What a Wednesday! On an absolutely gorgeous spring evening, Cantabbers lined up for yet another evening of poetry. This week’s packed open mic was as surprising and varied as usual: we had people returning after five years, we had poets undergoing metamorphosis, we had contrapuntals, we had people celebrating Cantab anniversaries—who could ask for anything more?
🖤Shenanigans📖 occurred after our open mic in a spontaneous ~Blackout Slam ~ hosted by our own Michael F. Gill. The blackout slam consisted of poets taking a book (donated by Sam Cha), picking a page or two, and blacking out words and sentences with a Sharpie to create their very own found poem. The vast majority of slammers received their books with around 5 minutes to spare! They created some incredible work, with Sam Bucci managing to shout out Kai Wallin in her piece, and newcomer Danielle finding revelations around the erased sections of an army field manual.
After the open mic, we had our featured poet, Yehya Barakatalroudaini! Yehya used to be a regular open mic-er at the Cantab years ago, so we were especially hyped for their return. With incredibly intriguing poems, they covered topics from sugar, to immigration, to conflicting identities, as well as offering their unique perspective of being a nonbinary Iraqi poet. Make sure to keep an eye out for their debut chapbook “Learning To Love The Flag”, which they hope to publish in early 2024.
This week’s ✏️Line of the Wednesday✏️ comes from regular Ryan Phung, with “There is a dream I have in which everyone stays”.
Coming up: Join us this Wednesday for the renowned Jeffrey McDaniel!! Jeffrey McDaniel is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Thin Ice Olympics (Write Bloody, 2022) Other books include: Holiday in the Islands of Grief (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), Chapel of Inadvertent Joy (Pittsburgh, 2013), The Endarkenment (Pittsburgh, 2008), The Splinter Factory (Manic D Press, 2002), The Forgiveness Parade (Manic D, 1998), and Alibi School (Manic D, 1995). McDaniel’s poems have appeared in numerous places, including The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The New York Times, and Best American Poetry 1994, 2010, and 2019. Recipient of an NEA fellowship, he teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. See you then!!
– Amy ✈️
All shows take place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, with one flight of stairs to access the basement room (click for directions and accessibility information). The show is $4 / 21+ (ID/Proof of Vaccination required) and doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 PM and the feature begins at approximately 10:00 PM.