Cantab Recap For Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

It was an eventful Wednesday at the Cantab this past week, with a lot of memorable lines that had people scurrying to their notebooks. The open mic started with another comedic-persona poem from Cameron, in his “Youth Pastor John” character, and then rolled into Jarvis’ wrestling-themed piece featuring quotable lines like “Less Randy More Savage” and “No Gender Just Champion” that had our staff wishing to see them on a t-shirt or bumper sticker. The amount of excellent wrestling poems this venue has seen over the past couple years continues to grow!

Other open mic highlights included a memorized piece by Cam S (including the line “The only thing more human than art and thumbs is violence,”) Phoebe’s rollicking “Monster F**ker” poem, and fine work from first-timers Maura, Rindala, and Marina. A great night for first timers with names ending in A! As for the smoking section? I heard there was a group piece with the first line being “THE ONLY REASON TO WRITE A GROUP PIECE IS SO YOU CAN SPEAK IN UNISON.” Were you there for that?

Our feature Ellie Black came all the way from Mississippi to read for us, and impressed with a series of razor-sharp memoir-themed poems that went by in the blink of an eye. It’s been a while since someone read a set of short poems so swiftly without seeming rushed or overzealous! Speed, brevity, confidence, and the substance of life: what more could you want from poetry? Thank you Ellie!

This week (tonight!) we will have a feature from Stephanie Burt! Stephanie Burt’s latest book of poems is WE ARE MERMAIDS (Graywolf, 2022). Her next book of literary criticism will be SUPER GAY POEMS (Harvard UP, 2025), an anthology of 50 modern LGBTQ+ poems with her essays about each one. Special interests include the X-Men, obscure pop groups, and of course Taylor Swift. She can even do it with a broken heart.

ADDITIONALLY, we will be having JUNETEENTH SPOTLIGHTS scattered throughout the open mic, along with a Juneteenth merch table for Black poets and creatives to vend their art. Come celebrate with us!

See you soon!

– MFG 🚪

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