Cantab Poetry Slam for September 11, 2019: Team 4×4 Slam

It’s the summer of slam, folks! As one of the oldest poetry slams in the known universe, the Boston Poetry Slam holds a certain responsibility to deliver high-energy, high-quality slam to you right around this time of year; come celebrate the tail end of summer with poetic hijinks and literary late-season blooms.

We’re excited to welcome slam teams repping the Mill City Slam from Lowell, the Endopolis Poetry Room of Northampton, a fabulous foursome of Cantab open mic all-stars, and your very own 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team! The show will by hosted by the eminently energetic Myles Taylor.

Tonight’s show is part of our Back to School series, offering an early-bird workshop every week in September before doors open for the open mic! Click here for more information on a performance workshop exploring storytelling of the body through movement and sound with NPS Finalist Ashley Davis.

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. Cover charge is $5 to help raise prize and gas money for the traveling teams.

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 Workshop for Wednesday, September 11, 2019 with Ashley Davis

Arrive in advance of tonight’s event for an early-bird workshop at the Cantab Lounge before the show. The one-hour workshop begins at 5:30, with latecomers admitted no later than 6:00. This is a performance workshop exploring storytelling of the body through movement and sound, and is open to both performers and listeners interested in respectfully contributing to the night’s feeling of community.

Workshop leader Ashley Davis is a black queer androfemme (they/she) artist, poet, human. Born in California, currently based in Philly with her Grandmother and Great Grandmother, Ashley writes to center the intergenerational black femme and build spaces for rest and inner children to play. Ashley has upcoming work being published in the anthology A Garden Of Black Joy: Global Poetry From The Edges Of Liberation & Living (2019), Apiary (2019), The Shade Journal (2019), and work currently published in WusGood. Ashley was part of the 2019 PinkDoor Writing Retreat, 2019 Philly Pigeon Retreat, 2017 Voices of Our Nation (VONA) cohort facilitated by Patricia Smith, a member of the 2016 National Poetry Slam Finalists from House Slam, and the 2016 NUPIC runner-up. Find Ashley on Instagram or Twitter.

Cover charge is $5, which includes admission to the evening show; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. To guarantee a spot in the workshop, please send an email.

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

Tips from the Bar: This Is Not My Beautiful Car

Looking for something emotionally important to you, you instead find a set of keys. Do you recognize them? Where do they belong?

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 4, 2019: Sam Rush

Sam Rush, poet, musician, and NPS Finalist. Photo by Matthew Francis Radman.

Sam Rush, poet, musician, and NPS Finalist. Photo by Matthew Francis Radman.

Sam Rush is originally from South Florida and began writing poems after developing progressive hearing loss and realizing how many words each word could be. They were a finalist at the 2016 National Poetry Slam and are a member of the House Slam organizing staff. Their work has been featured in The Offing, Muzzle, The Journal, and elsewhere.

Tonight’s show is part of our Back to School series, offering an early-bird workshop every week in September before doors open for the open mic! Click here for more information on Sam Rush’s generative workshop on forms of sonnets.

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 Workshop for Wednesday, September 4, 2019 with Sam Rush

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 focusing on writing sonnets, and is open to anyone who wishes to contribute to the night’s feeling of community.

Workshop leader Sam Rush is a National Poetry Slam Finalist, songwriter and musician, and member of the House Slam organizational staff. Learn more about Sam, who will also be the featured poet for the night, at this link.

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.

Due to the constraints of the venue, this workshop has 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.

Tip from the Bar: Not Abandoned, Just a Canto

Put together a series of your best unfinished first stanzas to create a single poem.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 28, 2019: Arianna Monet and an Open Poetry Slam

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’s work has appeared in Rose Quartz Magazine, Honey & Lime Magazine, and What Are Birds? Journal, and this is her rookie year in the slam poetry world. She wants you to know that all thunderstorms are femmes; that all femmes are thunderstorms; and that, statistically speaking, she probably loves you. Arianna is a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team.

An open poetry slam is scheduled for the late-night portion of this show, following the feature. The slam will be speed slam format: eight open sign-ups will be available starting at door time, and poets will slam head-to-head in up to three rounds with time limits of 3, 2, and 1 minute. Winner and runner-up qualify for the 2020 Team Selection series. To volunteer to judge in exchange for free admission to the show, or to ask questions about the slam, email the slam curator at slamseries@bostonpoetryslam.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, with an open poetry slam to follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Last night might have been the last Wednesday that the Cantab year-rounders had to ourselves (welcome back, students! there are empty seats in the front), and we surely made the most of it: poets from the last decade of slam at the show, including much-missed host April Ranger, turned out to see 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell lay down a multi-themed poetic storyline with his three-book/thirty-minute set. Zeke took the venue on a rugged and tender set, wading through rivers, stacking firewood for the winter, and bringing us all to northern Maine one step at a time.

Our slam was a compendium of regulars who must! have! heard! that we are qualifying for the 2020 team tryouts this August: the final round came down to Yehya Barakat and Cali Stenson, the very worst and most huggiest mortal enemies we’ve ever seen, in the one-minute round. Cali took the big win and the ten bucks, but both qualify for callbacks for the team.

Next week: it’s our final slam for at least a month, since September will be an all-early-bird month with four scheduled workshops! We’ve got one more team member to close out August, though, and it’s all-star rookie, mermaid, and Irresponsible Bird Arianna Monet. This is gonna be a hot one, folks, so plan to come early if you are hoping for a seat or a spot on the open mic.

Tips from the Bar: Like a New World, But New

Imagine how a single, small change in technology or circumstance would have completely reshaped our world.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 21, 2019: Zeke Russell and an Open Poetry Slam

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

Zeke Russell is not your real uncle, but you can call him that. He grew up in Central Maine. In his thirties he found himself in Lowell, Mass., where he fell asleep at a coffee shop and woke up to a poetry slam happening right there in front of him. He fell in love with slam and started writing again. He first entered the Cantab in 2009 and never left the darkest corner of the bar.

Zeke is a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team. He was previously a member of the 2016 and 2017 teams, and represented the venue at IWPS in 2017. His work can be found in Maps For Teeth, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, and Wyvern Lit. He lives in Somerville, Mass. and is clean and sober.

An open poetry slam is scheduled for the late-night portion of this show, following the feature. The slam will be speed slam format: eight open sign-ups will be available starting at door time, and poets will slam head-to-head in up to three rounds with time limits of 3, 2, and 1 minute. Winner and runner-up qualify for the 2020 Team Selection series. To volunteer to judge in exchange for free admission to the show, or to ask questions about the slam, email the slam curator at slamseries@bostonpoetryslam.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, with an open poetry slam to follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.