Cantab Recap for Wednesday, January 30

It was another packed house downstairs for Miles Walser, CUPSI- and Write-Bloody-poet extraordinare. Miles brought a set that showed off his great range, from powerful slam voice to nuanced short work. His book is forthcoming in April, so keep an eye on the website for details! Our slam was packed as well and super-fun, with first-time slammers and returnees battling for the favor of some especially difficult-to-please judges. At the end of the night, Zeke Russell took home the ten bucks, edging out Melissa Newman-Evans in the final one-minute round.

Next Wednesday: bring an extra couple of bucks for a $5 cover charge, because it’s Team Selection Semi-Finals! Thirteen poets (that’s right, due to a tie, we have a bonus plus-one) will perform two poems each in the hope of surviving to the Finals in mid-March. It’s the shortest and most unusual night of the series –competing poets often pick their quirkiest poems to spend at this second night of three– so you won’t want to miss out. Click the link above to see who’s performing, as well as the order for the first round, so you can arrive in time to catch your favorite performer. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: I’ll Come Back as a Hawk

On reincarnation: what (or who) would you come back as?

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, January 30: Miles Walser

Minneapolis poet Miles Walser.

Minneapolis poet Miles Walser.

Miles Walser is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Individualized Studies in English, Social Justice, and Youth Studies. In 2010 he represented the U of M at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) where his team placed 3rd in the nation and he was named Best Male Poet. He has also represented Minneapolis, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin at the National Poetry Slam and appeared in Group Piece Finals. In 2012 he won the award for Best Poem by a Male Poet at the Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam Invitational. His work has appeared in literary journals The Legendary, Used Furniture Review, and The Bakery as well as the audio podcast IndieFeed. His first collection of poetry, What the Night Demands, will be released on Write Bloody Press in April 2013.

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. An open speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

A Farewell to a Cantab Favorite: Jack McCarthy

As many of you know by now, nationwide-beloved poet, performer, and storyteller Jack McCarthy passed away on Thursday, January 17. Jack was a member of the 1996 Boston Poetry Slam Team and a weekly fixture of the Cantab’s open mic for almost twenty years before relocating to the pacific northwest.

Jack McCarthy performs at the Cantab on June 15, 2011. Photo by Richard Beaubien.

Jack McCarthy performs at the Cantab on June 15, 2011. Photo by Richard Beaubien.

Friends and fans are invited to mourn Jack’s passing and celebrate his life and work at bi-coastal memorial services. Please click here for more information on the Boston-area events RESCHEDULED for SUNDAY, February 10, 2013.

If you didn’t know Jack or get a chance to hear him while he was with us, you can become acquainted with his work (text, audio, and video: just scroll down) at standupoet.net. A number of comprehensive obituaries are also available there.

The Boston Poetry Slam extends condolences and love to Jack’s family, friends, and his vast and far-flung network of poetry fans and fellow writers. We are proud to count ourselves among them, and to be just one part of how Jack’s voice will live on.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, January 23

Cold? You think it’s cold outside? Well, last week’s feature, Beau Williams, started his poetry career in Manchester and has since moved to the even-more-frozen even-more-north, Portland, Maine… What we’re trying to say is that the man knows how to warm a heart, and did a fabulous job of it that past Wednesday. Those who stayed late enough to keep warming the last stools at the bar also got to see a special treat: our speed slam was won by Seattle’s not-too-cool-for-us Mary Lambert, who defeated Bobby Crawford in the final round of a wildly fun speed slam. (Also of note: Mary’s touring partner, Rose McAleese, took a graceful defeat to Mary in the second round of the slam. Thanks for slamming so far from home, ladies!)

Next Wednesday: we’re back with the roasting-hot slam work of Miles Walser, Minneapolis and Write Bloody poet touring far from home! We’ll also continue our speed slams (that’s 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds) with the third in the series.

Tips from the Bar: the Artie Moffa Prompt

In honor of one-time doorman Artie’s upcoming visit to the venue, the bar offers the following prompt: for writers of free verse: attempt a form poem of any kind. For formalists: try your hand at free verse!

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, January 23: Beau Williams

Nationally touring New Hampshire performance poet Beau Williams. Photo credit to Hannah Cohen.

Nationally touring New Hampshire performance poet Beau Williams. Photo credit to Hannah Cohen.

Beau Williams is a proud member of the NorthBEAST poetry scene and a three time member of the nationally competing Slam Free or Die slam team (2010, 2011, 2012). He had toured solo and with the poetry collective Uncomfortable Laughter alongside Wil Gibson, Ryan Mclellan, and Kait Rokowski. Now he performs across the country with Wil and Ryan as the group, GUYSLIKEYOU. Beau is a co-creator of the successful Zion Hill Poetry Reading in Newmarket, NH at the Stone Church performance venue.

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. An open speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, January 16

Is it the mild weather? The return of the National Poetry Slam? Or perhaps the remarkable bar ambiance at the Cantab? …No, we’re pretty sure it’s still the open mic and feature that keeps selling out our Wednesday night show, and this past week was no exception. Bay-Area-gone-Canadian performance poet Lucia Misch put together a sensitive, sweet, and super-fun feature for us last night, making all our booking work worthwhile once again. The first speed slam was won by Nathan Comstock, who overcame a tough tie in the first round to go on to defeat Kieran Collier in the final one-minute head-to-head. Excellent!

Next week, we’ll return with our usual open mic and New Hampshire reader Beau Williams, once of the nicest guys in slam and a damn fine writer to boot. To close the night, we’ll continue our speed slam series: that’s 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds in an open poetry slam.

Tips from the Bar: Spooner It Ain’t

Use the following concept as you see fit: feeding the hand that bites.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, January 16: Lucia Misch

Lucia Misch, top Canadian performance poet.

Lucia Misch, top Canadian performance poet.

Lucia Misch grew up at an astronomical observatory near San Jose, California, began writing and performing at fifteen, and moved to Canada three years later. She placed second at the 2011 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam, was a member of the 2010/11 Vancouver Slam Team, a two-time South Bay Youth Slam champion, co-founder of the University of British Columbia poetry slam, and the winner of the 2010 Vancouver Labour Slam. She can fix your bicycle, make you a mean leek and potato soup, or let you borrow her staple gun, all for the small price of a story about dinosaurs. She believes in the Oxford comma and currently lives in Montreal.

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. An open speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.