Tips from the Bar: Honesty Not Required

Write an employee recommendation for your parents.

Cantab Feature for October 10, 2012: Robyn Bateman and Meg Waldron

Meg Waldron and Robyn Bateman, two poets from Portland, Oregon, are touring the country with the sole intention of making you remember your freedom of laughter. Join them for a journey through human empowerment. Rediscover humility and honesty and your disgusting sense of humor at their double feature.

Portland, Oregon poet Meg Waldron.

Portland, Oregon poet Meg Waldron.

Meg Waldron is a writer, traveler, and YouTube enthusiast. She was a member of the 2011 Portland Poetry Slam team and competitor at the National Poetry Slam in Boston, Massachusetts. Meg’s poetry is described as sharp and honest, making crowds keel in laughter at how ridiculous our very serious lives can be. She is the author of a chapbook, Sex, Drugs, Tuck n’ Roll (2011), and has had her writing featured in many poetry collections across the country. Meg’s spirit animal is a baby deer with wings.

Robyn Bateman from Portland, Oregon shows off her performance chops.

Robyn Bateman from Portland, Oregon shows off her performance chops.

Robyn Bateman is a performance poet best described as a perverted, crass old man disguised in the body of a charming young woman. Robyn is the reigning City Champion of Portland, and was a finalist at the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam and a 2012 competitor at the Women of the World Poetry Slam. Robyn rallies audiences with her high energy, quirk-with-bravado performance style and her imaginative narratives on the simple beauty of what it is to be human. Robyn has two chapbooks and has been published in a number of poetry and fiction journals.

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 features perform at approximately 10:00. The Champion of Champions poetry slam in the current 8×8 series will follow. (There is no open poetry slam tonight.) The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

The Encyclopedia Show: Somerville — Monday, October 8, S1V2: THE MOON

Encyclopedia Show: Somerville -- S1V2: THE MOON

Columbus Day, Monday, October 8
The Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm St. in Somerville
7pm welcome party, 8pm-10pm show
all ages, $10/$7 sliding scale

click for Facebook event

The Boston Poetry Slam and Simone Beaubien present the next installment in a new monthly series!

The Encyclopedia Show Somerville is an event franchised from the original series founded in Chicago in 2008, wherein invited artists from a variety of performance disciplines present all-new, original works on sub-topics of a single theme. A recurring cast of hosts and characters welcomes the artists with open arms and minds, while the resident Fact Checker is charged with maintaining the integrity of the Encyclopedic Truth of the show.

Our theme for the October show will be THE MOON! Presenting all-original guest performances from:

  • Megan Thoma, Encyclopedia Show: Providence founder and Rhode Island teacher, will bring an educational poem about MOON SNAILS;
  • Meg Waldron and Robyn Bateman, on tour from Portland, Oregon, will perform a poem together about BLOOD MOON;
  • Selina Johnson of the Boston Youth Service Network poems some ideas about LUNAR ECLIPSE;
  • Matt D, Boston comedian, will consider VARIOUS AND SUNDRY COMEDIC TOPICS including those relating to The Moon;
  • Obehi Janice of Fufu and Oreos presents a theatrical piece on the ORIGIN OF THE MOON;
  • Jonathan Clark reads fiction about FIGURES SEEN IN THE MOON;
  • Betty Widerski, astronomer, uses an electric violin to explain TIDES;
  • Cal Folger Day musically interprets what it means to SHOOT THE MOON.
  • Additionally, our house band, The Michael J. Epstein Lunarial Spaceship, will present a highly edutaininal musical interlude about the LUNAR LANDER.

In addition to our invited artists, we encourage you to welcome the work of our recurring cast members:

  • Aimee Rose Ranger and Kevin Spak provide deft and earnest CO-HOSTING
  • The Michael J. Epstein Library offers MUSICAL SUPPORT
  • Food writer Chef Bro presents an educational treatise on the history of MOON PIES
  • And Intern Steve Subrizi pretty much just tries not to mess up the show.

Live Fact Checking is reluctantly provided by Jack van Sly from the Institute of Human Knowledge and Hygiene.


This show in our monthly Encylopedia Show: Somerville series takes place at the Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm St. in Somerville. Doors and the theatre bar open for a pre-show welcome party at 7:00. The show begins promptly at 8:00 and finishes at 10:00, including a short intermission. This is an all ages show! Admission is $10, or $7 for students, teachers, or guests in Prohibition-era dress.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, October 3

The house was packed wall to wall last night for a feature from long-time host, slammer, and voice of the Cantab Brian S. Ellis, kicking off with an exceptionally good open mic –perhaps planned to make Brian miss us when he returns to Portland? Brian brought us a great selection of new work, forthcoming in his next book, plus treated us to an old slam favorite as an encore. Our open poetry slam was a seven-poet affair with multiple first-timers taking the stage; at the end of the night, Meaghan Ford secured the final win in this 8×8 slam series, defeating Tim Hopkins for the $10 prize.

Next week: Portland, Oregon is in the house again, this time in the form of Robyn Bateman and Meg Waldron. Kick your inhibitions to the curb for a double-feature from these classy-crass ladies. We’ll finish up the night with the Champion of Champions slam in the 8×8 series, inviting back our last eight slam winners to fight it out, then take on reigning champ Zanne Langlois for the series crown!

By the way: if you can’t wait until Wednesday for your poetry fix, we have a super-easy solution for you… Our next Encyclopedia Show: Somerville will take place on Monday, October 8 at the Davis Square Theater. Doors open at 7:00 for an 8:00 variety show, featuring a fabulous selection of poetry, music, and theater arts on this month’s topic, THE MOON. The show is all ages and just $10, or $7 for teachers, students, or guests in Prohibition-Era dress. Check out our Facebook event for all the details. Hope to see you there!

Tips from the Bar: It Took So Long to Bake It

Rewrite a terrible pop song in your own voice.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, October 3, 2012: Brian S. Ellis

The long-lost Brian S. Ellis.

The long-lost Brian S. Ellis.

Brian S. Ellis is a transplant to Portland, Oregon from his beloved Boston, Massachusetts. He was a part of the Boston Poetry Slam for six years. He has published two books with Write Bloody: Uncontrolled Experiments in Freedom (2008) and Yesterday Won’t Goodbye (2010). He is a co-founder of the arts collective the Whitehaus Family Record.

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

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, September 26

It was a special night at the Cantab last night, as regulars and newcomers alike turned out in force for Mckendy Fils-Aimé‘s IWPS send-off feature. The open mic was an exceptional one, the kind that’s given us our reputation as the best in the country, with a short and fine spotlight from Richmond-via-NYC poet John Survivor Blake. Mckendy then took the stage for an extended feature slot, showing off all the work he’s been polishing (and some he’s been hiding in his pockets!) for the Individual World Poetry Slam next week in Fayetteville, Arkansas! There’s still time yet for you to grab a ticket or drive down to see the show, but if you aren’t able to get there in person, you can also follow along on the official tournament website to see how Mckendy and the rest of the field are faring.

Next week: Mckendy might be away, but Brian S. Ellis will be in town to play! Our much-missed regular is back for just a few shows in the Boston area, and we’re lucky to get him for a night. This show will sell out, so see our FAQ for tips on getting in to see the open mic and/or feature. We’ll close next week’s show with the last slam in our current 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: the April Ranger Prompt

Write a poem about a season in the voice of another season.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 26: Mckendy Fils-Aimé

Mckendy Fils-Aimé in a moment of levity.

Mckendy Fils-Aimé in a moment of levity.

It seems like every year in slam is Mckendy Fils-Aimé’s year! This Manchester, New Hampshire poet began his career on the home slam team in 2008, jumped to the Worcester Poets’ Asylum in 2009, came back to trounce his old teammates and achieve the Manchester team again in 2010, then competed for back-to-back Boston Poetry Slam teams in 2011 and 2012. Wait, there’s more: in January of this year, he was also selected to represent the Boston Poetry Slam at the 2012 Individual World Poetry Slam in Fayetteville, Arkansas! Yup, he’s kind of a big deal: you can read a little more about him on our IWPS rep page for him.

This well-loved poet has a cavalcade of local performance credits, publications, and slam wins, but even more importantly, he shows an amazing range of ability; equally able to lay down an intimidating slam performance and gain a foothold in literary publications, this every-day-more-complete poet will perform an extended set for the venue he will represent the following week in Fayetteville. Please note that we’ll be charging a special cover charge of $5 to help fundraise for McKendy’s travel and lodging at the international event.

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. There is no open poetry slam tonight. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5 tonight to help fundraise for McKendy’s trip to the Individual World Poetry Slam.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, September 19

It was an exceptionally fun night at the Cantab this week as we welcomed NYC/New Jersey poet Omar Holmon to the stage. Omar absolutely slayed the room with his set, showing off his emotional range from serious to sarcastic, but always returning to home base: screwball nerd comedy that had the room in stitches for the whole show, then leaping to their feat for a standing ovation. Excellent!

Not one to let a comedy-loving crowd slip by, host Kevin Spak took this opportunity to help us all celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day by hosting the slam in character (which definitely inspired this week’s Tip from the Bar). Five swashbucklers slammed off with Meghan Ford facing Bobby Crawford in the final round; despite a consistently strong showing from Meaghan, Bobby’s final poem clinched him the win and the big $10.

Next week: our feature will be our famed (and getting famed-er) Individual World Poetry Slam representative, Mckendy Fils-Aimé! There’s no open slam happening as Mckendy will have an extended set. Cover charge will be $5 to help send our poet to IWPS in Fayetteville, Arkansas to compete on October 4-6.