Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What a night! It was a joy to welcome team slam back to the Cantab, just in time for summer: last night, two established slams and two local presses mixed it up for a wildly satisfying show. After four rounds of literary battle, we’re excited to congratulate pizza pi press on their big win! pizza pi operates directly out of a pizza and produces gorgeous illustrated chapbooks, as well as the seasonal pub maps for teeth. Our next pizza pi author feature will arrive on July 24 when Melissa Lozada-Oliva is in the house.

Our runner-ups last night were your very own home team: Joshua Elbaum, Arianna Monet, Terah Ehigiator, and Zeke Russell. The team pumped up tender new performances of their work in their home room for a solid second-place finish: in an glorious coincidence, by the way, we are pleased to announce that these four all-stars will all be pizza pi mini-book pressmates by this fall.

Coming in close behind were the glorious authors from Game Over Books, including some first-time visitors to the venue making waves with our regular listeners. Here’s how tight this slam was: this team actually put up the highest scoring individual piece, shaking up the first round and setting the bar high for everyone scrambling to follow. Interest in joining up with this incredible stable of authors? You’re in luck: Game Over’s open submission period begins on June 17!

And, last and best in the show of our hearts, our fourth and final team of the night came from Slam Free or Die in Manchester, New Hampshire, an hour north but in the very center of our hearts. Our partner NorthBEAST slam, SFoD holds all-ages events every Thursday and occasional Wednesday workshops in the back room of the Stark brewpub, often sharing out-of-town features and community with the BPS. And, cool news: last night’s pick-up team wants you to know that SFoD will be selecting their representative team in the fall, so you still have time to head north and win an open slam to get in the mix!

That’s all they wrote for this slam, folks! But wait: we’re back next week? At 5:30 for a prompt 6:00 workshop from James Merenda? You betcha: and our doors open at 7:15 as usual to welcome folks for the 8:00 open mic, followed by a full feature from James.

Tips from the Bar: Every Day Is Allston Christmas

What’s the first thing you do when you move into a space you expect to become yours?

What’s the last thing you do when you leave?

Cantab Poetry Slam for June 12, 2019: Team 4×4 Slam with SFoD, Game Over, and pizza pi

We’re just leaning on the cusp of summer, folks, which means it’s team slam season! Tonight will mark the first of our summertime Nationals-style 4×4 team slams, meaning that we’ll welcome four local slam teams to our virtual cage match for a four-round slam. Get your boxing gloves and whiteboards ready, because this is gonna be a hot one! We’re excited to welcome slam teams repping the following literary entities:

This show will have a slightly shortened open mic and will sell out quickly, so we advise arriving for door time at 7:15 to catch a seat… Otherwise, you’ll be waiting until July to catch another team slam. Cover charge is $5 to help raise funds for the teams and presses.

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 5, 2019

Last night, poet Jasmine Reid took our stage for a sound-rich, spellbinding feature featuring work from her upcoming chapbook from Honeysuckle Press. This tender and uncompromising poet brought us along an emotional and physical journey linked with lush vowels and abundant slant rhyme, deprioritizing narrative in favor of audible sumptuousness: a glorious and blooming opener for June.

Next week: we recommend you arrive early for what might be our hottest slam show of the spring! Four teams representing Game Over Books, pizza pi press, Slam Free or Die, and your very own home venue will slam off in a glorious 4×4 Nationals-style team slam. Our open mic will be just a smidge shorter, but judging opportunities will abound, and we expect our presses will bring plenty of product for you to browse. Heads up: this show will have a $5 cover to pay each of our slam teams as well as offer a cash prize for the winners of the slam.

Tips from the Bar: I’ll Have What I’m Having

What’s your favorite drink? (No, it doesn’t require alcohol.) What does it say about you?

Cantab Feature for June 5, 2019: Jasmine Reid

Poets House Fellow and MFA candidate Jasmine Reid. Photo courtesy by Zahra Chevannes.

Poets House Fellow and MFA candidate Jasmine Reid. Photo courtesy by Zahra Chevannes.

Jasmine Reid is a twice trans poet-child of flowers. She is the author of the forthcoming chapbook Deus Ex Nigrum, winner of the 2018 Honeysuckle Press Chapbook Contest, selected by Danez Smith. A 2018 Poets House Fellow and MFA candidate at Cornell University, her work has been published or is forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine, Apogee, Poetry Daily, and Paper Darts, among others. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated poet, Jasmine was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, and is currently based in Ithaca, NY. Find her at reidjasmine.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. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 29, 2019

What’s better than a five-Wednesday month? How about a one-time Poet Populist and intense font of potential energy taking the stage at 22 Again; this past week, Toni Bee closed out our May poetry sessions with a sweet and sexy and smart set of poems, songs, and welcoming banter. Extra thanks to Toni for her generative workshop before the show, bringing the heat to bear on some newly crafted work for our open mic. What a lucky week.

Our next show opens up the bloom of June with Jasmine Reid, winner of the 2018 Honeysuckle Press chapbook contest and MFA candidate at Cornell. Doors open at 7:15 for our wicked popular 8:00 open mic, so come early to grab a spot to perform.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, May 29, 2019: Toni Bee

Dorchester poet and Cambridge Poetry Ambassador Toni Bee. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Dorchester poet and Cambridge Poetry Ambassador Toni Bee. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Toni Bee is a poet, educator, and advocate. Raised in Dorchester and educated in Roxbury, she grew her daughter up on the other side of the bridge and became the elected 2011 Poet Populist of Cambridge, the first woman to grace that position. Bee was also the 2016 Inaugural Cambridge Poetry Ambassador. Toni has worked with youth for years and extensively with the City Spotlight teens of The Wang Theatre. The Simmons College graduate led the Black Lives Matter march in Cambridge, Mass. in 2015 in hopes of bringing awareness to the masses about the continued injustice that plagues folks of African descent. Toni Bee self published her first poetry book, 22 AGAIN, in winter 2018. Bee has also been a part of The Mass Poetry Festival in Salem & The Boston National Poetry Month Festival and she has received accolades & awards from The YWCA Cambridge.

Tonight’s event will also feature an early-bird workshop led by the feature! Doors open at 5:30 for a prompt 6:00 start for Bring the Heat!, a spring-feelings poetry-writing workshop led by Toni Bee. An additional cover charge applies: click here for more details.

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, May 22, 2019

Shay Alexi appeared in our venue last night, fresh from Atlanta and hot in the middle of a long-haul tour, reading and performing selections from Diary of a Ghost Girl and opening their heart to a gentle and enthusiastic audience. What a sweet night! And, great news: for folks hoping for more of Shay’s work on the stage, you can catch them in Manchester, New Hampshire at Slam Free or Die tonight, May 23.

Next week: it’s the much-anticipated feature from one-time Cambridge Poet Populist Toni Bee. Toni will also be running a springtime-feelings workshop called Bring the Heat! before the show; if you can arrive before 6:00 p.m. and want to write at least one more poem in the month of May, Toni will be here to make it happen for you. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: In the Pines, In the Pines

Write about your best night of sleep. Write about your worst night of sleep.