Cantab Feature for Wednesday, July 1, 2015: Jason Bayani

Kundiman Fellow Jason Bayani.

Kundiman Fellow Jason Bayani.

Jason Bayani, Jason Bayani is a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a Kundiman fellow whose publication credits include work in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, Rattapallax, and Write Bloody Publishing’s classroom anthology, Learn Then Burn. His first book, Amulet was published in 2013 through Write Bloody and has garnered acclaim in literary magazines such as Zyzzyva and Glint. As a member of seven National Poetry Slam teams, he’s been a National Poetry Slam finalist and also represented Oakland at the International World Poetry Slam.

Jason is one of the founding members of the Filipino American Spoken Word troupe, Proletariat Bronze, and he has been an organizer for the Asian and Pacific Islander Poetry and Spoken Word Summit. He is currently the program manager for Kearny Street Workshop, the longest-running multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American arts organization in the country.

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 24, 2015

Hot dang, poetry people! We kicked off the 2015 Summer of Slam with a bang this week as FIVE teams slammed off at the Cantab Lounge in our first of two regional matches. The five-team format is actually precisely the show structure for the semi-final round at the National Poetry Slam, so audience members got a taste of some of the hottest competition slam has to offer right in our dirty little basement.

Special thanks to JR Mahung and Kylie Noelle, our two rockin’ sacrifices for the night, as well as our five intrepid judges: Graham, Deirdre, Brandon, elliot., and Imani. At the end of the night, the standings showed a hard-fought match among the fivesome:

  • Urbana Poetry Slam 109.9
  • Boston Poetry Slam 108.5
  • Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam 107.8
  • Providence Poetry Slam 98.7
  • Port Veritas 98.2

Our sincerest congratulations to the Urbana Poetry Slam from New York City! If you missed it, don’t sweat it: five more teams will get a shot at a second semi-finals-style bout on July 15. Fair warning to the rest of the country: NorthBEAST will be ready for semi-finals at Nationals in Oakland this year… Will you?

Next week: speaking of Oakland, we’ve got a tip-top California Bay Area poet coming to the house for a full feature! The excellent Jason Bayani will be swinging into town for the night, and then we’ll have an open slam after that. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: It’s Dark in Here

Try writing a persona poem from the perspective of someone who grew up under the shade tree.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 24, 2015: NorthBEAST Regional 5×4

The National Poetry Slam is headed to Oakland, California, this August… But that doesn’t mean we can’t get our own Nationals action here on the east coast! Tonight, we’ll be featuring FIVE teams from the northeast in a massive poetry brawl using the Nationals semi-final format. That means five teams will go for four rounds, one of the riskiest, most whiplash-inducing formats in the book. If you’re wondering what slam looks like at its highest level, this is it, folks.

This first of two summertime 5x4s will pit the following Nationals-bound teams against one another:

This show will have a slightly shortened open mic and will sell out in exactly two hot seconds, people, so we advise arriving for door time at 7:15 if you want to get in to catch the show… Otherwise you’ll be waiting until July 15 to catch the other 5×4 we’ve booked this summer. Cover charge is $5 to help raise funds for our team to travel to Nationals in Oakland this August!

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

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ahh, sticky summer in the sticky basement of the Cantab, folks. What more could a poet want? Actually, poets always want more: so it was a good thing we had the very excellent Emily Carroll in the house this week, laying down one perfectly crafted line at a time. This hard-working organizer and bar server showed off how the listening ear we’ve come to expect from her is also attached to a fantastic editor, thinker, and and lover of language… As if you needed more reasons to love whiskey and Moonlighting!

The night’s poetry slam was packed with first-name-only hopefuls before Emily even took the stage, including a phenomenal crop of rookies. In fact, two of them crushed everyone else in the show to make the head-to-head final round! Remember what we said about poets always wanting more: Brenda and Christian managed a photo finish in the third round, triggering a tie-breaker flashback to last week and bringing the audience two more poems! At the end of the night, Christian swept up the $10, but we are pretty sure Brenda will be back for… You know.

Next week: we know you’ll surely be back for the year’s first NorthBEAST Regional, featuring five teams from around the northeast. This week’s competition includes teams from Portland, Providence, Lizard Lounge, and New York City, all slamming off against the hometown heroes. Remember that it’s a $5 cover charge this week to help raise money to send our team to the National Poetry Slam in August!

Tips from the Bar: the Ed Wilkinson Prompt

See if you can provide a(n incomplete) list of things that Uptown Funk has promised to bring to you, but that you decline to receive.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 17, 2015: Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll, Moonlighting co-curator and Cantab barstar.

Emily Carroll, Moonlighting co-curator and Cantab barstar.

Emily Carroll is a freelance writer, designer, teaching artist, and waitress, and bartender. She holds a BFA from Emerson College, where she was co-curator and SlamMaster of the Emerson Poetry Project. Now the co-curator of Moonlighting, the Boston Poetry Slam’s LGBTQ-celebratory series, Her work appears in Umbrella Factory and Guernica, on IndieFeed Performance Poetry, and frequently on the open mic at the Cantab. If you wanted her to serve you a tonic and gin, you should have ordered it that way.

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 Feature for Wednesday, June 10, 2015: World Qualifier Finals

The Boston Poetry Slam will kick off our Summer of Slam a little bit early this year with the second and final night of the annual World Qualifier: the final four poems (of a six-poem series) to select the Boston Poetry Slam’s sole representative to the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam! This year’s IWPS will take place in Washington, D.C. on October 8-10, and our World Qualifier slam winner will be entered into the event.

Our roster for the show is confirmed and complete! The following poets have qualified to slam in Finals, and the order of the first round will be as follows:
1. Sam Mercer
2. Mckendy Fils-Aimé
3. Zeke Russell
4. Nora Meiners
5. Meaghan Ford
6. Kylie Noelle
7. Sean Patrick Mulroy
8. Janae Johnson

Sacrificial poets: Ed Wilkinson and Zanne Langlois.

This winner-take-all competition features the top eight finishers from the May 13 World Qualifier Speed Slam. A 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 DC!

For more details, you can also 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 in Phoenix, Arizona this October.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What an incredible week at the Boston Poetry Slam, folks! We kicked off Wednesday night with a stellar open mic, including a spotlight from the enchanting Tolonda Henderson of Washington, D.C. Our headliner was the much-anticipated Jeffrey McDaniel, of course, who gracefully met and exceeded all expectations, shaking up even the most cynical poets’ concepts of figurative language and personal narrative. You can grab his latest book online at the University of Pittsburgh Press: it’s called The Chapel of Inadvertent Joy.

The slam was a hot six-poet affair, winding down to a quietly determined JR Mahung and the no-holds-barred Hannah Brown! After a dynamic interplay of concept and idea between the two poets in the final round, JR came out $10 richer and with his first slam victory at the Cantab. Excellent!

Next week: skip your laundry and pack a few extra bucks for our special $5 cover charge… We’ll be holding the World Qualifier Final, an eight-poet extravaganza to select the Boston Poetry Slam’s rep to the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam in Washington, D.C. this October. Come see Sam Mercer, Mckendy Fils-Aimé, Zeke Russell, Nora Meiners, Meaghan Ford, Kylie Noelle, Sean Patrick Mulroy, and Janae Johnson slam off in an extended four-round show. So many poems, yet only one poet can be the World Qualifier Champion!

Tips from the Bar: The Barter System

What outrageous price would you overpay for a three-minute spot on your favorite stage?

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