Cantab Recap for Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tax Day has come and gone, Cantabbers, and with it the wild and emotional celebration we have come to associate with… Our feature Emily Rose! Emily brought us a classic chapbook and a hot new manuscript, dipping into each for a series of succulent one-minute treats. The reeling audience knew themselves for extra-lucky when Emily finished her set: we got a sneak preview last night, but you’ll want to watch for her upcoming publication with Thoughtcrime Press.

The slam was jam-packed with eight poets who came prepared for speed! The final one-minute-don’t-blink round came down to new slammer Kylie Noelle and veteran performer Ed Wilkinson. The judges had been totally into both poets all night, but gave Kylie the decisive win and the big $10.

Next week: we’re back with NYC poet and NPS showcase performer Chanel Dupree and our seventh speed slam in the 8×8 series… But wait, there’s more: this Sunday, April 19, we have a special presentation at OBERON in Harvard Square!

That’s right, it’s THE GRUDGE MATCH, a cooperative/competitive fundraiser with Boston’s newest poetry slam, The House Slam. Come see poets from each venue go head-to-head on the OBERON stage! It’s all for bragging rights and a chance to raise money to send both venues’ teams to the National Poetry Slam. Tickets are going fast and WILL sell out, so you’ll want to grab yours soon or risk missing the city’s biggest slam of the year!

Tips from the Bar: On Company Time

Write a self-care manual in the style of a corporate handbook.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Cantab Feature for Wednesday, April 15, 2015: Emily Rose Kahn-Sheahan (CANCELED: Danez Smith)

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Danez Smith has had to cancel the New England leg of his 2015 tour. We will work to re-book the artist at his earliest convenience. In the meantime, the Boston Poetry Slam is pleased to present an excellent last-minute fill-in of the utmost quality:

Emily Rose onstage upstairs at the Cantab at the National Poetry Slam.

Emily Rose onstage upstairs at the Cantab at the National Poetry Slam.

Emily Rose Kahn-Sheahan lives in Chicago where she has hosted and curated shows for ten years, including operating as the SlamMaster for Mental Graffiti and the home curator for Real Talk Live. She has represented Chicago at the National Poetry Slam, provided performance coaching for slam and beyond, held down a position as a board member for Chicago Slam Works, and was Chair of Poetry for the Bucktown Arts Festival; she currently contracts with Poetry Slam, Inc. to make every spreadsheet run smoothly. Her work has recently appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Muzzle Magazine, After Hours, and TimeOut Chicago. Her chapbook, Cigarette Love Songs and Nicotine Kisses, was published by Cross+Roads Press. Her upcoming chapbook will be released on Thoughtcrime Press.

Although currently on a non-working retreat in the New England area, Emily Rose has graciously agreed to fill our last-minute open feature slot. We are pleased to welcome her back to our stage.

Note that tonight’s open poetry slam is a speed slam with 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds. Slam winners qualify for the 2015 World Qualifier.

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 speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.


Biography of the CANCELED feature:

Ruth Lilly fellow Danez Smith.

Ruth Lilly fellow Danez Smith.

Danez Smith is the winner of a 2014 Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He is the author of [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), one of the Boston Globe’s Best Poetry Books of 2014 and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and two chapbooks— black movie (Button Poetry, 2015), winner of the 2014 Button Poetry Prize, and hands on ya knees (Penmanship Books, 2013). He holds fellowships from Cave Canem, VONA, and the McKnight Foundation. He was featured in The Academy of American Poets’ Emerging Poets Series by Patricia Smith. He is a founding member of the multi-genre, multicultural collective Dark Noise.

Danez placed second at the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam and is a two-time Rustbelt Regional Champion. In 2014, he was the Festival Director for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam. His writing has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Beloit Poetry Journal, Narrative, and elsewhere. He lives in Minneapolis, Minn.

Note that tonight’s open poetry slam is a speed slam with 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds. Slam winners qualify for the 2015 World Qualifier.

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 speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Happy Even More National Poetry Month, Cantabbers! Last night we enjoyed far-flung traveler Karen Finneyfrock, a longtime legend from the Seattle slam who also shared a good helping of her young adult fiction with us. Missed your chance to get her books? You probably aren’t alone, since she sold out of everything she brought! You can of course order from her publisher online, so we’ll give you a quick link to just one… Here’s the amazing anthology she edited and appeared in, called Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls on WriteBloody Publishing.

After the feature, of course, we slam! This week’s speed slam featured four hard-core spring slammers, who were speedily (ha) narrowed down to the recently eliminated finalists Nora Meiners and Ed Wilkinson. In a tight match, Nora took the win in the one-minute round: you can catch Nora again at the Grudge Match on Sunday, April 19 at OBERON, where she’ll be repping the House Slam.

Next week: we’re back with our regularly-scheduled open mic, featured poet, and speed slam. Next week’s headliner will be the incomparable Danez Smith: you’ll want to be here early to get in before it’s sold out.

Tips from the Bar: Not That Kind of Sleep

Write a poem that is directions for putting an inanimate object, or abstract concept, to sleep.

Cantab Feature for April 8, 2015: Karen Finneyfrock

Longtime Seattle performance poet and booming YA novelist Karen Finneyfrock.

Longtime Seattle performance poet and booming YA novelist Karen Finneyfrock.

Karen Finneyfrock is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is one of the editors of the poetry anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls and the author of the full-length poetry collection Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, both released on Write Bloody press. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House in Seattle and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. She has been on four National Poetry Slam teams representing Seattle and Washington, DC.

Note that tonight’s open poetry slam is a speed slam with 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds. Slam winners qualify for the 2015 World Qualifier.

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 speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Announcing the 2015 Boston Poetry Slam Team! After three nail-biting rounds at last night’s Finals, including more than one upset and some terrifyingly tight scoring, the final standings are as follows:

1. Mckendy Fils-Aimé 84.8
2. Marshall Gillson 84.6
3. Bobby Crawford 84.4
4. Sophia Holtz 84.1
5. Sean Patrick Mulroy 83.7

6. (tie) Zeke Russell
6. (tie) Meaghan Ford
8. Nora Meiners
9. Ed Wilkinson

Poets in bold will represent the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge in national competition this August in Oakland, California. (The team will also be available for local bookings in the meantime: contact the SlamMaster for more information.) Congratulations to everyone!

As always, heartfelt gratitude is due to our bar staff, doormen, and hard-working audience, who all made our team finals a night to remember. Special thanks to all-star bout manager Tom Slavin and our five highly consistent judges: Rubens, Pat and Rich, Paul, Emily, and Rebecca Lynn.

Next week: National Poetry Month rolls on with Seattle legend Karen Finneyfrock. We’ll also open up the slam to everyone: it’ll be the fifth slam in our spring speed slam series, which means 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds.

Tips from the Bar: The Quaint Fax

Take a nostalgic look at a piece of technology that’s been rendered irrelevant.

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series Featuring Ellyn Touchette on April 2, 2015

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

The featured reader for April 2 is Ellyn Touchette.

Portland poet Ellyn Touchette. Photo by Christopher Clauss.

Portland poet Ellyn Touchette. Photo by Christopher Clauss.

Ellyn Touchette wrote her first poem when she was six years old and saw her first psychologist shortly afterwards. Her work–both on and off page–deals largely with different facets of mental illness as it affects daily life. Ellyn lives in Portland, Maine, and has represented Port Veritas’ Second Tuesday Slam at the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. She is also currently on Port Veritas’ Board of Directors. Her work is featured or forthcoming in The Emerson Review, The Open Field, Wicked Banshee, and Ghost House Review, among others. She is referred to as a “scheming bitch” by George R.R. Martin on page 714 of A Feast For Crows and wants to make sure that everyone knows.

This show in our monthly Thursday LGBTQ series takes place at Fazenda Coffee Roasters, 3710 Washington St. in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston. An open mic begins at approximately 7:00 p.m. and the headliner follows the open mic. The show is all-ages and a $3 donation is requested.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, April 1, 2015: Team Selection Finals

The Cantab’s Team Selection Slams are the venue’s biggest, wildest poetry slams of the year. The venue’s April 1 selection is one of the earliest in the country, which gives them extra time to prepare for this year’s National Poetry Slam in Oakland.

Finalists will slam in the following order in the first round (and draw randomly for second and third round order):

  • 1. Sophia Holtz
  • 2. Ed Wilkinson
  • 3. Mckendy Fils-Aimé
  • 4. Sean Patrick Mulroy
  • 5. Marshall Gillson
  • 6. Meaghan Ford
  • 7. Nora Meiners
  • 8. Bobby Crawford
  • 9. Zeke Russell
  • sacrifice poets: Ellyn Touchette, Emily Eastman* (via SFoD)

The top five poets at the end of the evening will comprise the 2015 Boston Poetry Slam Team.

After four previous rounds in the last two months, plus with a new poem requirement each of the poets must have fulfilled, you can expect hot competition, tense strategic moves, and the most finely-polished performance work of the slam season.

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. A SHORTENED open mic begins at 8:00 and the slam begins at approximately 9:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5; proceeds will go toward funding the team’s trip to the National Poetry Slam in Oakland this August.

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