Cantab Recap For Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

Hello Cantab! We had a unique night this past Wednesday (Juneteenth!), with a slightly shortened open mic to allow room for four spotlight features (and a merch table) from black poets in our community. Our first spotlights were from new regulars Left Eye (who brought down the house with a poem on colonialism) and Donovan Beck (who read a trio of poems that touched on language, black history, and ancestry,) while we later heard a set from mynameisblueskye, a singer-songwriter and aspirational “poet laureate of black autism” that surprised and impressed. Finishing off the spotlights was our own beloved staff member and host, Briana Crockett, who read powerful works from her new chapbook that sold out in minutes!

Our feature was Stephanie Burt, a well-renowned local poet, teacher, and literary critic with a large bibliography of books to her name. Yet this was no academic exercise, it was in actuality a sprawling, genre-spanning, often off-the-cuff feature that felt like it could sustain its momentum for hours. Banter bled into poems bled into audience poem topic requests that were later fulfilled. There was also some really insightful work on how the X-Men and mutants relate to the trans experience, and even a poem about our own Central Square to cap things off. Thank you Stephanie!

By the way, if you haven’t heard, tickets for the 2024 Northbeast Regional are now on sale at Eventbrite! This will be one of the biggest performance poetry weekends of the year, with 16 teams from New England and beyond competing!

This Wednesday, it’s our first-ever tag team slam! Teams of two will face off in a three-round format, where each team member will do an individual poem in the first two rounds, and then perform a group piece together in the final round. The highest cumulative team score wins! Be sure to not miss it!

– MFG 🚪

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