Cantab Recap for Wednesday, August 15 PLUS the National Poetry Slam

Poets! It has been a very busy week. First off, huge ups to jayy dodd for holding down a stellar feature while the National Poetry Slam raged on a thousand miles away. Jayy’s intensely relevant, intensely tender, and intensely talented voice filled the corners of our room, hearts, and consciences. Looking for more? Check out jayy’s online store for a whole lot more poems, essays, and updates on their forthcoming book, The Black Condition ft. Narcissus. Our open slam featured some hot-take-up-and-coming new competitors, with Acapellame taking the win and the big $10 over Jim.

Meanwhile, out at the National Poetry Slam in Chicago: this year’s fabulous fivesome (that’s Neiel Israel, John Pinkham, Meaghan Ford, Allison Truj, and Sara Mae) pulled through The Toughest Bout in prelims to ride a hot streak all the way to semi-finals! Congratulations to the team, who finishes with a rank of top 20 in the nation, not to mention a well-deserved reputation for NUANCE. (Extra thanks, by the way, to anyone involved in the team’s pump-up phone call on Wednesday night that preceded their top ranking in that bout. You know who you are, and we know you are awesome.)

And, with Nationals in the rearview, some of you may have heard of some nationwide slam shake-up. Change is good stuff, folks, but we can also assure you that our weekly open mic and upcoming features will remain unaffected! Slammers invested in the competitive 8×8 series can look forward to a heckuva slam reboot in coming weeks, but here’s a hint; start flexing your poetry-promptable brains to get ready for new themes, formats, and primetime showcase opportunities coming up for the rest of 2018. (And if you’ve got an idea for a slam you wanna see/get down in? You should definitely email the SlamMaster and get talking about how we can serve our audience and artists with fresh ideas for this evolving form.)

Next week: it is time, at long last, to welcome Charlotte Abotsi to our feature stage! This deeply talented and artistically thrilling human comes to us from the Providence slam scene to educate by brilliant and riveting example. Oh, and get this: the night will finish with a Very Important ™ Champion of Champions Poetry Slam! Returning NPS competitor Brandon Melendez will take on the top contender of the last eight slam winners in an all-new-poem final round, and we definitely don’t think you should miss this one.