John Pinkham
Ageless Sacrifices: Adam Stone, Nathan Comstock

The slam will be hosted (ruthlessly) by Emily Carroll, home from New York City, since we won’t let her leave.

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

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