2024 Slam Season Update

Hey folks!

This is Myles, dropping in with an update about our 2024 slam season! Qualifiers for this season have completed, and team selection is underway to appoint our 2024 Boston Poetry Slam team. If you are looking for last Wednesday’s recap by Amy, it’s right below this post!

Last year’s slam season had significantly less buy-in, and I scheduled monthly qualifying slams throughout this season to meet what I thought was a low demand. I was blown away this year by the number of poets getting invested in slam, many of which are brand new to the sport. I say this to make it clear that not every poet who rocked the house with their work throughout our slam season managed to snag one of these few coveted spots. At the start of the 2024-2025 slam season, I will be continuing monthly qualifier slams, and then increasing their number to every other Wednesday as we get closer to team selection. Hopefully this will result in a 2025 team selection as robust and exciting as the selections of yore, which involved two preliminaries, a semis, and a finals!

The final list of competitors have been divided up between two preliminary nights. February 28th and March 13th will be our two preliminary showdowns, with 7-8 poets competing across 2 rounds in each.

February 28th

• SAC: Youssef
• Sara Hill
• Kaitie Dilán
• Eddy Martinez
• Brynna Boyd
• Kelsey Kessler
• Katya Zinn
• Logan Lopez
• Kris Cho

March 13th

• SAC: Meredith Lakis
• Amy Argentar
• Aparna Paul
• March Penn
• Mary Schwabenland
• Kat Anderson
• Jennifer Martinez
• Keaton Howl

Huge congratulations to every person on this list for fighting through a strongly competitive pool of poets. Anyone who has attended a Boston Poetry Slam open mic or slam in the last few months knows what a talented line-up this is! I have no idea what will happen and I am frankly a little terrified by the pure power contained in this list!!!

The top five from the 02/28 preliminary and the top four from the 03/13 preliminary will advance to yet another 9-person, 2-round slam: team selections finals on March 27th. That means each poet in team selection will need four polished poems to make it to the end. Expect this to be one of the best poetry shows you have ever seen, and block your calendar off now to get there early for admission

The top 5 from finals will constitute our team, which will represent us at NorthBeast, VOX POP, and other various regionals, competitions, and gigs as they may arise. 

A quick note: you are not required to be on this team if you want to compete at the NorthBeast Regional! The regional will have the opportunity for pick-up teams this year, which is 4 or 5 poets who sign up to compete as an independent group. 

Wait, so what is the deal with this team, then? Well, the Boston Poetry Slam has annually selected a team of poets representative of our venue since 1991. It is a tradition we take very seriously, and the poets who make our team are immortalized in our archives, joining the ranks of legendary poets like Patricia Smith, Shira Erlichman, Rachel McKibbens, Simone Beaubien, Omoizele Okoawo, and … me lol! (I got real lucky in 2017.) This team is coached, offered gigs and opportunities through the venue, and covered for any costs associated with competition. 

The main point of the team was once to send it to the National Poetry Slam, which is exactly what it sounds like: the largest team-based poetry slam competition in the English-speaking world, where every registered slam in America and some from abroad would send a representative team to compete in one city for four days. Poetry Slam, Inc. and the National Poetry Slam went under in 2018, and the pandemic firmly sealed its fate. However, regionals have been popping up across the country in the last couple years, and a goal of the Boston Poetry Slam is to eventually be able to fly the team to competitions other than our local regionals to introduce our poets to more of the world of performance poetry. For now, though, the team is mostly ceremonial, and gets the honor of representing us locally. But keep coming, keep slamming, and maybe one day you’ll get the opportunity to go somewhere you’ve never been, to meet people you’ve never met, and perform for people who couldn’t have heard your work otherwise. Only time can tell. 

-Myles ✨

Cantab Recap For Wednesday, February 21th, 2024

Happy Cantab Wednesday everyone! We are back at it again with a packed room (sold out 20 minutes before we even started!) and some great talent on the open mic. Kaitie Dilán really tested our endurance with an incredible FitnessGram PACER Test-inspired poem, Arielle (congrats on your engagement!) did her twist on a love poem (of course, written at the bar), and new regular Lys Maguire hit us with a banger and clarified how she was “Alicia with no Keys.” We also had a sizeable handful of first timers, such as Ruby and The Daft Hatter. 

The ✏️Line of the Wednesday✏️ goes to Eddy Martinez, with “Cuddling is harder than it looks. In fact, everything is difficult.

After our astounding open mic and smoking section, we got to hear from our feature, Hailey Tran! Hailey’s work was cutting, and it led you to the thesis of her poem like a hand guiding you through a dark forest. She touched upon her namesake, sibling relationships, and being the oldest child. This former Youth Poetry Slam champion really took our breath away! Check out her full feature on our Instagram.

This week! Get ready for a night packed with nerves, highwire performances, whiteboards, and of course, poetry, because we have reached PRELIMINARY #1 for our Boston Poetry Slam Team Selection Series! Come see the following competitors compete in a 2-round slam for a chance to advance to the finals on 3/27!

  • SAC: Youssef
  • Sara Hill
  • Kaitie Dilán
  • Eddy Martinez
  • Brynna Boyd
  • Kelsey Kessler
  • Katya Zinn
  • Logan Lopez
  • Kris Cho

Come support your friends and if you don’t know anyone in the slam, volunteer to judge!

See you then!

– Amy ✈️

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Cantab Recap For Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

Amy: Hi Cantab! I hope you all had a lovely week (and long weekend) – we sure did! Love was in the air during our special Valentine’s Day show. The mic list was full (like our hearts) and the Odeo – the Ode Rodeo – shot an arrow of incredible poetry through the audience. On the open mic, Kim shared about wanting (or maybe… not wanting) to quit her job, Daniel gave a heartfelt performance on not taking life for granted, and Brynna thoroughly educated us about their local Texas gas station, Bucky’s. Jarvis and Logan also performed standout pieces.

Michael: Hi Amy! Sorry to interrupt your recap, but Skylar Sweet Cheeks just texted me and told me one of your poem lines needs to be featured this week, and I agree! Therefore, without further ado, the ✏️Line of the Wednesday✏️ this week is “How much talent it takes to be blissful for just a moment” by Amy Argentar.

Ok now back to your regularly scheduled recap!

Amy: Thanks! <3 Towards the end of the open mic, we had a Dirty Haiku slam hosted by Michael F. Gill (who, if you didn’t know, also serves as editor for these recaps). We had newcomer Lysette blow us all away, staff member Kat with a crazy one-liner, and a series of three job-related haiku by Logan that took him to the final round! However, Logan was defeated by Siraj, who performed his infamous Taco Bell haiku (after possibly some peer pressure from the audience).

And now, the Odeo! We had a whopping 12 competitors go head-to-head for three rounds, performing odes to nearly anything you could think of! Highlights include the duo K&K (Kai Wallin and Kaitie Dilán) performed an Odesonnepuntal (Ode/Sonnet/Contrapuntal) telling us all to be gay and do crimes. We had great poems by recent feature Mica Rich and staff host Nayeli, while open mic regular Otto Vock tugged at our hearts with their personal experience being an educator, and then proceeded to made it all the way to the final round in their first-time slamming! At the end of it all, love was in the air, but so was $50 dollars and bragging rights; new standout regular Mary S claimed the big Odeo win!!! Thank you once again to our hosts, judges, and all slammers for a fabulous show!

Quick note: thank you to everyone who participated in our Blind Date with a Book fundraiser! We were able to raise so much for the continued development of the Boston Poetry Slam, and we hope you enjoy your book!

This week! We have Hailey Tran as our feature! Hailey is a Boston based and Lowell raised dreamer. Hailey is a queer Asian American Latina spoken word and performance poet, who believes in the transformative power of storytelling and art. Currently, they are a high school history teacher in Roxbury who is passionate about helping students understand their ancestral memories. They are an educator who uses the creative process to interrogate structural and interpersonal violence, to better understand racial, gendered, and queer identities, and connect with their community at large.

COMMUNITY NOTE: The current COVID surge is one of the highest throughout the pandemic and we want to keep our community accessible and safe. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE the community to bring a mask to the show for the next few weeks and to keep it on when not drinking or performing.

– Amy ✈️

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Cantab Recap For Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

What a week, Cantabbers! A packed night, but we got through EVERYONE on the waitlist! We had Kelsey Kessler debut another fabulous poem that of course mentioned verity’s shades of red, last week’s slam winner Logan premiere a poem on home and pierogis, Reynard (Eddy Martinez) deliver a cathartic piece on applying to jobs, and first-timer Mookie bringing his poetry all the way from Los Angeles. Of course, I can’t NOT mention Cameron’s call to action on freeing the people from “Big Poetry” in his fantastic, ironic poem.

I also can’t NOT mention that we had an incredible workshop from our own Zeke Russell beforehand. Over 20 people showed up to experience a bit of Zeke’s mentorship, listen to some great example poems (including one from Patricia Smith), and write the beginnings of some great new poems. Thank you Zeke!!

The ✏️Line of the Wednesday ✏️ goes to first-timer Mookie, with: “I was born in the dust of a manger”

And then…. drumroll please… the LAST CHANCE SLAM!! We heard some of Daniel’s greatest hits, Sarah King performed a poem on if death was a woman, and Kai brought the house down with their impassioned pieces. It truly was, and I’m not just saying this, one of the best slams we’ve seen in the past year, with qualifying to try out for the team on the line. It was inspiring to be there and soak in everyone’s awesomeness.

Of course, in this little game we play. There are always winners. New regular BRYNNA won the $50, and Keaton was runner-up, qualifying both for the team selection slams. CONGRATS POETS! Congrats to all the slammers (below) and thank you to our staff and judges for making it possible.

  • Brynna Boyd
  • Keaton
  • Sarah King
  • Kai Wallin
  • Mary S
  • Nayeli
  • Danny Riordan
  • Decker
  • Daniel Letona
  • Shawn Dermer

Fundraiser alert – THIS WEEK!

This Valentine’s day, we will have books for you to fall in love with! On our February 14th show, we are hosting a “blind date with a book.” Attendees may pay on a sliding scale to buy a brand-new poetry book and take it home to keep! In preparation, we ask our lovely community for poetry book donations. We invite you to bring a poetry book you’d like to contribute (along with a sticky note describing the themes in the book) to any of our upcoming Wednesday night shows. Funds will go towards the continued development of the Boston Poetry Slam.

Tonight! It is VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE! VALENTINE’S DAY ON A WEDNESDAY! Don’t panic, dress up in cowboy costumes! That’s right, we have the first ever ODEO this Wednesday: the Ode Rodeo, if you will. Bring your odes, odes to a person, odes to your breakfast, odes to cowboys, odes to ODES, it doesn’t matter, anything to get into the spirit of love and dev-ode-tion. It will be a head- to-head style slam (think like an old western duel) and we encourage you to dress up in your best cowboy gear! 

We also will have an accompanying dirty haiku slam hosted by Michael F. Gill, so prepare accordingly!

See you there,

– Amy ✈️

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Cantab Recap For Wednesday, January 31th, 2024

Happy Cantab Wednesday! This week was jam-packed with talent, with performances on the open mic including regular Cameron’s completely memorized Cassandra de Alba cover, the return of Skylar and Isaiah after not hearing from them in awhile, and a powerful and dare I say biblically impressive poem by Jennifer Martinez.

The ✏️Line of the Wednesday✏️ goes to our very own social media-er and poet extraordinaire, Kat Anderson: “I’ve always fit in between breaths. Only so I never have to hide.”

And then: judges were gathered, poets were prepped, and MFG had timer and calculator at the ready, because we headed straight into a SLAM! Eight slammers competed in a battle for $50 and to qualify for the team selection slams coming up. We saw a touching and polished performance from Keaton, pure, unbridled passion and internal rhyming from Jack Chasse, and even an interactive piece from new regular Sarah King. All slammers did incredible, but Logan Lopez (2023 slam team member) won the $50 with a trifecta of poems showcasing the full breadth of their talent! Youssef came in second place with his striking work, making both him and Logan qualified to try out for the team.

Fundraiser alert! 

This Valentine’s day, we will have books for you to fall in love with! On our February 14th show, we are hosting a “blind date with a book.” Attendees may pay on a sliding scale to buy a brand-new poetry book and take it home to keep! In preparation, we ask our lovely community for poetry book donations. We invite you to bring a poetry book you’d like to contribute (along with a sticky note describing the themes in the book) to any of our upcoming Wednesday night shows. Funds will go towards the continued development of the Boston Poetry Slam.

This week! We have…. ANOTHER SLAM! Not just any slam though, this is the LAST CHANCE SLAM, as it represents the last chance to qualify to try out for our 2024 team. The slam will consist of three rounds, and all poets must have three original poems under three minutes to participate. Get ready to slam, judge, or cheer on the competitors!!

Not only is there a slam, but we are continuing our monthly workshop series with a workshop from our very own Zeke Russell! The workshop starts at 6:30, and it will be a generative workshop that will use specific events and locations in our writing to connect to a larger world. This workshop will focus on the tiny real things we experience in our daily lives, and how we can use those stories and images as threads to spin larger webs.

Readings will include: Mary Oliver, Nikki Giovani, Seamus Heany, Patricia Smith, Sharon Olds, Stephen King, and Jacob Rakovan.

NOTE: Workshop attendees will have first access to the open mic list and slam sign up. As this is the last chance to qualify for the team selection, we will be collecting the names of people who want to slam who are at the workshop as well as those who are in line upstairs. We will try to accommodate as many poets as possible (i.e. more than 8).

See you then!

– Amy ✈️

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Cantab Recap For Wednesday, January 24th, 2024

Another fab Wednesday for the Cantab crew! We had an open mic, a haiku slam, and an incredible feature. During the mic, Jack Chasse opened with tales of his year to come, Eli followed with tales of his sister-in-law’s baseball bat, and then Hunter with a thinkpiece (thinkpoem?) on the hit series Riverdale. We had a full house for the night, and an even fuller waitlist, including previous feature Zee Stewart from Slam Free & Die!

The ✏️Line of the Wednesday✏️ comes from Kaitie D. with “Do I really know desire when I’m alone?”

We then had the first haiku slam of the year hosted by the great Michael F. Gill. We had newer faces, such as Iman, being the house down with a juggling poem, and familiar faces like Kris Cho and defending haiku champion Aparna. Shout out to former finalist Lou B for doing a beautifully sung haiku in Round 1! In the end, regular (and 2023 slam team member) Kai Wallin won the $17 and bragging rights.

Our feature was Mica Rich, who read a curated (and completely memorized!) set of poems guaranteed to tug on your heartstrings (or even maybe rip them out). Mica drew from their personal experience for several of their poems, and their raw vulnerability was comforting, emotional, and inspiring. A poet with a real gift for talking to you directly, they stepped back from the mic to deliver a truly powerful poem that my words won’t do justice. I encourage you to watch the saved livestream on our Instagram @bostonpoetryslam. 

Fundraiser alert! 

This Valentine’s day, we will have books for you to fall in love with! On our February 14th show, we are hosting a “blind date with a book.” Attendees may pay on a sliding scale to buy a brand-new poetry book and take it home to keep! In preparation, we ask our lovely community for poetry book donations. We invite you to bring a poetry book you’d like to contribute (along with a sticky note describing the themes in the book) to any of our upcoming Wednesday night shows. Funds will go towards the continued development of the Boston Poetry Slam.

This week: join us at the Cantab Lounge for our regular Open Mic AND Open Slam! Slam rules: 3 rounds! You must have 3 ORIGINAL poems under 3 minutes. This is your SECOND TO LAST CHANCE to qualify for the 2024 team selection slam, so bring out your best work and come down to Central Square!

See you then!

– Amy ✈️

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Cantab Recap For Wednesday, January 17th, 2024

Hi Cantabbers!

We had such a supportive and spirited show last week, not to mention sold-out! Open mic hits include Edie going through and acting out an entire plethora of emotions in their poem, Danny Riordan’s sestina debut that had us all … rolling, and a poem written to the year 2024 from first timer Nikki. Bubbles (who was definitely a candidate for most outfit compliments on stage) also had a crowd favorite, which I’ll just say was about wanting life’s simple pleasures :) (If you know, you know ❤️.)

The ✏️Line of the Wednesday✏️ is from Shivank, with “I dream I am a moon covered in light switches begging someone to turn them on.”

We also had a SPEED SLAM!! 12 contestants competed in a 3-round slam of 1, 2, and 3 minute poems. We had plenty of poems that divided the judges, including an impressive set of memorized poems (“off the dome!”) by Deirdre, Mary, and Brynna. In the end, it was a certified “Oops! All Bangers” slam, with one poet victorious: Kelsey Kessler! Shoutout to Kelsey, who won the $50 and is qualified to try out for the slam team, along with our runner up Meredith! Thank you to our judges, and to all the slammers:

  • Kelsey Kessler
  • Meredith Lakis
  • Brynna
  • Mary
  • Deirdre McCarthy
  • Youssef
  • Jack Chasse
  • Kai Wallin
  • TJ Jones 
  • Guy
  • Keaton
  • Brenna Snyderman

Fundraiser alert! 

This Valentine’s day, we will have books for you to fall in love with! On our February 14th show, we are hosting a “blind date with a book.” Attendees may pay on a sliding scale to buy a brand-new poetry book and take it home to keep! In preparation, we ask our lovely community for poetry book donations. We invite you to bring a poetry book you’d like to contribute (along with a sticky note describing the themes in the book) to any of our upcoming Wednesday night shows. Funds will go towards the continued development of the Boston Poetry Slam.

Hailing from New Hampshire, this week’s feature is Mica Rich! Mica L. Rich (they/them) is a New England poet and writer whose poetry explores themes of trauma and its effect on healing and identity. It values the strength and bravery found in vulnerability. Their work aims to provide an outlet for people struggling to find their own voices in a world that would often rather keep them quiet. Mica’s poetry has appeared in literary journals and collections such as The Avocet, Inkwell, and Wingless Dreamer’s Dark Poetry Collection. Their own debut collection, This Is How Wildflowers Grow, was released in October of 2022 and can be found through Barnes & Noble. Mica is a staff member and slam team member with Slam Free or Die. Mica also works as a freelance editor and spends their free time exploring every nature reserve and hiking trail they can reach. Find Mica online at www.micalediting.net

COMMUNITY NOTE: The current COVID surge is one of the highest throughout the pandemic and we want to keep our community accessible and safe. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE the community to bring a mask to the show for the next few weeks and to keep it on when not drinking or performing.

See you soon!

– Amy ✈️

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Cantab Recap For Wednesday, January 10th, 2024

Another Wednesday, another SOLD OUT show, Cantabbers! We had one heck of an audience and open mic list last week! We had first-timer Brynna early in the open mic set the bar with an incredible poem on never learning to tell time (she did keep it right under three minutes, though 😁). We had regular Logan Lopez with a poem on moving and queer love, Kai with new work about seeing Madonna with their mom, and Skylar with a conceptual piece on voicemail options for the neurodivergent. What a night!

This week’s ✏️Line of the Wednesday✏️ goes to first timer Shivank, with “You don’t always have to burn your way out” 

This week’s shenanigans has to be the fact that birthday boy Michael F. Gill not only hosted the Express Lane, but was in TWO different group pieces: one was bilingual, and one imagined what a poem would be like if it … was the MBTA! (Apologies for any non-locals in the audience, most of that probably went over your heads).

This week’s feature was Devin Kelly, who knocked our socks off with his set. As mentioned in one of his opening pieces, Devin “believes in a poetry of excess,” and we got poetry with an excess of passion, beauty, and romance. A truly touching feature, listening to Devin’s work is a reminder to all of us to put our hearts into our poems. Thank you Devin!

This Wednesday, we have a SPEED SLAM!!! Come slam for a chance to win $50 and qualify to try out for the 2024 Boston Poetry Slam team! The first round will be one-minute poems, the second round will be two-minute poems, and the last round will be three-minute poems. Sign-ups are first-come, first-served.

COMMUNITY NOTE: The current COVID surge is one of the highest throughout the pandemic and we want to keep our community accessible and safe. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE the community to bring a mask to the show for the next few weeks and to keep it on when not drinking or performing.

See you then!

– Amy ✈️

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First timer? Looking for show info? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions!
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Cantab Recap For Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

Happy New Year, Cantabbers!

Back from the holidays, poets lined up for not just an open mic, but a lovely workshop from regular reader Kaitie D! Poets learned about the different impacts repetition can have in a piece, and experimented with different uses of repetition. Some workshop attendees even performed their brand-new pieces on the mic later that night.

The open mic had a considerably number of new faces, such as Mary with a STUNNING debut, and Cora serving bars (and a great dress). We also had your standard straight-from-the-bar poem from Arielle Gray, and a beautiful, world-jumping piece from Youssef.

The ✏️Line of the Wednesday✏️ this week is (paraphrased): “Chicken Littles, fighting over pieces of the sky” by Nick Roberts.

Our feature was the incredible syan jay, who performed mesmerizing pieces on their childhood, self-image, family, and more with a tone that carried as much suspense as it did comfort. They smartly wove in imagery of nature into their poetry to emphasize place and the poem’s emotion. It was a very grounding start to 2024 – thank you syan!!!

Next week, your feature is Devin Gael Kelly! Devin is the author of In This Quiet Church of Night, I Say Amen (Civil Coping Mechanisms), and his work has appeared in Longreads, The Guardian, The Year’s Best Sportswriting, and more. He writes the weekly newsletter Ordinary Plots, and he works as a high school teacher in New York City.

COMMUNITY NOTE: The current COVID surge is one of the highest throughout the pandemic and we want to keep our community accessible and safe. We STRONGLY ENCOURAGE the community to bring a mask to the show for the next few weeks and to keep it on when not drinking or performing.

See you then!

– Amy ✈️

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Cantab Recap For Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

Happy 2024 Cantab poets! We celebrated the last Wednesday of 2023 with a show that was as equally cozy as it was surprisingly off-kilter. The open mic welcomed back Charlie V, Cam, and Dank The Poet after long absences, buzzed with a pair of moving personal pieces from Daniel Letona and Logan Lopez, and even swerved into some great NSFW material (no, really) from Kat Anderson and newcomer Sara S. Special shout out to Sara H for reading the best “country western lesbian romance” poem we’ve heard all year!

Our big themed feature of the evening was our second annual POETRY THEATRE night. Last year, we had two now-infamous long-form plays (Raechel Segal’s Diva In Development and Michael F. Gill’s I’m Using The Chicken To Measure It), but this year we had an ensemble cast of 8 poets perform 15 mini-plays back-to-back, with the audience choosing the order in which they were performed!

Did you miss it, or want to re-live it? Settle in, here’s a brief description of each play!

“One Last Elegy For Some People In My Phone” – Performers talk about someone in their phone contacts one last time before deleting their number in front of the audience.

“Mona Lisa Pictionary” – Jennifer Martinez starts drawing the Mona Lisa on stage, but everyone on her team somehow guesses the wrong thing, despite each guess being somewhat plausible.

“Emily Dickinson Puppet Show” – Emily’s poem I’m Nobody – Who Are You performed as a conversation between two puppets!

“The Great Re-Enactment” – Michael and TJ have a discussion about the Barbie movie that is (poorly) live-transcribed by s.m. DECKER. DECKER then texts their warped transcription to Michael and T.J., who then re-enact the discussion, with each person playing the part of the other person.

“I AM INTROVERT” – Two puppets (March Penn and s.m. DECKER) loudly d!scuss how introverted they are, creating an introvert storm.

“Genre Laughter” – Michael commands the cast to perform different types of laughter, including a laugh for “I’m on a date, this person is attractive, but I don’t like their jokes at all” and “I don’t know why this is funny, but I’m going to laugh because everyone else is laughing”

“57 Seconds” – A play where everyone (including the audience) tries to guess when 57 seconds have elapsed, without going over. The winner (Logan Lopez) got $20!

“The Sound of Almond Milk Being Poured vs The Sound of Regular Milk Being Poured vs The Sound of Coconut Milk Being Poured” – Michael pours milks in a glass, so a blindfolded March knows what they sound like. He then quizzes March on which milk the final pour could be. At the same time, a person from the milk lobby (s.m. Decker) is furious and declares all non-dairy milks should not legally be able to be called milk.

“Space Is the Place” – March Penn leads everyone in an exploration of poetry as space, and how poets find the space in their lives to write, while the rest of the cast whisper the title as they slowly walk around the room.

“The Picnic” – A longer play by T.J. Jones that involves, among other things, a set of gods and mortals having a picnic, and how to find the right types of dates and hummus while you are living out your one and only life.

“Unwritten” – A micro meta play about a play that’s unwritten, except for one repeated line (“Staring / at the blank page before you“) from Natasha Bedingfield’s song Unwritten.

“Walking City Mystic” – An extended excerpt from a play by Eddy Martinez, involving his Renard character. In this scene, Renard and his roommate Grimbart are trying to write a craigslist post for an empty room in their apartment, despite 1) the room constantly changing its size, 2) Renard’s dreams keep on dictating the content of the post, and 3) Grimbart accidentally breaks the fourth wall.

“Monotony” – Michael rhythmically chants about how the opposite of monotony is interruption, while T.J. sings, and the rest of the cast randomly shouts “INTERRUPTION!” from different places in the room.

“Guided Meditation For Aspiring Capitalists” – Michael leads everyone in a group meditation on how to choose the right investment for your venture capital, and how to create a product that is so irresistible that a customer would willingly give up all their personal data to use it.

“Protesting The Date Of This Cantab Feature” – T.J. is very upset that this feature is happening on one of the shortest nights of the year, and aims to correct this by extending the show by the amount of daylight that was taken away from him.

Major kudos to all the performers for giving us such a fun night to close the year on! And a round of applause to Sara H for lovingly heckling us in-between plays! For posterity, the performers were: March Penn, Shawn Dermer, s.m. DECKER, T.J. Jones, Jack Chasse, Eddy Martinez, Jennifer Martinez, and Michael F. Gill.

Quick website note: if you weren’t able to get a physical copy of the latest issue of our zine (The Cantabernacle) it is now available in digital format! Many thanks to Kat Gunther for doing the graphic design and layout. Please send over your submissions for the next issue!

Our first show of 2024 is just around the corner, and we’ve not only got a feature from the awesome syan jay, but also a pre-show writing workshop with open mic regular Kaitie Dilán! Entry to the 6:30 PM workshop will be $10-$15 sliding scale, while the regular 8:00 PM show will be our normal cover of $4. Please prepare accordingly!

In Kaitie’s workshop, we will discuss, write, and perform through the lens of repetition. We will read work and watch performances by Gertrude Stein, Solmaz Sharif, and Danez Smith. We will generate work with directive prompts. Expect to recite generative work in small groups. There will be an opportunity to present work at the end if time permits.

Our feature syan jay is the author of Bury Me in Thunder (Sundress Publications, 2020). They’re an agender writer of White Mountain Apache descent. They were the winner of the 2018 Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize and Frontier Poetry’s 2019 Frontier New Voices Fellow. Their work has been published in POETRY, The Rumpus, Black Warrior Review, Room Magazine and more. You can find more of their work at www.syanjay.com.

This might be our longest recap yet, so if you made it to the end, be sure to let us know! See you soon! <3

– MFG 🚪

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