Once again, a fabulous time was had by all at the Cantab this Wednesday: a host of new readers and listeners turned out to enjoy featured poet Tyler Smith, who packed dozens of short poems into a smart, witty, and inspiring feature drawn from his cohesive body of work. Tyler’s leaving for Australia in a few weeks, but you can catch him (and his amazing vinyl-inspired product) at the nearby Stone Soup reading in one more upcoming feature.
Following Tyler’s feature, the Champion of Champions Slam was, as expected, a barnburner of a show. Seven champions turned out for the event, all of them packing at least one new poem in their back pockets –and all of them knowing only one poet would have the chance to use it in the final round. In the first round, we saw opener Sophia Holtz kick in the door with her shirtwaist factory fire poem, only to be defeated by earnest first-time-champ-slammer Nathan Comstock. The second pairing turned out to be an impromptu Battle of the Bartenders, where server Melissa took a close second to once-longtime-champion Adam Stone. Since our eighth poet was missing, the last poets of the first round battled in a mighty threesome, where Marshall Gillson came out swinging to earn the highest score of the round, but with Portland poet Zanne Langlois hot on his heels, both defeating Nora Meiners.
That brought Nate up to battle Adam in the first pairing of the second round; Nate opted for sweet where Adam decided to break open the room with a little funny, which worked like a charm. In the tightest pairing of the night, an on-fire Marshall was defeated by surprise favorite Zanne! Bartender Adam Stone then brought a huge performance in the final round, but found himself on the receiving end of a new and powerful piece from Zanne that capped her fairy-tale trilogy for the evening. After being crowned the season champ, Zanne oh-so-humbly challenged champion Simone Beaubien to a one-round new-to-the-Cantab slam-off, then defeated the champ in a 3-2 judging decision! Congrats to our new Champion of Champions, Zanne Langlois, who will be invited to return to defend her title this October.
Next week: the 2012 National Poetry Slam is almost upon us, which means it’s time to wish good luck and farewell to the 2012 Boston Poetry Slam Team. Kemi Alabi, Antonia Lassar, Mckendy Fils-Aimé, Omoizele Okoawo, and Melissa Newman-Evans will feature in a special one-hour show with a $5 cover, presenting some of their well-tested, brand-new, and one-time group work for the home crowd. Think about packing a few extra dollars (you don’t need clean laundry this week, do you?) to get the team’s chapbook, which will be released on this night as well!