Cantab Recap For Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

Hello, poetry friends! After a long holiday weekend, we had a somewhat small but very very mighty open mic. We continued the trend of stellar first timers, some of whom blessing us with their first on-stage readings ever! First timers included Julie, who just moved to Boston a month ago, Genie, who told of how 2020 affected her appreciation for life and perception of herself, and Risa, closing out the night with a reminder for all of us to love and accept ourselves. 

Our feature was the incredible Essmaa Litim. She provided us with a gracious, thoughtful, powerful performance, and has got to be one of the “flowy-est” poets we’ve had on stage in a long time. She performed pieces about gentrification, identity, metamorphosis, and dived into the complicated feelings many of us have on the Fourth of July. Thank you so much Essmaa!

A decent amount of our staff was out on vacation last week, and it resulted in this week’s 🎙️Shenanigans🥇 – our amazing host Nayeli opened the show for the first time!! We love our staff and the wonderful community we’ve created, so it’s great to see a wonderful poet shine in this way.

This week’s ✏Line of the Wednesday✏ comes from our lovely host and staff member Briana: “A boy wanted / and I was next to it.”

Coming up this week: Come one come all to see the amazing Letta Neely! Letta Neely, originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, is a Black lesbian playwright, performer, poet, mother, teacher and community activist who has been involved in progressive, anti-racist and queer liberation movements all her adult life. Her work focuses on the connections and intersections of queerness, Blackness, and awareness.

Letta has written two books of poetry, Juba and Here (Wildheart Press), which were both finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards. As a member of the Traces/ Remain Ensemble with Deen Rawlins-Harris, she collaborated with Toshi Reagon’s Emerson College residency: Parable Path Boston to develop the Seed to Harvest Book Project. Letta is also a co-artistic director for Fort Point Theatre Channel and within that collaborative, a member of Her Story Is. Letta is the Storyweaver-in-Residence at The Elma Lewis Center (at the Social Justice Collaborative at Emerson College) and hosts FireWater Poetics on the 1st Wednesdays of the month. Her most current project–a solo spoken word play, “Pulling It All Into the Current” had a sold out run at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. It will be performed again on August 12tjh and 13th on Martha’s Vineyard and at the United Solo Theatre Festival on September 26th in New York City. “Pulling It All into the Current” is directed by Greg Allen and produced by The Revolution of Values Theatre Project. Finally, Letta is the Executive Director of Apprentice Learning.

Two quick reminders:

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That’s all for now!

– Amy ✈️

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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.