Cantab Recap for Wednesday, February 10, 2016

We survived another Erotic Poetry Night, Cantabbers! Huge, girthy, well-lubricated thanks to our really remarkable open mic poets, who brought us the sexy while almost unanimously bringing accompanying agency, personality, consent, and very creative language to the stage. Also, y’all are awkward as heck and that sure is hot. Nice work, poets!

Extra-enthusiastic thanks also go to our tumblr maven, Cassandra de Alba, who designed, printed, and not-especially-secretly distributed a fine selection of erotic slam bingo cards. Did you get an open mic bingo on pirates/dick size/fetish you’ve never heard of/fan fiction/audible noise of disgust from the audience? WAIT. Congratulations, but don’t tell us; we may not need to know.

The head-to-head Schmlatz Slam that followed our open featured flawless host/producer Emily Carroll, gloriously crafted Heart vs. Fedora judging flags, and a healthy dose of seasonal cynicism. Despite the best efforts of the Pick-Up Lines team (c’mon, give them credit! they put themselves out there!), the entire cadre of Cantab regulars was traumatized by the triumph of the Valentines: for the first time ever in this dive bar basement, Love won the day.

Don’t worry, folks, things will be back to normal next week… That is, if you consider it a regular night when you get to watch the venue’s top poets in a high-stakes fight on the road to Nationals. Next Wednesday will be the Team Selection Semi-Finals, where you can see Tom Slavin host for Manvir Singh, Joshua Elbaum, Marshall Gillson, Mckendy Fils-Aimé, Simone Beaubien, Nora Meiners, Neiel Israel, Quentin Lucas, JR Mahung, Zeke Russell, Meaghan Ford, and Bobby Crawford as they lay down two poems each, hoping to escape the night and qualify for Finals in March! Remember: it’s a $5 cover charge night for the big show, and the open mic will be a little shorter to accommodate the twelve-poet slam.

Tips from the Bar: You Get a Gold Star

Start your poem with a household chore.

Cantab Feature for February 10, 2016: Erotic Poetry Night and the Schmaltz Slam

Is it hot in here, or is it just you? As tradition decrees, the Wednesday closest to Valentine’s marks our wildly popular annual Erotic Poetry Night. We’ll present the best (and worst) of the erotic (and neurotic) all night long; open mic readers are strongly encouraged to bring original erotic poems, poems about sex, or poems about naughtiness in general.

Our featured event this year comes from the diabolical mind of Emily Carroll, Moonlighting founder/producer and heavy-handed Cantab bartender. Gird your loins (or whatever) for The Schmaltz Slam: Valentines vs. Pick-Up Lines! Participants will be offered a prompt from either category and paired off in a head-to-head slam for all the chalk-candy hearts they can stand.

Come check out the following steamy slam pairings:

VALENTINES PICK-UP LINES
Emily O’Neill Cassandra de Alba
Dawn Gabriel Sam Cha
April Penn Claudia Wilson
Gemma Cooper-Novack Chloé Cunha
Allison Truj Meaghan Ford
sacrifice: RebeccaLynne Gualtieri sacrifice: Elliot McLaughlin

The slam will be hosted (ruthlessly) by Emily Carroll. Sacrifices are TBA.

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 erotic-themed open mic begins at 8:00 and the featured event will commence after the 10:00 break. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, February 3, 2016

We had the best of luck last night for a windy February Wednesday, folks: Boston-based thinking poet Emmanual Oppong-Yeboah kicked in the door for Black History Month with a feature informed by life, loves, and philosophy. Performing almost entirely unencumbered by the page, Emmanuel brought us all along for the ride both inside and out of our own bodies, preparing us to bring joy and honor to the month ahead.

The speed slam was also a doozy, full of powerful work, painful time penalties, and sometimes raucous applause as a few poets in the slam met each other’s work for the first time! The finals came down to cross-river-commuter Jayy Dodd and north-side rising star RebeccaLynn. RebeccaLynn took top honors with her incisive thirty-nine-second finale (pro tip: that is how you speed slam), earning the $10 prize, a shot at the 2016 World Qualifier, and a berth in the springtime Champion of Champions Slam.

Next week: you are NOT ready for Erotic Poetry Night! Surely, no one can be… But if anyone is trying to get you in the mood, it’s Emily Carroll producing the Schmaltz Slam: twelve steamy local favorites will slam off with brand new work, representing either the Valentines or the Pick-Up Lines. Remember, it’s also the week to bring your hothot erotic poems to the open mic, so get your favorite sexy stories in order to share on the awkwardest date night of the year.

Tips from the Bar: The Aaron Rodgers Prompt

Write about something that shouldn’t be decided by a coin flip. Or: something that should.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, February 3, 2016: Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah (was: Muggs Fogarty)

Due to circumstances beyond their control, Muggs Fogarty will be rescheduling their feature later in 2016. In the meantime, the Boston Poetry Slam is pleased to present an excellent last-minute fill-in of the utmost quality:

Boston poet, thinker, and teacher Emmanuel Oppong-Yeobah. Photo by Rachel Nyakako.

Boston poet, thinker, and teacher Emmanuel Oppong-Yeobah. Photo by Rachel Nyakako.

Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah is a Boston-based poet and a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut. As an English and Urban and Community Studies major, Emmanuel spent his time at UCONN considering space— its vastness— and how the very concept of space as real and social construct can simultaneously restrict and enable movement. Emmanuel also spent his time at UCONN writing essays and poems. As you can see he is fan of long sort of incongruous sentences. In 2015 he was proud to serve as performance crew leader to UCONN’s spoken word organization, Poetic Release, and to compete at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational as a member of the UCONN slam team. He was also proud to co-found Exsistentia, a multimedia literary journal centered around addressing existential questions through art and artistic expression.

More recently, Emmanuel is proud to serve as the Director of Curriculum for Boston Pulse, a youth-empowerment organization focused on promoting positive change for young people and their communities through spoken word. Wow, there is a lot of pride going on here. This is a good thing; but 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.

Note that tonight’s open poetry slam is a speed slam 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds. Slam winners qualify for the 2016 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 POSTPONED feature:

Providence poet Muggs Fogarty. Photo by Emma Glory.

Providence poet Muggs Fogarty. Photo by Emma Glory.

Muggs Fogarty is a genderqueer poet and teaching artist from Providence, Rhode Island. Since 2007, Muggs has represented Providence at seven inter/national spoken word competitions, and is the only person in Providence’s history to be a Grand Slam Champion in both the youth (2009) and adult (2015) finals. After graduating from The New School in 2013, Muggs has been mentoring with New Urban Arts, ¡CityArts!, ProvSlam Youth and is now serving as co-director at Providence Poetry Slam. Their published work can be found in FreezeRay, Wicked Banshee, and Bluestockings Magazine, among others. You can now send @muggsfogarty crystal ball emojis on Twitter.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Welcome back, Cantabbers! It was super to see lots of new faces alongside a great selection of long-lost returnees last night, all braving the January chill to catch a super easy-going open mic night featuring the very excellent Eve Ewing. Eve made leaving the house on a winter night one zillion percent worth it with her thoughtful, clever, and well-crafted set. Were you bummed that this Breakbeat poet didn’t have a book to sell you last night? No worries, you can still commission a custom poem from her of your very own: all you have to do is present her with proof that you’ve donated $50 (cash or goods via Amazon!) to the Liberation Library, an organization dedicated to providing books for incarcerated youth. That’s right, you can do everybody some good AND get yerself your very own Eve Ewing poem… Get at her via her website or @eveewing on Twitter.

Meanwhile, back in the slam series… It’s time for our annual SPEED SLAM series! That means that the next eight slams will consist of 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds, like a speeding train racing a cheetah to the other side of a MarioKart chevron yup yup yup, it’s that fast. The first slam in the series came down to newcomer Ian vs. crusty ol’ regular Ed Wilkinson. Ed dug deep for a last burst of energy to win the final round, but watch out, veterans: fresh legs are coming for your slam wins!

Next week: we’re back with teacher, philosopher, poet and proud UCONN grad Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah. And, yes (don’t blink): the second speed slam in the 8×8 series.

Tips From the Bar: Adam Says It’s an Easy One

Try out a poem wherein you have a conversation with inanimate objects.

Bonus MacKenzie family prompt: see if you can be inspired by “water.”

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, January 27, 2016: Eve Ewing

Boston poet Eve Ewing. Photo by Ricky Orng.

Boston poet Eve Ewing. Photo by Ricky Orng.

Eve Ewing is a Chicago-born poet and essayist whose work has been published in Poetry Magazine, The New Yorker, Union Station, Bird’s Thumb, joINT, and Blackberry, and the anthology The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books). She has been a Pushcart Prize nominee, a finalist for the Pamet River Prize, and a scholarship recipient for the New Harmony Writers Workshop. She is the former managing editor of Kinfolks: a journal of black expression and a current editor and staff writer for the website Seven Scribes. She is also one of the organizers of MassLEAP, which is home of the Louder Than A Bomb Massachusetts youth poetry slam, and a doctoral candidate at Harvard University, where she studies race, education, and inequality.

Note that tonight’s open poetry slam is a speed slam 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds. Slam winners qualify for the 2016 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, January 20, 2016

Official results from the second of our two heats of Team Selection Preliminaries have been tabulated!

The top six poets have qualified to move on to Semi-Finals on February 17:
1. Meaghan Ford 52.2
2. Zeke Russell 50.4
3. Quentin Lucas 49.3
4. Nora Meiners 48.7
5. Mckendy Fils-Aimé 48.6
6. Manvir Singh 48.3

7. Emily O’Neill
8. Jess Rizkallah
9. Ed Wilkinson

Congratulations to our finishers, and special thanks to our guest host, all the way from Worcester: Eirean Bradley!

Next Wednesday: let’s give our competitors a break, shall we? We’ll be back to our regular $3 cover, two-hour open mic, and excellent local feature Eve Ewing. And for those who want to try their hand at this little slam thing, we’ll offer the first in our series of open SPEED slams: bring a 3-minute, a 2-minute, and a 1-minute poem if you want a chance at the $10 prize.

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