Cantab Recap For Wednesday, March 13th, 2024

Amy: What a week Cantab! I’ll just get straight into it. The open mic was full, sold out, and electric with excitement! The night started off with Cameron performing two pieces, one of which being a completely memorized reciting of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll, which turned into an unintentional group piece, with several audience members joining in a poetry chorus of “Beware the Jabberwock,” and “Callooh! Callay!”

Other highlights include Briana from Masspoetry performing a passionate piece, Kai’s return after a brief hiatus with a green thumb poem about what it means to have roots, and a great debut from newcomer Casey! I would also like to note that time seems to stop in the Cantab basement, proven once again by Nayeli thinking St. Patrick’s Day was a week before it actually is (and no one correcting her). 

The line of the Wednesday is “This rot has carried / a stone garden heart around” by Kai Wallin

Now, I’ll pass it to Myles with the recap of the second preliminary slam that took place!

Myles: Hey folks – this is Myles reporting from Preliminary 2. I’m gonna go ahead and say this was an absolute bloodbath. Amy Argentar gave us two poems new to our stage but polished like she’d done them for years. Aparna Paul and Jennifer Martinez brought out edited and memorized iterations from Cantab slams past. Mary Schwabenland and Keaton Howl gave us spirited performances of their tried-and-true work, and Kat and March read us a gorgeous and intimate mix of newer and older pieces. But as we know in slam, someone has to come out on top. The poets moving on to finals are: 

  1. (TIE) Aparna Paul – 55.6
  2. (TIE) Amy Argentar – 55.6 
  3. Jennifer Martinez – 55.0
  4. Mary Schwabenland – 53.0 

The poets not moving on but who were essential to the quality of this show are Keaton Howl, March Penn, and Kat Anderson. Keaton and March (another tie!) will be invited back to sacrifice or sorbet at our finals on March 27th. Big thanks to our judges, four of which were brand new to our venue (!) and one of which was a wonderful regular and representative from the staff at Mass Poetry, Briana Cohen. 

All of this means that finals on March 27th will feature the following poets:

  • Sara Hill
  • Mary Schwabenland
  • Logan Lopez
  • Jennifer Martinez
  • Kaitie Dilán
  • Amy Argentar
  • Katya Zinn
  • Aparna Paul
  • Brynna Boyd

Whew! What a list! You’ll be there, right?! Good! Because you won’t want to miss this one. Back to you, Amy!

Amy: Thanks Myles! Now, we have two Wednesdays until our Team Selection finals, but this week is definitely one you do not want to miss! Amanda Shea is a renowned spoken word and multidisciplinary artist, educator, performer, artivist, publicist, and mother. She’s hosted BAMSFest and countless poetry events; she facilitates youth workshops for spoken word poetry, visual arts, and public speaking; she is a publicist for hip hop artist Brandie Blaze; she has managed and supported countless other artists in Boston. In 2021, she was named among WBUR The ARTery’s 25 artists of color transforming the cultural landscape. Shea co-founded and curated six iterations of Activating ARTivism, a community festival to amplify POC through art, activism, and resistance. Importantly, it has raised awareness and provided support for local nonprofits like Mission Safe, The New England Innocence Project, Trans Resistance MA, The Simple Good (Chicago), and the LDB Peace Institute.

In December 2022, Shea won the inaugural category for Spoken Word Artist of the Year at the Boston Music Awards. Shea was featured in January on GBH News for the “Embrace; Boston” unveiling ceremony. Shea is the curator of GBH’s “Outspoken Saturdays” a platform for poets across New England, where 8 poets perform each month while recording live at the Copley Library, NewsCafe. Her work can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts, The Boston Globe, TEDX, TEDXRoxbury, Netflix, Prime Video, BBC News, and much more. Shea will release her first book, “Pieces of Shea” in the Winter of 2024. Amanda’s work examines her personal life experiences, social justice issues, and healing through trauma utilizing art as the tool.

We’ll also have another haiku slam this Wednesday with a $17 prize! See you then!

– Amy ✈️

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