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.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 13, 2019: José Olivarez

Chicago poet and author of Citizen Illegal: José Olivarez. Photo by Marcos Vasquez.

Chicago poet and author of Citizen Illegal: José Olivarez. Photo by Marcos Vasquez.

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants and the author of Citizen Illegal, a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. In 2018, he was awarded the first annual Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association, and the book was named a top book of 2018 by NPR and the New York Public Library. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Chicago Magazine and elsewhere.

Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he is co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT (forthcoming from Haymarket Books). He is the co-host of the Poetry Gods podcast and a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Poets House, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the Conversation Literary Festival. Visit him at his 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 6, 2019

This Wednesday, we were so pleased to host Ashia Ajani for a feature and exceptional workshop, inviting participants and listeners to consider a whole environment, a whole nature that includes both the colonial and diasporic, and an apocalypse that invites us to love. Looking forward to hearing more of our workshoppers’ poems as the month goes on.

Coming up next: Citizen Illegal author José Olivarez hasn’t been to visit us since before his book was published, back in 2015. This coming Wednesday he’ll be riding high on the success of this vividly important publication, plus no doubt carrying some new work to share. Open mic hopefuls are advised to arrive at our 7:15 door time as tonight’s event is likely to sell out.

Cantab Workshop for Wednesday, November 6, 2019 with Ashia Ajani

Arrive in advance of tonight’s event for an early-bird workshop at the Cantab Lounge before the show. The one-hour workshop has limited space and begins at 5:30, with latecomers admitted no later than 6:00. This is a generative workshop that is open to anyone all levels of writers and performers who wish to contribute to the night’s feeling of community. Black poets are invited to attend this workshop for free.

Ashia Ajani is a Black storyteller hailing from Denver, Colorado. Her work confronts Black environments and imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance in diaspora communities. Learn more about Ashia, who will also be the featured poet for the night, at this link.

DESCRIPTION FROM THE WORKSHOP LEADER
During this workshop, we will explore the dehumanization of Blackness, and how it complicates human-nature relationships. By looking at the poetic traditions of writers like Joy Harjo, Danez Smith and Thylia Moss, we will see how the destruction of the marginalized body mirrors the destruction of the environment, and how to incorporate these themes into our own writings.

Cover charge is $5-$20 sliding scale, which includes admission to the evening show. We ask financially stable poets to consider contributing the higher end of this scale (or more) in order to defer costs for others and support this teaching artist’s generous donation of time to our space. Black poets are invited to attend this workshop at no cost.

Due to the constraints of the venue, our workshop have limited space; room can be guaranteed to poets who identify as POC or queer. The best way to secure a spot in the workshop is to send an email.

The venue is 18+ and a photo ID is required. For more information on the night’s open mic and featured poet, click here.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 6, 2019: Ashia Ajani

Denver poet, Yale grad, and Environmental Studies major Ashia Ajani. Photo by Alice Oh.

Denver poet, Yale grad, and Environmental Studies major Ashia Ajani. Photo by Alice Oh.

Ashia Ajani is a Black storyteller hailing from Denver, Colorado, Queen City of the Plains. She is a graduate of Yale University and an Environmental Studies major with a specialization in environmental justice and food rights. Her work confronts Black environments and imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance in diaspora communities. She has been published in Atlas&Alice Magazine, The Journal, Pilgrimage Press, Sage Magazine, Brushfire Literature & Arts, and The Hopper Magazine, among others. She released her first chapbook, We Bleed Like Mango, in October of 2017. Follow her on Instagram at @ashiainbloom and on 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.

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series Featuring Arianna Monet on November 3, 2019

This reading is part of our monthly LGBTQIA+ series, Moonlighting. Our next event is scheduled for Sunday, November 3, 2019, and the featured reader will be Arianna Monet.

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Arianna Monet. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Arianna Monet. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

Arianna Monet is a queer Black poet and sentient strawberry milkshake currently living in Boston, Massachusetts. She believes strongly in curly bangs, heart-shaped sunglasses, and the color yellow. Arianna is also a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Honey & Lime Literary Magazine, Pizza Pi Press, What Are Birds? Journal, and elsewhere. She wants you to know that all thunderstorms are femmes; that all femmes are thunderstorms; and that, statistically speaking, she probably loves you

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 Recap for Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Happy Halloween, Cantabbers! Last night’s slam was a– broombuster? A beastly good time? Definitely magical: the transformative joy of the season was in full effect as Werewolves, Zombies, Ghosts and Vampires took the stage in an extremely-high-stakes and not-at-all off-the-cuff competition event designed to select the Supreme Supernatural Being of the Night. Hosted by hard-working and ghostly-dressing producer Cassandra de Alba as La Llrona, two sacrifices from Zeke Russell and Kelsey Chaplain kicked off a host of memorable moments, not least of which included: Werewolf Max Evans kicking in the door with a familiar incantation; Yehya Barakat appearing in full creeptastic costume and hilariously reprising the same character in a Zombie group piece with Megan Thoma; a serious haunting effort across the whole city of Boston captained by Ghost Allison Truj; and a treatise on the Hollywood complications of vampiric life from Chloé Cunha.

When the bats cleared, the Vampires had taken the top spot in the event, trailed closely by the Zombies and Ghosts, then with the Werewolves rounding out the high-spirited foursome. Congratulations to Nosferatu George Abraham, Myles Taylor, Kieran Collier, and Chloé Cunha on a well-crafted set, and big thanks to judges Katya, Ethan, Bothma, Robin, and AJ, who made awarding our not-at-all-janky skull necklaces prizes possible.

Next week: the five Wednesdays of October may be in the rearview, but autumn poetry rolls on! This week we welcome Denver storyteller Ashia Ajani to the stage for a feature set following our open mic. Early arrivals, take note: Ashia will offer a Wednesday workshop with discussion and generative prompts on the marginalized body (this event is free for Black poets). Click here for more workshop details!

Tips from the Bar: Another MFG Prompt

Write a poem about a soothing sound.