Cantab Feature for Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Raych Jackson

Chicago poet Raych Jackson. Photo by Qurissy Lopez.

Chicago poet Raych Jackson. Photo by Qurissy Lopez.

Rachel “Raych” Jackson is a writer, educator and performer. While teaching third and fourth grade in Chicago Public Schools, Jackson competed on numerous national poetry teams and individual competitions. Her poems have gained over 2 million views on YouTube. She is the 2017 NUPIC Champion and a 2017 Pink Door fellow. Jackson recently voiced ‘DJ Raych’ in the Jackbox game Mad Verse City. Her latest play, “Emotions & Bots”, premiered at the Woerdz Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. Jackson wrote a room dedicated to her city for 29Rooms’ first installment in Chicago through Refinery 29. She co-created and co-hosts Big Kid Slam, a monthly poetry show in Chicago. Jackson’s work has been published by many— including Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, The Shallow Ends, and Washington Square Review. Her debut collection EVEN THE SAINTS AUDITION was recently published through Button Poetry. She lives in Chicago.

An open poetry slam is scheduled for the late-night portion of this show, following the feature. The slam will be speed slam format: eight open sign-ups will be available starting at door time, and poets will slam head-to-head in up to three rounds with time limits of 3, 2, and 1 minute. Winner and runner-up qualify for the 2020 Team Selection series. To volunteer to judge in exchange for free admission to the show, or to ask questions about the slam, email the slam curator at slamseries@bostonpoetryslam.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, with the poetry slam to follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Moonlighting Recap for 12/1/2019

Cambridge became a slushy winter wonderland tonight, but folks still braved the storm to get to the Democracy Center for their monthly queer poem fix. Audience members thawed out with some tea provided by co-host Myles, and the open mic filled up with warm & welcoming work. The night’s features, Q and Katya Zinn, brought gorgeous and searching poems to the stage– and left the room with some product left! If you’re bummed to have missed out, find them at the BPS weekly show and exchange dollars for merch: it’s almost like you were at the show.

Join us on January 5 for our next mic! We’re still deciding on a feature– feel free to email the co-curators with ideas or press kits. See you there!

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series on December 1, 2019

This reading is part of our monthly LGBTQIA+ series, Moonlighting. This month’s event is scheduled for Sunday, December 1, 2019, and the featured readers are Q and Katya Zinn.

Desert flower Q. Photo by Emma Ruff.

Desert flower Q. Photo by Emma Ruff.

Q is a Desert Flower & Current Resident of Providence, Educator, Direct Care Provider Community Events Coordinator, and poet.///// Truly just a Queer, Latinx Wild Thing on the Hunt for Candy almost Always.//// Has a handful of Poems in Maps for Teeth, Yellow Chair Review, Voicemail Poems, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Slamfind/// Has released several self-printed collections of Poetry to include” For//After-Forever, Probably” and as of September 2018 – “All Small Things/ Bare Hot Salts”// Is trying their best not to talk too much about Rock and Roll or Fruit Bats, but Promises Nothing.

Poet, educator, and 2019 Slam Free or Die team member Katya Zinn. Photo by Renata Watson.

Poet, educator, and 2019 Slam Free or Die team member Katya Zinn. Photo by Renata Watson.

Katya Zinn just took a DNA test; turns out they’re 98% that bitch, and 2% post-consumer recycled waste content. Winner of the Selase Williams Art as Social Activism award, 1st place in the 2019 Words Aloud poetry contest, and ‘Bestest Teacher in the Universe’ (according to a crayon certificate in their wallet), Katya Zinn’s work seeks to recapture childhood magic through stories celebrating neurodiversity and the resiliency of the human spirit. They graduated summa cum laude from Lesley University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Expressive Art Therapy and captained Lesley’s first team to compete on the national stage at CUPSI. When not poem-ing, Katya teaches the arts to children with disabilities and works in legislative advocacy towards ending campus sexual violence. A current member of the 2019 Slam Free or Die national poetry team, their work has appeared in The Merrimack Review, Underground, Silver Needle, and Zoetic Press. They hope you will look out for Human Verses, their first chapbook-length collection, available from Finishing Line Press in 2020, and for sidewalk-stranded earthworms at the next rainstorm. You can find Katya on Twitter and Instagram, or by performing a simple conjuring spell at the next full moon.

Click here for more information about this recurring show.

This show in our monthly Sunday queer series takes place The Democracy Center, 45 Mt. Auburn St. in Cambridge. Doors open at 7:00 for a 7:30 open mic with the feature to follow. The show is all-ages and a $5 donation is requested; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Click here for detailed accessibility information.

Cantab Slam for Wednesday, November 27, 2019: History of the Internet Slam

Extremely graphic History of the Internet illustration by Cassandra de Alba.

Extremely graphic History of the Internet illustration by Cassandra de Alba.

The thing about the internet is that anyone at the bar, sitting next to you at the basement floor, or looking uninterested outside the Cantab entrance could be an internet celebrity. Get your own fifteen minutes at tonight’s event celebrating the timeline of internet communication, from AIM to LiveJournal to Twitter to Tik Tok. This will be a team-based competition with a series of “event” rounds encouraging various formats, group pieces, and a solid dose of silliness.

Interested in learning more, putting forth ideas, or signing up for/with a team? Email tonight’s slam director Myles Taylor.

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

Urbanity Dance Presents: The Boston Poetry Slam with VLA Dance

Friday, November 22, 2019
Urbanity Dance, 725 Harrison Ave., Boston
TWO 1-HOUR SHOWS: 6:30 doors & 8:30 doors, talkback with the artists to follow
all ages, $15 and up (click for tickets), drinks with advance purchase only!
click for Facebook event

Boston Poetry Slam meets dance: image courtesy Urbanity X.

Boston Poetry Slam meets dance: image courtesy Urbanity X.

One night only! The Irresponsible Birds of the Boston Poetry Slam– that’s RebeccaLynn, Joshua Elbaum, Zeke Russell, Terah Ehigiator, and Arianna Monet– will perform two sets of poetry alongside movement from VLA Dance. Neither interpretive nor literal, the two troupes explore buoying one another and dividing the concept of storytelling between genres in a dynamic collaboration.

This show happens on ONE NIGHT ONLY and is thanks to Urbanity X, an incubator program pairing dancers with other city artists and providing technical support. This program’s beautiful venue space is also courtesy of Urbanity.

Tickets are $15 and up for each of the two shows: click here for tickets. This intimate space is wheelchair-accessible with one single-gender bathroom. Because this space is not a bar, alcohol is available only by advance purchase! Please see our ticketing link to purchase drinks with your tickets.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Last night, intense listeners packed the house for a high-energy open mic followed by the return of a long-lost 2011 Boston Poetry Slam Team member: Maya Phillips was in town from New York, bringing with her the heady work of her debut collection, Erou. What a privilege and a joy to get to hear Maya’s familiar pacing and powerful performance fill the room again, this time with new ports of call and epic-inspired story. This is Maya’s last stop on the Boston leg of her fall tour, but if you’ll be in NYC over the holidays, keep an ear out for more gigs from this rising voice.

Our next show: is… on a Friday?! Yup, that’s right: on Friday, November 22, in a well-lit, above-ground, non-bar space (wild), Arianna Monet, RebeccaLynn, Joshua Elbaum, Terah Ehigiator, and Zeke Russell will perform with VLA Dance in a one-night only collaboration. There are two sets for this show, so you can catch an hour with us just to get your night started in the South End: click here for more info.

Don’t worry, we’ll be back in the basement next Wednesday. That night is a slam directed by Myles Taylor: click on through if you’d like more details on how to get a prompt for a poetry competition about The History of the Internet.

Tips from the Bar: Put Your Hands on Your Hips

Describe a dance move to someone who’s never seen or heard of it.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 20, 2019: Maya Phillips

Brooklyn poet, freelance writer, one-time Cantab host Maya Phillips. Photo by Molly Walsh.

Brooklyn poet, freelance writer, one-time Cantab host Maya Phillips. Photo by Molly Walsh.

Maya Phillips was born and raised in New York. Maya received her BFA in writing, literature, and publishing with a concentration in poetry from Emerson College and her MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. Her poetry has appeared in At Length, BOAAT, Ghost Proposal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Vinyl, and The Gettysburg Review, among others, and her arts & entertainment journalism has appeared in The New York Times, Vulture, Mashable, Slate, The Week, American Theatre, and more. Her debut poetry collection, Erou, is available from Four Way Books. A former content editor and producer at the Academy of American Poets, Maya currently works as a web producer at The New Yorker and as a freelance writer. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her at @mayabphillips or learn more about her poetry and journalism at her website.

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 show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wow, Cantabbers! José Olivarez came back to be a local for one night only this week, the first time since 2015, and rocked the poetic worlds of a very appreciative audience. José’s easy manner, uncompromising stories, and slow-burn big-rise work glued first-time listeners to their seats and warmed those in the know to the core. If you missed your chance to get his book, you can still order Citizen Illegal from the publisher; if you’ve already got it, you’ll want to keep an eye out for his next project as co-editor of The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext.

Next week: we welcome back Maya Phillips, author of the critically acclaimed Erou, former content editor/writer at the Academy of American Poets, and member of the 2011 Boston Poetry Slam Team.

Tips from the Bar: Get In, Loser

Find a fictional character in literature or entertainment that you don’t like– not necessarily a villain, just someone you don’t trust. Help them solve a problem they encounter on their journey.