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Cantab Feature for Wednesday, October 4, 2017: World Qualifier Champion Zeke Russell and Sara Mae Spotlight

Zeke Russell performs at a prelim bout at NPS 2016. Photo by Christopher Clauss.

Zeke Russell performs at a prelim bout at NPS 2016. Photo by Christopher Clauss.

Zeke Russell grew up in Central Maine surrounded by artists and lumberjacks. Since then he’s been a cook, a teacher, a security guard and a social worker. In 2008, while living in Lowell, Mass., he rediscovered poetry through the performance zine OutLet. This led him to the Mill City Slam, and thence to the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge. He moved to Boston in 2011, and his work has since appeared in Drunk In a Midnight Choir, Wyvern Lit, Maps For Teeth and Printer’s Devil Review, and on the stages of the 2011, 2016, and 2017 National Poetry Slams. He now frequently serves as host for the open poetry slam at the end of the Boston Poetry Slam show.

This spring, Zeke was the top scorer in the Boston Poetry Team Selection Slams, cementing his spot at the top of the 2017 BPS team. He then went on to take top honors in the two-night, six-poem World Qualifier series to earn himself a chance to represent the Boston Poetry Slam at the 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam in Spokane, Washington. Tonight will be a final fundraising push to send Zeke to the tournament in the Pacific Northwest; it’s a $5 cover charge to see his special extended set with no poetry slam tonight.

But wait… That’s not all! We’ll also present a spotlight feature from a fellow IWPS-bound NorthBEAST poet.

Sara Mae, Slam Free or Die's 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam representative. Photo by CJ West.

Sara Mae, Slam Free or Die’s 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam representative. Photo by CJ West.

Sara Mae is a Baltimore-born, Boston-based slam poet. By day she is a coffee-slinger and student, and by night a performer who will stand behind any microphone able to project her profound angst. She is the 2017 Individual World Poetry Slam representative for Slam Free or Die of Manchester, N.H., and a head organizer for the Feminine Empowerment Slam Movement (FEMS) organization. She believes in the magic of blue bicycles and orange lipstick. She hopes you think her bangs are not too long.

Sara Mae’s chapbook, I Want to Steal Your Nightlight So It’s Easier to Sleep Alone, will be available for purchase at the show. Proceeds will help the poet travel to Spokane, Wash. for IWPS the next week.

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the feature performs an extended set at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5.