Cantab Recap For Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

Hey Cantabbers! It’s always a unique show when we gather the day before Thanksgiving at the Boston Poetry Slam, as the holiday brings in a lot of out-of-towners. Most of our audience members didn’t have work or school the following day, so almost no one left during the break between the open mic and the slam, which was great to see.

On the open, we got our yearly visit from former regular Berent LaBrecque, who delivered an emotionally escalating poem about home and belonging. First-timer Ace kicked off the night with an extended memorized piece that had a seemingly endless reservoir of twisted and off-kilter rhymes, and we had strong work by regulars March Penn, Kelsey Kessler, and Eddy Martinez.

After the open mic, it was the first-ever Pokémon Slam! For a topic that might seem a little niche to a general audience, there was a lot of variety in both the form and content of the work, with the Red team being led by Shawn Dermer, and the Blue team being led by Kai Wallin. While there were highlights from Cameron, Isaiah (who did a Pokémon sestina!), and the not-seen-on-stage-in-many-years Kelsey Chaplain, the showstopping moment was a round between Sara H and Youssef, who did back-to-back Ash Ketchum-themed poems that came at the subject from wildly different starting points. In the end, team Blue eked out the win, with Sara H being voted the most memorable poem by the judges, qualifying her for our upcoming team selection nights in 2024. Thank you to all the poets who slammed, especially the few who did so on short notice!

This week’s shenanigans involved Amy Argentar (our regular website recapper) reading her Pokémon-themed poem to us live from Chicago, via the magic of a video call! We’ve come a long way from the days where you couldn’t even get cell phone reception in our dive bar basement.

This week: did you enjoy the Pokemon Slam, and want to try your hand at competing in a non-themed slam? Well, we’ve got an open poetry slam happening this Wednesday, with the top two competitors qualifying for our upcoming team selection shows! All you need is three original poems that are 3 minutes or less. No props, no costumes, no musical accompaniment. The winner will get $50, and we’ll also have our famous extended open mic, so be sure to stop on by!

– MFG 🚪

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