Cantab Recap for Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy end of February, Cantabbers! Last night, as the ice chewers roamed the post-apocalyptic remains of Mass Ave., we hunkered down in the shelter of the Cantab, protected by good poetry and ample booze. Our unstoppably dynamic headliner, Doc Luben, laid down an effusive set that literally fired all the right neurons and figuratively warmed our hearts. Want to follow along with more from Doc? You can check out his tumblr, which even lists a couple more upcoming New England shows.

After Doc’s feature, our slammers took the stage for the first speed slam of the new 8×8 series! Six poets vied for a chance to survive the 3-minute, 2-minute, and 1-minute rounds of the show: the final 1-minute lightning round came down to Cantab rookie Sheldon Alexander and regular John Mortara. Both poets claimed Northampton Poetry Slam roots, but only one could walk away with the victory and the $10 prize: congratulations to Sheldon, who earns a spot in our fresh new Champion of Champions match this May!

Next week: those of you following along with our paper flier will note that we have a SCHEDULE CHANGE! Our revised feature will be National Poetry Slam Champion Regie Gibson, back to feature for us for the first time since 2008. We’ll follow up the feature with the second speed slam in the 8×8 series. Stay warm and ice-free, Cantabbers, and we’ll see you there.

Tips from the Bar: “Sure, Try Irony”

Use the following title to spark your poem:

It Was a Beautiful Day and Nothing Was Wrong

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, February 25, 2015: Doc Luben

IWPS Finalist and Portland (Oregon) Slam Champ Doc Luben. Photo by Jill Greenseth.

IWPS Finalist and Portland (Oregon) Slam Champ Doc Luben. Photo by Jill Greenseth.

Doc Luben is the two-time Poetry Slam Champion of the Portland, Oregon poetry slam, and was a finalist at the 2013 Individual World Poetry Slam. A writer and performer in L.A. and AZ since way back in the ancient 90s, his stage plays have been featured productions at the Arizona Classical Theater, and he was the Tucson Poetry Slam Champion in 2009.

Doc was a panelist and performer at the 2010 Phoenix ComicCon Nerd Slam and was featured at the Rose City ComicCon, and has taught subversive youth workshops in writing and performance for two decades. He trained at the freakishly progressive California Institute of the Arts, where they absolutely do NOT have Walt Disney’s head frozen in the basement.

Note that tonight’s open poetry slam is a speed slam 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, February 18, 2015

The results of our grand Team Selection Semi-Finals are in! Rankings going into Finals:

  1. Zeke Russell 53.8
  2. Bobby Crawford 52.5
  3. Nora Meiners 52.4
  4. Meaghan Ford 51.5
  5. Marshall Gillson 51.0
  6. Sean Patrick Mulroy 50.6
  7. Mckendy Fils-Aimé 50.5
  8. Ed Wilkinson 49.2
  9. Emily Eastman 47.7
  10. Sophia Holtz
  11. Ellyn Touchette
  12. Colin Killick

Poets in bold are qualified to advance to the Team Selection Finals on April 1! Congratulations to all, and special thanks to sacrifices John Mortara and Nathan Comstock, as well as our hyper-consistent and only slightly cruel judges: Tyler, Catherine, Maryann, Phoenix, and Mike & Olivia.

This coming Wednesday: you can take a moment from watching slam and get in one! Our very first speed slam (that’s 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds) kicks off the 8×8 series this week. Even better, we’ll get to dig deep listening to awesome headliner Doc Luben from Portland, Oregon. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: The Scottish Comedian Prompt

From a favorite joke:

A hearty welcome to all the folks looking forward to dancing on my grave. I plan to be buried at sea.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, February 18, 2015: Team Selection Semi-Finals

The Cantab’s Team Selection Slams are the venue’s biggest, wildest poetry slams of the year. This February, with Erotic Poetry Night safely behind us, we continue our selection process with the second night of three, the Team Selection Semi-Finals!

The top twelve poets from the first and second Preliminary heats (six from each) advance to the Semi-Finals show. Qualified poets will slam in the following order in the first round of the two-round show:

  1. Sophia Holtz
  2. Ed Wilkinson
  3. Meaghan Ford
  4. Sean Patrick Mulroy
  5. Emily Eastman
  6. Ellyn Touchette
  7. Colin Killick
  8. Marshall Gillson
  9. Mckendy Fils-Aimé
  10. Zeke Russell
  11. Nora Meiners
  12. Bobby Crawford

Sacrificial poets: John Mortara, Nathan Comstock

With two poems behind them and five to go, competing poets are likely to be reaching deep into their pockets on this particular night, or even trying out untested work in hope of saving some major ammunition for Finals on April 1… Making Semi-Finals just possibly the most interesting night of the selection series.

Team Selection Slams go for three rounds at the Cantab, with the top five poets after seven poems comprising the venue’s National Poetry Slam Team. The 2015 Boston Poetry Slam Team will travel to the National Poetry Slam across the mainland, once again in sunny Oakland, California.

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 9:15. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5; proceeds will go toward funding the team’s travel to the National Poetry Slam this August in Oakland.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Another Erotic Poetry Night survived, poets! We enjoyed a surprisingly smart, consensual, exoticization- and mango-free open mic last night, with highlights from first-time-readers crashing the erotic mic, love-poem-writers adding extra genital imagery for the audience to fill in, and at least a few meta-aware critical erotic moments. Writers, amiright??

We did eventually get down and dirty with the start of the Deadly Sins vs. Heavenly Virtues slam. The virtuous Marshall Gillson kicked things off with a Diligent ode to the inconspicuous clitoris just to get us all in the mood, but was soundly defeated by sinner Dawn Gabriel, whose Slothful editing habits led to an over-time but still wildly appreciated piece. Other memorable moments include the triumphant return of Delisile Godeffroy-Taylor to the slam stage as a victorious Gluttony, Nora Meiners heartily selling the no Avarice, no problems story to a greedy crowd, and most likely the hottest Chastity poem you’ve ever heard laid down by Chloé Cunha.

At the end of the night, the Sins had eeked out a win, establishing that the Cantab’s soul is divided evenly into seven parts of Gluttony, Avarice, Sloth, Envy, Humility, Patience, and Chastity. (Yeah, we were surprised, too.) Congratulations to Jade Sylvan, who captained the winning Sins, and to Sean Patrick Mulroy, whose Virtuous battle for your own soul will begin again next week.

Oh, right, next week: we return to the 2015 Boston Poetry Slam Team Selection Slams! Wednesday, February 18 marks our twelve-poet Semi-Finals, a two-round free-for-all featuring some of the strongest slammers in the northeast. Only nine advance to Finals in April, and we’re charging $5 on this special night to help send the eventual team to the National Poetry Slam in August. Come out to cheer, heckle, and judge to see who will make it to the next round!

Tips from the Bar: The xkcd Prompt

A la William Safire: produce a speech for an event that never happened.

Cantab Feature for February 11, 2015: Erotic Poetry Night and Deadly Sins vs. Heavenly Virtues 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.

Erotic Poetry Sins vs. Virtues Slam 2015

Jade Sylvan and Sean Patrick Mulroy will captain the Sins and Virtues teams, respectively, for the 2015 Erotic Poetry Night Slam.

Moreover, this year’s erotic night feature will be our first ever Deadly Sins vs. Heavenly Virtues Slam! Using a format pioneered in our basement by Kevin Spak, we’ll pit seven GOOD poets (Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, Humility, Temperance, and, of course, Chastity) against seven EVIL poets (Avarice, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride, Gluttony, and Lust) in the ultimate battle of philosophy!

UPDATE: we are excited to announce our team rosters, captained by 2013 Boston Poetry Slam teammates and mortal enemies Sean Patrick Mulroy and Jade Sylvan!

VIRTUE has been recruited by Sean and will be glowingly represented by Porsha Olayiwola, Marshall Gillson, Mckendy Fils-Aimé, Sophia Holtz, Andrew Campana, Janae Johnson, and Chloé Cunha. The team of SIN is led by Jade and will include Princess Chan, Steve Subrizi, Krystin Hill, Nora Meiners, Delisile Godeffroy-Taylor, and Dawn Gabriel.

This is as real as Valentine’s Day gets, listeners, so pack up your date and your moral compass and prepare for a bawdy literary evening.

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 slam will commence after the 10:00 break. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series Featuring Porsha Olayiwola on February 5, 2015

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

The featured reader for February 5 is Porsha Olayiwola.

Porsha Olayiwola, Haley House co-founder and 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion.

Porsha Olayiwola, Haley House co-founder and 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion.

Black, poet, dyke-goddess, hip-hop feminist, womanist, friend, Porsha Olayiwola is a performance artist who believes in pixie dust and second chances. A resident of Boston by way of Chicago, Porsha O was the runner-up at the 2012 Women of the World Poetry Slam and is the reigning (2014) Individual World Poetry Slam Champion. Her intention is to speak, love, praise, and maintain a cypher that is undocumented, uncontrollable and just plain ole dope.

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.

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