Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 21, 2019: Zeke Russell and an Open Poetry Slam

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

Zeke Russell is not your real uncle, but you can call him that. He grew up in Central Maine. In his thirties he found himself in Lowell, Mass., where he fell asleep at a coffee shop and woke up to a poetry slam happening right there in front of him. He fell in love with slam and started writing again. He first entered the Cantab in 2009 and never left the darkest corner of the bar.

Zeke is a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team. He was previously a member of the 2016 and 2017 teams, and represented the venue at IWPS in 2017. His work can be found in Maps For Teeth, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, and Wyvern Lit. He lives in Somerville, Mass. and is clean and sober.

An open poetry slam is scheduled for the late-night portion of this show, following the feature. The slam will be speed slam format: eight open sign-ups will be available starting at door time, and poets will slam head-to-head in up to three rounds with time limits of 3, 2, and 1 minute. Winner and runner-up qualify for the 2020 Team Selection series. To volunteer to judge in exchange for free admission to the show, or to ask questions about the slam, email the slam curator at

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 at approximately 10:00, with an open poetry slam to follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.