Cantab Recap For Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

Michael: What’s up Cantabbers! It was one of our biggest slams of the year this past Wednesday, and there was a buzz in the air even after the night was over. If you had trouble coming down from the high of the open mic and slam this past Wednesday night, you were not alone!

On the open mic, we had charming litanies from March Penn and Cameron V, meditative work from Skylar Sweet Cheeks, and high (HIGH!) theatrics from Jack Chasse, who has reworked high cadence rhyming into a mutant beast of their own. Shenanigans includes Katie and Danielle reading both of their poems on stage together, despite their protestations that it was NOT a group piece. The highlight of the open was Maya Detwiller’s sweet non-linear ode to their ornithologist boyfriend, which had the audience SWOONING to the point that a number of subsequent open mic-ers prefaced their poems by saying A) I wish I was an ornithologist or B) I wish I was dating an ornithologist. Thank you Maya!

We now go to our local correspondent (and show curator) Myles Taylor, who was taking feverish notes during the slam!

[Insert “Breaking News” music here as the spotlight raises on Myles]

Myles: Hey folks! This is Myles reporting in with notes from Team Preliminaries – Part One! It was clear from the start that our slammers are not messing around this year. Poets Katya Zinn and Eddy Martinez brought us explosive performances of their tried-and-true memorized work, & Kelsey Kessler, Sara H, and Brynna Boyd worked some past slam favorites into the mix. Kaitie D took poems from the open mic and brought them to us refined, edited, and locked into her body. Two poets brought work entirely new to our slams – huge props for such a bold move to Kris Cho and (despite having several polished poems from last year) Logan Lopez! The standings for the poets moving on are as follows:

  1. Brynna Boyd – 56.2
  2. Katya Zinn – 55.3
  3. Kaitie Dilán – 53.5
  4. Logan Lopez – 53.1
  5. Sara Hill – 52.2

Huge rounds of virtual applause for Kris Cho, Eddy Martinez, and Kelsey Kessler, who held their own throughout the night but will not be advancing. Kris Cho, having missed the 5th slot by only two tenths of a point (!) will be one of our sacrifices for Team Selection Finals on March 27th. Big thanks to our judges for making the night happen: Siraj, Ari, Rina, Chelsea, and celebrity judge Queen Sheba.

Tune in for Prelims Part Two on March 13th, where the second half of qualified poets will be competing in another two-round slam of epic proportions. Back to you in the studio, Michael!

[Spotlight fades on Myles and rises on Michael in the BPS newsroom]

Michael: Thanks Myles! This week, in between the slam mayhem, we have a feature from Partridge Boswell! Author of the Grolier Poetry Prize-winning collection Some Far Country, Partridge Boswell is co-founder of Bookstock Literary Festival and teaches at Vallum Society for Education in Arts & Letters in Montreal. He lives with his family in Vermont and troubadours widely with the poetry/music group Los Lorcas, whose debut release Last Night in America is available on Thunder Ridge Records. His Saguaro Poetry Prize-winning chapbook Not Yet a Jedi is also now a thing.

See you there!

– MFG 🚪

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