Did you feel it, folks? It was the first night that the Cantab Lounge had to turn on the heat in the basement this year, and once that stage got warm, the night never let up. A sweet selection of promising newcomers and promise-keeping regulars graced the open mic, and nearly everyone kept their seat for the much anticipated feature from 2016 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell. Zeke brought listeners on a journey from the cold hills of northern Maine through the defunct pubs of Lowell, stopping off for moments of tenderness along the way. If you missed the trip, check in with Zeke for a copy of his new chapbook, Some of Them Are Still People.
After the feature, we opened the new 8×8 slam series with the first slam of eight: a truly all-star, nationally-renowned roster took the stage for one of the most competitive opens we’ve seen all year. A fierce two rounds brought the show down to the night’s top competitors, Brandon Melendez and Meaghan Ford. These two poets went neck-and-neck in the final round, forcing a tiebreaker for the ten-dollar prize! Ultimately, Brandon emerged victorious, earning a trip to the 2017 Team Selection Slams and, of course, the cash.
Next week: yes, there’ll be another open slam, plus another long-awaited feature from the excellent Joshua Elbaum.