Cantab Recap for Wednesday, July 24

This past Wednesday was an exceptionally fun one at the Cantab, folks. Our feature was the inimitable Steve Subrizi, fresh out of the studio and just weeks away from the launch of his fall tour. Steve brought his classic self-effacing wist to the stage, earning the hearts of the audience and one enthusiastic standing ovation. Steve heads out on tour this fall and just might be coming to your favorite town: he’s available for bookings nationwide.

Steve’s set only marked the beginning of this all-star night, though, as the third act of the show presented the all-star Champion of Champions slam. Consider this: any slam where Melissa Newman-Evans, Nathan Comstock, Phoenix Bunke, and Jenn C. are eliminated just in the first round has got to be mad craziness. The semi-final round saw the fall of Zeke Russell and TLove, leaving Sean Patrick Mulroy and Princess Chan to go head to head for the season championship. Sean pulled out the win in the final round and held the nights top honors for one shining moment! However, on the challenge to the champ, Tom Slavin came to the new poem round with a top-notch performed sestina and took the decision 4-1. Congrats to Tom, who retains the title of Champion of Champions for another season! (And congrats to all our slammers, whose summer wins qualify them for the 2014 team selection slams.)

Next week: we’re back with the NorthBEAST NUPIC Qualifier. Which New England all-stars will be repping the eight NorthBEAST venues? Sorry, but it’s a hyoooge secret! You’ll just have to get ready to yell your faces off for whomever catches your fancy at this totally crazy crowd-response pit-fight slam, while volume judge Harlym125 makes sure you are getting it right.

Tips from the Bar: the John Waters Prompt

Write about how someone generally considered to be a bad influence was a positive influence on you.

Cantab Feature for July 24, 2013: Steve Subrizi and a Champion of Champions Poetry Slam

Poet-musician Steve Subrizi. Photo by Ernest Estime.

Poet-musician Steve Subrizi. Photo by Ernest Estime.

Steve Subrizi lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, and has read poetry and played music across America by himself; along with Emerson College’s first slam team, the Gringo Choir, which also included Carlos Williams, Carrie Rudzinski, and Maxwell Kessler; with his good friend, former New Hampshire slammaster Sam Teitel; and with his band, the Crazy Exes from Hell, a duo with Kirsten Opstad. He just put out his solo project, called Home Alone Forever.

Tonight will also mark the next installment in the Champion of Champions! Tom Slavin will defend his title against the winner of this season’s 8×8 slam series.

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

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, July 17

The National Poetry Slam is creeping even closer, folks, and that means we’re bustin’ out slam all over. This past Wednesday, we hosted a NorthBEAST 4×4 that welcomed the Worcester Poets’ Asylum, Port Veritas, the Providence Poetry Slam, and the Lizard Lounge teams to our dingy little basement.

If you’re looking for a scouting report, here it is: Providence and Port Veritas battled for the best-poetry title in a vicious battle that was decided by less than a point. Providence gets the fourth-place title, but Port Veritas can claim the honor of bringing the only group piece to this otherwise solo-heavy bout. Meanwhile, Worcester and the Lizard Lounge were fighting for the top score in the match. Despite strong showings in the later rounds by Worcester, no one could catch the high bar the Lizard set in the first round, so our sister slam takes the win with a big ol’ 106.9. Congrats to everyone!

This coming Wednesday, we get a brief competition breather with a feature from Steve Subrizi, local poet, musician, and intern, who’ll be leaving us to tour in a few short months. But wait, there’s more: Steve’s feature will be capped by the Champion of Champions Slam, where reigning champ Tom Slavin takes on the survivor when we pit the the last eight slam winners against each other. There’s money AND bragging rights riding on this one, folks: you should plan for a sweet night where you chill with Steve, then heckle the heck outta this high-stakes slam.

Tips from the Bar: the Meaghan Ford with a Twist Prompt

Your parents meet. A disaster occurs. Tell us why you almost didn’t exist.

Cantab for Wednesday, July 17, 2013: NorthBEAST Regional 4×4 Part Two

Boston Poetry Slam

It’s our second and final NorthBEAST Regional Team Slam of the summer! The 2013 National Poetry Slam is coming to Boston this August, and we are serious about getting ready… For this feature, four more of the eight teams from the NorthBEAST region will face off in a NPS-style bout. Bragging rights are on the line for this show featuring our cross-town rivals from the Lizard Lounge, the Worcester Poets’ Asylum, the Portland Poetry Slam, and 2011 Finals-finishing Providence Poetry Slam. Yowza!

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. A slightly shortened open mic begins at 8:00 and the slam begins at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series on Thursday, July 11, 2013, featuring Tom Slavin

This reading is part of our monthly LGBTQ series, Moonlighting.Click here for more information about this recurring show.

Note that this month’s Moonlighting takes place on the SECOND Tuesday of the month due to the July 4 holiday.

Tom Slavin, 1994 and 1995 Boston Poetry Slam Team member.

Tom Slavin, 1994 and 1995 Boston Poetry Slam Team member.

Tom Slavin has been a National Poetry Slam team finalist in 1994 and 1995, representing Boston in Ashville, NC with Brian Comisky in 1994 and in Ann Arbor MI with Patricia Smith in 1995, and is the reigning Champion of Champions at the Boston Poetry Slam at the Cantab Lounge. A university administrator by trade, he holds Master’s degrees in Higher Ed Administration Mental Health and Addiction Counseling. One of our favorite poets and queer voices in the community, he is a gay man who survived the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 80’s and 90’s, and a recovering alcoholic who has been clean and sober for 30 years. Come join us for another warm, funny, sex-positive open mic and a feature performance that promises to span the emotional, the hilarious, and the edifying.

Tonight’s show will also feature a special spotlight appearance by touring U.K. poet Sophia “Fanny” Walker! Sophia Walker was once arrested in Vietnam for performing a poem. Apparently she is a threat to Vietnamese national security. A short little English girl based in Edinburgh, she is the BBC Scottish National Slam Champion and is usually found touring in Germany, Italy, Holland, France and the UK with a backpack and some battered notebooks. She has taught poetry in universities and high-schools from Vietnam to the UK, but far prefers teaching in prisons and psychiatric facilities. Sophia’s work as a theatre instructor in Uganda, was profiled in the documentary Ikland (winner ‘Best Content’ at the Boston International Film Festival 2011), but slam is her passion. Her work has been commissioned by organizations such as Million Women Rise UK, the British Council, and the Refugee Council Scotland.

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 Recap for Wednesday, July 10


Oh, excuse us. Did you miss the party? A big-talkin’, explosive-performin’, complex-writin’ major player took the stage for us last night: Harlym125. Did he rock the mic? He did. Were there singalongs and special guests and surprises? There were. Did he change your life? I guess we’ll know next week, since some of us might show up with our hair still blown back and smiles still plastered across our faces. Ladies and gentlemen, the champion of your hearts, Mister One Two Five.

We were so pumped up to slam after Harlym’s feature, and it was a wild one: the slam was almost evenly split between Boston and Portland competitors, fighting it out for honor, glory, and a special supplementary $20 prize (thanks to the generosity of our feature!). In just the first round we saw a Champion of Champions and a World Qualifier winner ousted, and the second round featured a wicked tie that catapulted Adam Stone (circa 2004) to the final two! In the final head-to-head, Adam ultimately fell to Rhythmic Cypher SlamMaster TLove, who takes the eighth spot in this season’s Champion of Champions series, scheduled for July 24.

Next Wednesday: the National Poetry Slam is less than five weeks away, and we’ve got some regional preparation to do! Number one on our list: invite all the NorthBEAST teams over to slam at our house! This next iteration of the NorthBEAST summer regionals will feature a 4×4 NPS-style slam with Worcester, Port Veritas, Providence, and the Lizard Lounge.

Can’t wait until next Wednesday for your poetry fix? No problem! You can check out Tom Slavin at Moonlighting over in JP tonight, Thursday, July 11. This monthly GLBTQ reading also will feature a spotlight feature from the inimitable Sophia “Fanny” Walker.

Tips from the Bar: the Harlym125 Prompt

Write an erotic poem featuring entirely unerotic imagery. Feel free to take as your inspiration: the nappy owl or the wet, sweaty Chewbacca (nasty).

Cantab Feature for July 10, 2013: Harlym125

Harlym125 performs at the Cantab Lounge. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Harlym125 performs at the Cantab Lounge. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Jamele “Harlym125” Adams is, hands-down, one of the most powerful performance poets in the country. A onetime NPS finalist with the Boston Poetry Slam team back in 2008, he now is one of the leaders of the Lizard Lounge Poetry Jam, bringing a fiery rivalry and his shouts of “TEN! TEN! TEN!” to many a local bout. A mover for social justice, an enthusiastic educator and communicator, and a commanding writer to boot, he serves as Brandeis University’s Dean of Diversity and has been featured up and down the east coast. He founded the annual NUPIC slam at NPS and his last Cantab feature included a dance break. This show is not to be missed.

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