Radio Recap for Monday, June 11

Erich Hagan gets into persona while featuring at New and Improved.

Erich Hagan gets into persona while featuring at New and Improved. Photo by Melissa Newman-Evans.

We had an intensely good time at New and Improved last night with Erich Haygun and Steve Subrizi, folks. First, the ineffable Erich set up a sweet performance workshop using the super space at Radio; yes, those cushy red curtains can indeed be used to create a tiny performance womb around the stage. Thanks to Erich for leading our first-ever performance workshop in the space!

Host Jamei Bauer performs on the open mic at New and Improved. Photo by Melissa Newman-Evans.

Host Jamei Bauer performs on the open mic at New and Improved. Photo by Melissa Newman-Evans.

After the workshop, our poets emerged ready to perform on a jam-packed open mic. Hosts Michael Monroe and Jamei Bauer instituted a friendly but firm no-apologies rule for our artists, prompting poets to cut to the chase and really stand up behind their work! Jamei closed out the night with a Magnetic Fields cover, reminding the crowd that, yes, our open mic is open to more than one genre of artist.

Erich Haygun started his feature with a bang, breaking through the fourth wall immediately to kill the stage lights and work the darkened room! After messing with our expectations, Erich settled back into his feature, running a few more pieces from his Cantab set on Wednesday, but also sharing some totally new-to-us work. Our musical guest thereafter was the ineffable Steve Subrizi, who performed a flawless set that ranged seamlessly from ballad to blues to punk, and featured appearances by the talented Kirsten Opstad and Sam Teitel.

Steve Subrizi, musical feature, rocks the house at New and Improved.

Steve Subrizi, musical feature, rocks the house at New and Improved. Photo by Melissa Newman-Evans.

All that and drinks, too? You got it: the bar at Radio has a fabulous selection of cocktails… And they also take credit cards, which is a nice switch. You should think about swinging by next Monday, when we’ll feature poet Claudia Wilson and playwright Antonia Lassar! Antonia will be running the evening’s workshop about performance (pre-prepared poems welcome, but not required), and her feature will be a shortened version of her one-woman play, The God Box– there is a rumor that cheesecake might be involved. Claudia will be featuring for the first time at a Boston Poetry Show, and we are very excited to share this Columbus poet with the crowd.

If you’ve been waiting for the right night to come to New and Improved, this could be your big chance! Now that we’ve added a fancy new directions page, you can’t even pretend you don’t know where Union Square is… See you Monday, folks!

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 6

Summer is coming, folks, and so are our summer readers: last night’s Cantab show featured a packed house, tons of strong new readers, and, of course, a feature from Erich Haygun. Erich rocked the house with a great selection of work, even offering a pseudo-appearance by the much-missed Brian S. Ellis. The slam was a wild one, rife with time penalties and some very direct judges… At the end of the night, Marshall Gillson rose to the top, just defeating Eddy Martinez in the final round.

Burning to see more slam? No problem! We’ve got a HUGE show next week: it’ll be our first NorthBEAST Summer Regional of the year. That means our home team will be competing against other Nationals-bound teams from Portland, Providence, and New York City! Heads-up: our cover charge is $5 this coming Wednesday in order to help raise funds to send our team to the National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tips from the Bar: Make Your Own Time Dilation

Write a poem where the events occur at the wrong speed.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 6, 2012: Erich Haygun

Erich Hagan performs on the Cantab open mic. Photo by Hannah Cohen.

Erich Haygun performs on the Cantab open mic. Photo by Hannah Cohen.

Recently transplanted to the west coast of Canada, Erich Haygun was a fixture of the the venue’s open mic and slam for years, representing the venue at the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2008 and shaking the hand of many a first-timer at the door. Erich will bring us a full set of work informed by his latest travels.

For more information about Erich, see his bio page on our homepage here.

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

Radio Recap for Monday, June 4

After three days of rain, it was pretty sweet to get out of the house and listen to a little poetry… And, as luck would have it, a little sultry rock and roll. Poetry came in the form of Jade Sylvan, who led a light-hearted and thought-provoking workshop on writing formal poetry that spilled over into our open mic; Jade’s feature was a complex romp through some of her (and our) favorite themes, and a fitting farewell before she leaves us for the summer.

Wait, but what about the rock and roll? Well, that came from the fabulous Ruby Rose Fox, making a special solo appearance as our debut musical feature. Ruby’s summer-strong voice and complex lyrical combinations gave all our writers and performers something new to think about. We look forward to Ruby’s CD release party next month!

We are so excited to be returning to this lovely little bar week after week: if you come to Radio next Monday, you’ll get another cross-genre treat as we present poet Erich Haygun and songwriter (yes, and poet, too) Steve Subrizi. Erich will lead a low-pressure performance workshop to kick off the night, then double feature with Steve… And Steve has hinted at an additional musical guest on the mic that night, so we hope you’ll join us for some whiskey and surprises.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 30

Oh, Cantabbers, your heads must be pounding. Relax, it’s not a hangover: it’s all last night’s “poetry” fighting with everything else you’ve ever enjoyed. For those who missed it… We spent a remarkable evening last night glorifying the worst poetry bartender Adam Stone could find with the biggest performances we could muster for the Boston Poetry Slam’s first ever Box of Doom.

Some notable crowd favorites included April Ranger’s incredibly dramatic version of “Sunglasses at Night”, Justin Sweetheart’s rendition of “MacArthur Park” (sorry, Donna Summer), and the night’s runner-up “winner,” the duet of Sue Savoy and Nathan Comstock covering “My Humps.” Some other fascinating unknown work also rose to the top, though, and our final winner was Antonia Lassar, who put on her best Long Island granny accent to mourn a long-dead-Irishman, as written by we-don’t-want-to-know. Congrats on your big $5 win, Antonia!

Next week: we’re back to good poetry folks (thank goodness), with Erich Haygun returning from Vancouver for a visit and a feature. We’ll also close the night with an open poetry slam in the 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: the Michael Fitzgerald Prompt

In honor of our survival of the Box of Doom slam, we entreat you to write a poem that doesn’t suck. (Hey, if Nora can write a good one about roadkill, we know you can.)

Cantab Feature for May 30, 2012: Box of Doom Poetry Slam

Worcester SlamMaster Emeritus Bill MacMillan emotes during the 2011 National Poetry Slam's Box of Doom. Photo by Richard Beaubien.

Worcester SlamMaster Emeritus Bill MacMillan emotes during the 2011 National Poetry Slam's Box of Doom. Bill is reading "The Tay Bridge Disaster," by William McGonagall. Photo by Richard Beaubien.

It’s the Box of Doom slam with bartender Adam Stone! After the success of this event at the National Poetry Slam (as well as at the Worcester Poets’ Asylum‘s annual Anti-Slam), we’ve asked Adam to produce another iteration of this super-fun event to kick off our summer.

Have you been wondering about the charming perfume that’s given the Cantab basement such atmosphere for the last nineteen years? You can blame our twisted bartender. Deep in the bowels (sorry) of the men’s room, Adam has concealed a concentrated package (ugh, sorry again) of the most obnoxiously odoriferous poems he could find: the Box of Doom.

Now the time has come to open the Box! Poets will draw “poems” at random from a trash can and have just three minutes to perform the piece of… art. Examples of the fine literature within may include pathetically unmetered sonnets about dead gerbils, diary entries from fourteen-year-old future slam poets, and excerpts of Kevin Smith’s Gigli. The slam will be judged by the audience and the winner will receive spectacular prizes, such as never having to perform said poem again.

Box of Doom Poetry Slam. Logo by Gary Hoare.

Box of Doom Poetry Slam. Logo by Gary Hoare.

Sign-ups will be available at the door on the night of the show. Interested parties may also e-mail Adam directly to get on the list of wanna-be performers. Sign up early as slots will fill up quickly! (It’s like a graveyard that way.)

Box of Doom t-shirts are now available! The fabulous logo was designed by Gary Hoare and is available in a variety of colors in men’s and women’s cuts. We’re selling them just a few dollars above cost and the proceeds will go to the Boston Poetry Slam. Neat!

Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the Box of Doom slam begins at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Radio Recap for Monday, May 28

Whoa, happy Memorial Day, everyone! Our reading blew up just a little for the holiday… Or was it the fabulous double-bill of Omoizele Okoawo and James Caroline? Jme ran a super-popular workshop for a great group of open-hearted folks to open the night. Thanks to everyone who came to write and share! Our open mic was hosted by power-due Melissa Newman-Evans and Michael Monroe, and then our features took the stage. Oz shared a new and interesting selection of work, keeping all his slam standards under wraps in order to let his latest writing shine –especially some retelling of his favorite myths. Then James Caroline brought us a whole range of the sexy, sensual, and snarky in a hot-hot ending to a nearly-summer night!

Next week, on June 4: we’re proud to welcome our first musical feature to Radio! Come hang at 397 Somerville Ave., Union Square in Somerville, to see Jade Sylvan and Ruby Rose Fox! Jade will start the night with a 7pm workshop on formal poetry. Our open mic will begin at 8pm, and Jade performs her poetry at 9pm… Followed by Ruby Rose Fox’s old-fashioned sultry rock ‘n’ roll. Come enjoy the show and get inspired!

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 23

Last night’s packed house was treated to an incredibly strong feature from long-time Cantabber Tom Slavin. Tom came to the stage holding nothing but a glass of water and his heart in his hand, and new and old listeners alike were wowed by his polished, sincere performance and striking turns of language and story. It was a beautiful night to honor both the history and future of the Cantab, and the 2012 Boston Poetry Slam Team would especially like to thank Tom for donating all proceeds from his feature (including his CD sales) to the team’s travel to the National Poetry Slam.

Our open slam was won by Melissa Newman-Evans, who got a good run for her money from a surprisingly strong mid-spring field of competitors… Including finalist Marshall Gillson, an Atlanta slammer who’ll be spending his summer in Boston with us. Welcome (and welcome back) to all the folks who’ll be enjoying the warm months with us this year!

Next week, the Boston Poetry Slam will cut loose with bartender Adam Stone hosting the Box of Doom Poetry Slam, one of the best ways we could think of to celebrate the end of the academic year. Poets may sign up at the door to present the worst poetry on the face of the earth, combined with the most over-the-top, singin’est, dancin’est, biggest-est performance they can muster! Expect a rowdy audience and a rollicking good time at this over-the-top event, which we’ve commemorated with a special t-shirt design (yup, in men’s and women’s cuts) by Gary Hoare.