Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 20

It’s finally summer, Cantab! It was just shy of one million degrees outside last night, so Lauren Zuniga was a breath of fresh air from the middle of the country. She performed a great selection of work for us and also shared her new Write Bloody book (if you missed your chance to pick up a copy, you can get it here)! Our slam was lady-heavy in honor of Lauren’s visit, apparently: the final round was newcomer Anna Gallagher with the win over Nora Meiners.

Next Wednesday: we’re back with Danez Smith, who’s making this his one New England stop before crossing the pond for some European gigs. Lucky us! We’ll also hold the seventh open slam in our current 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: the Dawn Gabriel Prompt

Write a poem in the form of a voicemail message.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Lauren Zuniga

2012 WOWPS Finalist Lauren Zuniga. Photo by Keisha Register.

2012 WOWPS Finalist Lauren Zuniga. Photo by Keisha Register.

Lauren Zuniga is a nationally touring poet, teaching artist and emerging activist who believes in dreaming global and shouting local. In 2010, she challenged the Oklahoma legislature with an evocative video poem that received national attention and made the governor cry. Along with stunning hate mail, she was nominated for State Poet Laureate, performed at the prestigious TEDx conference and has since shared stages with top business leaders, state officials and rock stars.

She is the founder of Oklahoma Young Writers, a member of the State Art Council Touring Roster and has represented Oklahoma in 8 national poetry competitions. She has toured from Canada to New York to Texas offering a fresh style of strong imagery and inspiring passion, and her competition chops brought her all the way to the Finals stage of the 2012 Women of the World Poetry Slam in Denver. Her work has been featured in several independent films, on XM radio, and in fun places like Muzzle Magazine and The Good Things About America anthology from Write Bloody Publishing. She was one of seven winners chosen for Write Bloody’s 2011 open submission competition for her second poetry collection, Smell of Good Mud, to be released in April 2012. She currently lives with her two kids in an artist collective named Clementine.

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.

Radio Recap for Monday, June 19

Last night’s Radio show was a small epiphany in a sweet bar, folks: the series has finally started to really get its own feeling of arrival and inspiration, and last night’s features were a huge part of that. Claudia Wilson was an amazing opener, showing off the strong voice, unique and quirky stories, and great language choices that have made her an open mic standout. Playing with some tried-and-tested work as well as delving into some new ideas, Claudia showed the room exactly what the feature spot at Radio was designed for. Awesome!

Our second feature of the night was no slouch, either: perhaps you’ve heard of Antonia Lassar, rookie addition to the 2012 Boston Poetry Slam Team and recent full-time artist? Antonia ran an exciting, boundary-breaking workshop to start the night, then pulled herself into character (upon character, upon character) in a poignant, funny, light-handed, and super-solid presentation of selections from her one-woman play The God Box. Listeners were treated to a fabulous array of characters– and a pretty decent cheesecake to finish off the night, this writer dares to remark. Delicious!

Next Monday: we’re back with a poet and storyteller pairing, April Ranger and Michael Mack! The much-missed April will bring her incredible stage presence and new poetry to the stage, followed by a storytelling feature from slam-champ-gone-storyteller Michael. And for performers interested in storytelling, our workshop will be a special treat: an opportunity to learn about transitioning to storytelling with Michael. Bring a 3-5 minute piece (memorized or not) to get some tips and tricks from this experienced artist.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, June 16

It’s a fact: we are totally still reeling from the awesome NorthBEAST Regional at the Cantab this past Wednesday. What a hot night! Teams from Providence, Portland, and New York City all met for a head-to-head-to-head-to-head slam with the home team at the Cantab. If the 2012 National Poetry Slam is going to be any hotter than this, we are gonna have to arrange for ice baths and palm fronds in every venue. DANG, PEOPLE.

A wild selection of poets (and judges!) made this a night to remember. Portland came out of the gate strong, pulling the first 10.0 of the night in round one from their SlamMaster Nate Amadon! However, they were edged out by Providence, who won the sweetheart spot of the night with some returning Cantab favorites, not to mention one or two Finals stage veterans. The home team showed a strong and creative set, including a brand-new all-lady group piece (WHAT), but ultimately fell to the louderARTS team, who chose to make their five-hour commute more than worthwhile! The top indy scorer of the night was Mega from NYC, whose huge score in the third round with an on-page open letter sealed the deal for the big win.

Congrats to everyone, and special thanks to all the poets who traveled so far to slam with us! Want to see more slam? You’re in luck: we’ve got a Presidential theme slam coming up on July 2 at Radio and another NorthBEAST Regional at the Cantab on July 11. Both are guaranteed to be rambunctious, grand fun, and full of unexpected twists.

Tips from the Bar: Adam Tries to Make You Write Ed’s Poem

Our bartender claims this is not a complicated prompt: write about the silence before the horse with no name was named. Good luck!

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 13, 2012: NorthBEAST Summer Regional I

NorthBEAST logo by Artie Moffa.

NorthBEAST logo by Artie Moffa.

The summer of slam kicks off with our first NorthBEAST Team Slam! The Boston Poetry Slam has invited three other Nationals-bound teams to hone their competition skills against the home fivesome in the traditional 4×4 slam format.

Our competing teams are now confirmed! The Boston Poetry Slam Team will compete against the truth-sayers from Port Veritas (Portland, Maine), the smart and sassy team from louderARTS (Bar 13, New York City), and last year’s NPS finalists from Providence, Rhode Island! This is going to be one hot bout, with teams showing off not just for the audience, but also for each other.

You’ll want to arrive early for this show as the Cantab will probably sell out. Also, if you like team slams, you’ll definitely want to plan ahead to attend the NorthBEAST Summer Regional II on July 11.

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 poetry slam begins at approximately 10:00. (There is no open poetry slam tonight.) The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5.

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.