Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 15, 2018: Jayy Dodd

Literary and performance artist Jayy Dodd. Photo by Texas Isaiah.

Literary and performance artist Jayy Dodd. Photo by Texas Isaiah.

jayy dodd is a blxk trans femme from los angeles, california–- now based on the internet. they are a literary & performance artist. their work has appeared / will appear in zines & classrooms & basements & bookstores & over there probably. their words are award-nominated & are generally controversial. they are also a volunteer gender-terrorist, artificial intellectual, & wilderness prophet on the end times. find them talking trash online or taking a selfie.

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 8, 2018

To those who found yourself seated, standing, or leaning delicately on one another on the Cantab floor (totally clear of the fire exits, of course): our especial gratitude to each of you for coming to the show to send off our awesome fivesome for 2018. On Monday morning, Neiel Israel, John Pinkham, Meaghan Ford, Allison Truj, and Sara Mae will take to the skies toward Chicago, landing with a day to prep before the team’s first National Poetry Slam preliminary bout at 7:00 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday, repping all the good folks of the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge. We’ll do our best to update with results here (and on Facebook), but, in the meantime, your good vibes and good wishes for the team’s first bout against the Houston Poetry Slam, Houston VIP, and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe are much appreciated.

The team takes to the stage for the second round of bouts at NPS on Wednesday around 9:00 p.m. CST, which is almost exactly the time the Cantab will be welcoming Jayy Dodd back to the stage for a full feature set. Visiting on a short tour, this well-traveled poet will be in town to dazzle and shake our little basement. Plus, if you’re keen to get on the list of qualified poets for the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team, you can qualify by taking the top spot in the open poetry slam that night.

Tips from the Bar: Comedy, Tragedy

Why is the gay mermaid late?

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 8, 2018: The 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team

The 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team is: Meaghan Ford, John Pinkham, Sara Mae, Allison Truj, Neiel Israel. Photo by Marshall Goff.

The 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team is: Meaghan Ford, John Pinkham, Sara Mae, Allison Truj, Neiel Israel. Photo by Marshall Goff.

This night will mark the Cantab’s last show before the 2018 National Poetry Slam, when we send off the 2018 Boston Poetry Slam team to compete for a week in Chicago! Neiel Israel, John Pinkham, Meaghan Ford, (Allison) Truj, and Sara Mae will have an extended feature set to bring out their top hits, one-off group pieces, and tender farewells before flying out to the birthplace of poetry slam. It’s five all-star poets in one show, so get your requests in well before you get in line at the door! The team will have plenty of product on hand to help fundraise for their trip to NPS.

To learn more about this year’s Boston Poetry Slam Team, click here. We’ll do our best to keep you updated with the team’s upcoming bout schedule at the National Poetry Slam, and links to help you follow along: the bout draw will be announced in early July.

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 begins at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, August 1, 2018

O, Cantab denizens: thanks so much to everyone who came to the show last night to see the eminent, shining, and bone-shakingly brilliant Crystal Valentine. The poet opened an uncompromising window on structures of power, life & death in the Bronx, and love as a personal and radical act. Thanks to Crystal for taking such good care of our audience while bringing deep cuts to the mic; we hope folks who heard her are walking around beautifully changed today.

Our slam heated up late in the night with a sudden rush of competitors: six poets tried their luck and skill at the three-round competition, coming down to veteran Zeke Russell and up-and-coming new arrival Anthony in the final round. Zeke took the win and the ten bucks, but there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing a number of strong rookies out of just this slam over rest of the year.

Next week: our three-act show concentrates on just two acts, with our regular open mic followed by an extended feature set from the 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team! Neiel Israel, John Pinkham, Meaghan Ford, Truj, and Sara Mae will air out the work they’ll be representing YOU with at the National Poetry Slam in a few short weeks! Get in line early, folks, because the house will be full of well-wishers and (dare we say it?) a few scouts looking to see the team’s set for NPS. Of note: it’s a five-dollar cover that night to support our team’s last fundraising push for travel to Chicago, and you might want to pack some extra cash to pick up the team’s forthcoming chapbook!

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 1, 2018: Crystal Valentine

Top slammer, thinker, and sanctuary-maker Crystal Valentine. Photo is courtesy Werds of Art via crystalvalentine.com.

Top slammer, thinker, and sanctuary-maker Crystal Valentine. Photo is courtesy Werds of Art via crystalvalentine.com.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Crystal Valentine is a writer, activist and educator. She earned a B.A in psychology at NYU, where she is returning as a MFA candidate in Poetry. Crystal is a Callaloo fellow, the two-time winner of the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, the 2015 NYC Youth Poet Laureate, and the 9th ranked woman poet in the world by way of the 2016 Woman of the World Poetry Slam. She recently placed 2nd at the 2017 National Poetry Slam festival with the Brooklyn poetry slam team. Crystal’s work has been featured on programming for MSNBC, Blavity ,The Huffington Post, BET and more. She was Glamour Magazine’s 2016 College Woman of the Year, Teen Vogue’s “Rising Young Black Thought Leaders And Trailblazers,” and is the author of her first book, Not Everything is a Eulogy.

When she isn’t performing, Crystal can be found leading youth workshops at Harlem Children’s Zone and Urban Word NYC. Ultimately, she aims to make her poetry a sanctuary for all identities of the African Diaspora. She uses her platform to spread joy and self-love by advocating for her community, and documenting and humanizing their lived experiences as people of color in America. Visit her at crystalvalentine.com.

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, July 25, 2018

Some people say the internet is out there declaring that only a few weeks of summer remain. Some folks are talking about getting press releases and party invitations suggesting that the end of summer happens in mid-August or some such nonsense. Fie! Pish-tosh! Horsefeathers! There are Two Whole Months left of summer goodness in your calendar, folks, and right in the heart of it this week was the hothot poem work of Anna Binkovitz, cold-weathering Minneapolis poet and departing Cantab barstool denizen. Anna at last performed a welcoming full feature set on the mic… Just in time for us to lose her to NYC. Good luck in your travels and stay cool in New York, Anna!

Our slam was a rapid-fire affair hosted by Zeke Russell and featuring a heads-up finale between north-side visitor Maya Williams and much-beloved local Lip. Lip took the win and the ten dollars home, and brought us one step closer to our August 22 Champion of Champions match, where we invite our eight winners back to slam for the venue title.

Next week: in a glorious last-minute booking, the eminent Crystal Valentine has agreed to swoop in to feature for us next Wednesday. Come see this powerful poet with a delicate touch for craft in a full feature set; we recommend an early arrival (doors are at 7:15) if you want a seat for this one.

Tips from the Bar: Shark Week, Cantab Style

Explain a scar you don’t remember getting.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, July 25, 2018: Anna Binkovitz

Local-for-now Minneapolis poet Anna Binkovitz.

Local-for-now Minneapolis poet Anna Binkovitz.

The punk-ass lovechild of Betty Boop and Morticia Adams, Anna Binkovitz is a Minneapolis poet who is unimpressed by Boston winters. An MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence, Anna’s work has appeared in Beech Street Review, Muzzle Magazine, the Huffington Post and elsewhere. Anna has been a finalist at CUPSI, Rustbelt and the Great Plains Poetry Pile-Up. Anna was a member of the 2018 Open Mouth Writing Retreat cohort. Critics call Anna a “bold dyke” and Anna wants to make this their LinkedIn tagline. Someone stop them.

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, July 18, 2018

Wow! Wow! A packed-to-the-rafters crowd came out last night to witness our second (and final) 4×4 team slam of the season; our home team trotted out a selection of pretty-new group pieces in the rollicking wake of work from Manchester’s Slam Free or Die, Northampton’s Pulp Slam, and the Mill City Slam from Lowell. Congrats to our home team for taking top honors, and huge ups to Mill City for making us hungry for sticky buns, to Pulp Slam for setting us firmly inside our bodies, and to Slam Free for asking us the most important lunchtime philosophical questions a five-person group piece with a three-person pyramid can.

Next week: Cantab short-timer and admitted heart-stealer Anna Binkovitz loops back around from her whirlwind move to New York City to give us a farewell feature. And, lucky you: if you like this slam thing, the sixth slam in our 8×8 series will be open to all at 11:00 p.m.