National Poetry Month at the Cantab started with a bang last night, poetry fans! Or maybe we mean: a cannon boom, a wicked bass beat, and a couple of writing hands’ worth of cracking knuckles. Our open mic readers came prepared with really excellent work to celebrate the season, highlighted by Cameroon-via-D.C. poet and professional hugger Pages Matam, who dropped a short set on the open mic and shared his work from God Circus with an enthusiastic crowd.
Our feature, Khary Jackson, then took the stage for a complete and mind-blowing set: with a few songs accompanied by his own looped cello, and a few more powerful vocal solos, Khary showed off his musical, theater, and writing chops in a room hanging on his every word and note. Although he didn’t have his latest book with him to vend, you can purchase the brand-new Any Psalm You Want online at his publisher, Write Bloody.
Lastly, we had a rip-roaring six competitors for the slam, a full half of which just may have been from north of north of the border! In a statistically likely showdown, the last round came down to two rising Maine performers: Robin Merrill’s deadpan demeanor carried her all the way to the one-minute finals, but the intense (and intensely fashionable, yes, really) Ellyn Touchette took the victory and the ten dollars. What a hot night!
With spring in the air, of course, it’s only going to get hotter in our little basement. Don’t miss the show next week when our outgoing Team Selection Slam Champion and ultra-loveable cynic Ed Wilkinson takes the stage for a long-overdue feature. We’ll close the night with the penultimate slam in our 8×8 speed slam series…
And don’t forget, of course, about our first Thursdays reading, Moonlighting! Our April show features Jha-D Williams of the famous If You Can Feel It, You Can Speak It reading, kicking off at 7:00 p.m. at Fazenda Coffee Roasters in JP.