Happy Black History Month, Cantabbers! We were exceptionally proud to kick off our month with a workshop and feature from touchstone poetic voice Hanif Abdurraqib. Hanif put many of hours of work into our gritty little venue, starting with an inspirational generational workshop, taking a short interlude to read outside the venue to folks who arrived after the space sold out(!), and closing with an extended and exceptionally beautiful feature set. Our deepest gratitude to Hanif, and also to the many poets who contributed their dollars, space-making skills, and positive energy to the artist to help make this one of the most memorable feature nights in Cantab history.
The Boston Poetry Slam would especially like to highlight the effort of poet and bartender RebeccaLynn, who provided the inspiration and impetus for this workshop, as well as working hard as a communicator and point person to welcome as many folks of color as possible to the Cantab on this first Wednesday in February. This event could not have been possible without the time she volunteered to make it happen. (Just so you know, you can check out RebeccaLynn’s poet page to book her for paid gigs during any month of the year.)
But, okay, enough about us: after last night’s feature, by the way, we kicked off our first speed slam in the 8×8 series. The first round brought us a tough reminder that, yes, we need Black History Month every day; thanks to our poets, audience, and judges for staying strong through a souring moment. Triumphantly, the final one-minute round came down to Evan Cutts vs. RebeccaLynn, where Evan’s haikus ultimately bowed to RebeccaLynn’s necessary rejoinder, earning her the ten-dollar prize and the first shot at taking down newly minted Champion of Champions Brandon Melendez.
Oh, and guess what: we’re back with more of the best of the best next week! First, you will want to gird your loins (or, like, whatever), for the Boston Poetry Slam’s first ever NO ROMANCE open mic: there’s gonna be a whole world of February 14 outside the basement doors, so feel free to NOT bring your pink candy hearts, your showy marriage proposals, or your poems about conventional monogamous heteronormative romance… Instead, bring a political rant or a love poem to your favorite socks and read it in front of much-anticipated feature Ariana Brown, the Black Mexican American poet from San Antonio who was our most requested feature for 2018.