What a 2018 we are having so far, Cantabbers! Folks who made it out to the venue last night (hoo boy, there were lots of you) were treated to a rare feature from Northampton’s Jelal Huyler, a brilliantly engaging artist with an enviably deft hand at comedy, irony, hip-hop, and free metaphor, all wrapped in a welcoming call-and-response theme. Congratulations to the lucky folks who caught this memorable mid-winter headliner.
Of course, one catch-a-shooting-star event in a night isn’t enough for the Cantab, right? Last evening’s show was capped by the year’s opening Champion of Champions Slam, wherein four poets dared to step to RebeccaLynn, longtime bartender and nearly as longtime reigning champ. The season championship head-to-head featured a heads-up match between 2017 teammates Brandon Melendez and Myles Taylor, once in which the Emerson coach finally surpassed the Emerson slammer! (Enjoy that while you can, B…) Brandon earned the opportunity to advance to the Championship round, and after some dramatic dithering, Brandon did indeed challenge friend and tequila shot buddy RebeccaLynn for the title. Was it worth it? You tell us: by a score of 3-2 and with good sports all around, Brandon Melendez is our newly minted Champion of Champions. Congratulations to Brandon, and a warm round of applause to our departing champ and continuing bartender RebeccaLynn.
Next week: yes, we can follow that show! January 17 will welcome Write Bloody chapbook contest winner Nancy Huang to the stage, and the open poetry slam will be the absolute Last Chance event to qualify one more poet for the 2018 Team Selection Slams.