Cantab feature for Wednesday, April 10: Artie Moffa

Artie Moffa performing at the NorthBEAST Regional. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Artie Moffa performing at the NorthBEAST Regional. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Artie Moffa never sought out a publishing deal, but somehow his limericks have been sold at tastemaking poetry boutiques such as Wal-Mart, Target, and the Apple Store. He never wanted to be an “activist” poet, but somehow his economic manifesto spent three weeks on YouTube’s top 100 and was the first performance piece to be panned by the vaunted literary critics of Consumer Reports. He started a company to publish more light verse, formalism, and comic strips…and his most successful releases have been Sam Teitel and Carrie Rudzinski. He has never competed at NPS or IWPS, yet here he is featuring at the Boston Poetry Slam during National Poetry month, of all things. Most of Artie’s successes in poetry have been unplanned, but when you see him perform on stage, you’ll realize that every line, word, or syllable of his poems is exactly where he wanted it to be.

In addition to his feature, Artie will also present an early-bird workshop at the Cantab before doors open for the show.

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.

Workshop for Wednesday, April 10: “Your Heartbeat Has Been Telling You For Years” with Artie Moffa

Artie Moffa, workshop leader.

Artie Moffa, workshop leader.

Join Artie Moffa, the night’s scheduled feature, for an early-bird workshop at the Cantab Lounge before the show. Artie will be offering a workshop called “Your Heartbeat Has Been Telling You For Years.” From the workshop leader:

“Sonnets have rhyme schemes, dramatic turns, stanzas, …but they DON’T have to have convoluted speech patterns. The false idea that sonnets sound ‘weird’ can dissuade people from trying them. But the real heart of a sonnet is no more exotic than your own pulse: ba-Dum, ba-Dum, ba-Dum, ba-Dum, ba-Dum. Master that simple rhythm and everything else falls into place. Miss it and the tightest rhymes you’ve got won’t save you. Learn to spot iambic pentameter in everyday speech, and then learn how to write genuine sonnets using conversational English, all from the guy who once hosted an entire Cantab open slam speaking only in iambic pentameter, without anyone noticing.”

Doors open at 5:30 for workshop participants only: the workshop runs from 6:00 to 7:00. Cover charge is $5, which includes admission to the evening show. The venue is 18+ and a photo ID is required.

Moonlighting recap for Thursday, April 4

The grand opening of Moonlighting was a huge success! An excited crowd packed the house at our new JP venue, Fazenda Coffee Roasters. The open mic hosted by Sean Patrick Mulroy and Michael Monroe was filled with bold new voices (in addition to some of our favorite familiar faces), and the room felt raw and intimate. Many in attendance expressed their excitement at having a poetry event dedicated to the queer community.

After the open mic and a bevy of lattes, we were wowed by a feature from the Bay area’s Denise Jolly, whose lyrical, wrenching, and raunchy work addressed many of the questions of identity and sex-positive messages explored during the open mic. We’re so excited to see the warmth and energy of our first JP event and hope the reading will flourish! The next Moonlighting event will occur on May 2nd at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Sean Patrick Mulroy.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, April 3

It was a tight night at the Cantab this past Wednesday, folks, as we tried to squeeze in all the poets we had planned! Our thanks go to the Cambridge Arts Council for providing our feature, the finalists for the Poet Populist Program: those were Tom Yuill and Lo Galluccio, who read head-to-head in the final public reading to help decide the post. Cambridge residents can vote here for the poet they’d like to represent the city for the next two years! Our feature slot was closed out by outgoing Poet Populist Toni Bee, who has served two solid years for the city and will be moving on to her next big thing. Then a quick speed slam, hosted by 2013 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Sean Patrick Mulroy, came down to Chloé Cunha and Simone Beaubien in the final round. Simone took the top score with her one-minute poem and went home with the big ten-dollar prize.

Next week: National Poetry Month continues! Artie Moffa will work extra-hard for us on Wednesday with both an early-bird workshop ($5, doors at 5:30 for a 6-7 show) and then a full feature set. We’ll also have the final slam in our 8×8 speed slam series as we gear up to select our 2013 Individual World Poetry Slam representative!

Tips from the Bar: the Christopher Clauss Prompt

Does it seem like there’s a German word for everything? Adam couldn’t find one for “the offensive houseguest,” so he invites you to do so in a poem.

Moonlighting Feature for Thursday, April 4, 2013: Denise Jolly

Denise Jolly, debut feature at Moonlighting: a queer open mic and reading series presented by the Boston Poetry Slam.

Denise Jolly, debut feature at Moonlighting: a queer open mic and reading series presented by the Boston Poetry Slam.

THE DEBUT OF OUR LGBTQ MONTHLY SERIES, MOONLIGHTING! Click here for more information about Moonlighting, or join our Facebook event.

Denise Jolly is a member of Salt Lines Spoken Word Collective, has served as Executive Director of Seattle Youth Speaks, co-host and facilitator of the Seattle Poetry Slam, Poetry Curator for The Round (a live multidisciplinary collaborative arts show), Eleventh Hour Productions Board of Directors and Vice President of Stronghold Productions. She was the 2009 San Francisco Grand Slam Champion and member of the 2009 San Francisco Slam team who ranked third in the nation. She has performed, taught, and/or collaborated in venues as large as Coachella and as small as Cook County Detention Center, Cleveland High School, and Seattle Youth Speaks writing circle. She likes doing great things with amazing people and being moved by art, community and how the two work together.

This show in our monthly Thursday LGBTQ series takes place at Fazenda Coffee Roasters, 3710 Washington St. in the Jamaica Plain area of Boston. An open mic begins at approximately 7:00 p.m. and the headliner follows the open mic. The show is all-ages and a $3 donation is requested.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, April 3: Cambridge Poet Populist Reading

Seal for the Poet Populist of Cambridge.

Seal for the Poet Populist of Cambridge.

Some cities have an appointed Poet Laureate. But the People’s Republic of Cambridge, naturally, has a Poet Populist: that’s a poet nominated and elected by the people of the city. We are honored to host the final public reading for the Cambridge Arts Council’s Poet Populist nominees!

We’ll hear short sets from the two qualified nominees for the post: Tom Yuill and Lo Gallucio! Our very own nominee (too bad she doesn’t have a year of residency in Cambridge yet), Jade Sylvan, will host the show. Jade will also conduct an early-bird writing workshop before doors open (6pm sharp, $5 cover): You’ll Laugh! You’ll Cry! The Art of Funny-Sad.

To accommodate the program, our schedule tonight will be a little different from usual: the multi-poet feature will start at 9:30 p.m. and, thanks to the Cambridge Arts Council, our usual $3 cover will be just a suggested donation.

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 9:30. An open speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Workshop for Wednesday, April 3: “The Art of Funny-Sad” with Jade Sylvan

Jade Sylvan, workshop leader for April 3, 2013.

Jade Sylvan, workshop leader for April 3, 2013.

Join Jade Sylvan, the night’s special guest host, for an early-bird workshop at the Cantab Lounge before the show. Jade will be offering a workshop called “You’ll Laugh! You’ll Cry! The Art of Funny-Sad.” From the workshop leader:

“William Blake wrote, ‘Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps.’ In this workshop, we’ll look at the fine line between funny and sad and explore how and when to cross it, blur it, balance on it, and snap it in two.”

Doors open at 5:30 for workshop participants only: the workshop runs from 6:00 to 7:00. Cover charge is $5, which includes admission to the evening show. The venue is 18+ and a photo ID is required.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, March 27

Listen: we were not surprised at all at how good Cam Awkward-Rich‘s feature was. Nope, not even a little… But we were straight-up blown away by the quality of his work. He and last week’s feature Sam Sax are headed back to the west coast after this week, but they’ll leave us with lots of great memories… Not to mention dozens of copies of The Gay Pride Poetry Book. The slam last night was a really hot one, with poets bringing a combination of super-polished and totally raw work, all looking to connect with the audience. The final match-up came down to CUPSI-bound Emerson student Alison Truj vs. venue regular and up-and-comer Dave McKenna: Dave’s stretched the one-minute poem to the absolute edges of the time limit and profited ten dollars and the big win. What a stellar night!

But wait, there’s more! We’re back next Wednesday, as usual, with not one, but TWO events. We’ll start the night promptly at 6:00 (doors at 5:30) with an early-bird writing workshop with 2013 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Jade Sylvan: The Art of Funny-Sad. Folks arriving at our usual doortime will get our usual open mic, plus a double-feature from Cambridge Arts Council Poet Populist Candidates Lo Gallucio and Tom Yuill. We’ll close the night with an open speed slam. Happy National Poetry Month, everyone!

Tips from the Bar: the Adam Stone prompt

We didn’t write down Adam’s actual prompt for this week, so here’s one that he reminded us of instead: write a poem about your ex-boyfriend (alternatively, make it about one you never had). If possible, use a quotidian yet highly complex metaphor.