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Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 26

It’s finally summer, Cantabbers! And you know what that means: tons of cool slams scheduled for your edification, entertainment, and, of course, pre-enthusing about the National Poetry Slam that’s just weeks away.

Last night’s 4×4 team slam was just a little taste of what you can expect in coming months: four teams brought rock-solid work to the Cantab stage for a shot at local bragging rights. Included were Manchester, New Hampshire’s Slam Free or Die (who brought a few familiar faces from the Boston Poetry Slam Team Selection series this year), the rookies from Portland, Maine’s Rhythmic Cypher (anyone recognize some of the competitors, including the runner-up, from last week’s open slam?), the plucky upstarts from the Mill City Slam in Lowell (you can call them Cantab North if you want to, but this team is building a voice all their own), and, naturally, your own hometown heroes (check the right sidebar for the team’s fancy new pictures, taken by Marshall Goff). HOT DIGGITY DAWG!

After the dust, group pieces, and oohs and aahs cleared, the top team standing was the one who traveled furthest: congratulations to the Rhythmic Cypher team, who won with a 107.0, and who’ll be a first-time venue competing at NPS 2013! Second place was a crowded podium, shared by both the Slam Free or Die and home team, who both scored a total of 106.6. Mill City’s 103.8 might look like a distant fourth in comparison, but check it: these guys did three brand-new group pieces last night in their four rounds, blowing away every other team in the bout and blowing up the room with the launch of their first piece, a (somewhat familiar?) public service announcement that had the whole audience alternately looking under and falling out of their chairs.

Special thanks also to Nick Fox, our superfine host (who even withstood Dawn Gabriel‘s terrible open mic jokes, yowza), as well as Dawn and April Ranger for bout managing and judge wrangling. Flawless scorekeeping, as usual, was handled by Jamei Bauer.

Next week! We are back with newly minted MFA grad Krysten Hill, who has at least a few surprises up her sleeve for her feature. We’ll also continue with the seventh open slam in the current 8×8 series. See you there!