It was an exceptionally big night at the ‘tab last night, folks, as tons of audience turned out for our open mic, double feature, and Champion of Champions poetry slam! The night started off with some open mic standouts, including lots of slammer entourage from Portland (Maine), a least a couple of local newcomers, one visitor all the way from Los Angeles, and 2009 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Maxwell Kessler making a surprise spotlight appearance with some exciting new work. We then welcomed double-feature Meg Waldron and Robyn Bateman from Portland (Oregon) to the stage, where these two opposite-of-shy ladies put the smackdown on bowling, god, and rotisserie chickens, much to the joy of the crowd.
Finally, it looks like the Champion of Champions slam convinced lots of folks to stay out pretty late on a school night… Just about every seat was taken to watch our last eight slam winners fight it out for an opportunity to challenge the reigning champ, Zanne Langlois. With two of the slammers out of town for the week, the six-poet format meant a three-poet melee of Kayla Wheeler, Mckendy Fils-Aimé, and Ed Wilkinson, then a second triad of Michael Monroe, Bobby Crawford, and Meaghan Ford. Recently-returned IWPS rep Mckendy and Emerson Poetry Project standout Bobby both rose to the top, with Mckendy’s basketball family poem trumping Bobby’s baseball love poem by a narrow margin. As season champ, Mckendy then stood up to challenge Zanne for the Champion of Champions spot in a one-off-round featuring only new poems. Despite the cachet Mckendy had built up with the audience and (remarkably consistent) judges, his on-page chapbook reading wasn’t enough to catch Zanne’s polished and prepared piece! Zanne took the round handily, retaining her championship title and securing an invite to slam again after the next eight open events.
Whew! Think that was fun? We’ll be back next week with more: to celebrate twenty years of poetry at the Cantab Lounge, the venue’s only two SlamMasters will double-feature in an extended spot. Come see Michael Brown and Simone Beaubien give a poetic retrospective of the Boston Poetry Slam’s storied history.