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.

Tips from the Bar: Double Your Doom

In honor of the Box of Doom Poetry Slam, we present a combination of the two worst possible prompts: inspire yourself to write a love poem about roadkill.

Cantab Feature for May 23, 2012: Tom Slavin

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

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

Tom Slavin claims to be “nobody special. He’s just a random guy who writes poems. Don’t pay any attention to him. Just listen to the poems.”

Very well. Some facts about Tom:

He is a university administrator by trade and holds a Master’s degree in Higher Ed Administration from Suffolk University. He also holds a second Master’s degree in Mental Health and Addiction Counseling from Cambridge College.

He is a gay man who survived the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 80’s and 90’s, and he is a recovering alcoholic who has been clean and sober for 30 years.

He was 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.

These days he hangs out and sometimes reads in the open mic at the Boston Poetry Slam on Wednesday nights at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge. He publishes audio and text of his current work for free on a public YouTube page.

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, May 21

The third-ever Radio reading got weird… In the best way! The night kicked off with a workshop with Melissa Newman-Evans focusing on character– where to find them, how to approach them, and how to keep them interesting and diverse. That theme went through the open mic, which featured both new (welcome!) and familiar faces stretching their arms and getting comfy in that five-minute time limit.

Kemi Alabi brought the crowd a wonderful mix of older and newer work, both on page and off. Melissa, who, in the theme of the night, promised to “bring the weird,” brought a narrative set of poems following the story of a handful of characters, bringing the show full circle.

Next week: we’re back to celebrate Memorial Day with some of the best Americans we know! Come check out James Caroline and Omoziele Okoawo at 397 Somerville Ave. in Union Square on Monday, May 28. Doors open at 6:30 for a 7:00 writing workshop with Jme. Open mic continues at 8:00 and the guys will feature starting at 9:00. Just $5 for this 21+ show! Hope to see you there!

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 16

We had a packed house last night for Franny Choi, with folks jammed in shoulder to shoulder just to catch a glimpse of this National Poetry Slam and Women of the World Poetry Slam Finalist! Franny didn’t disappoint, either, bringing us a set that included some of the classics we’d hoped for and a few personal poems we didn’t expect. Thanks, Franny! Our slam was a wild one, with Adam Stone taking the top spot over Lauren, securing the big ten dollars and a spot in tryouts for the 2013 Boston Poetry Slam team.

Next week: we’re back with old-schooler-gone-new-schooler Tom Slavin features. Tom has come back to us on the open mic after a long break and we are excited to get a chance to hear a body of his work! Tom’s set will be followed by another open poetry slam in the 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: Don’t Say No!

Reject an offer as nicely as possible… Without actually saying “no.”

Radio Recap for Monday, May 14

Whoo! We found the stage lights at Radio! This fabulous red-and-brick bar took in a growing number of poetry fans in the rain, starting off with a cool generative prompt from Mckendy Fils-Aimé (a little John Murillo, anyone?). Our open mic was packed –maybe it’s the 5-minute time limit that makes it so popular– and then we listened up to Simone Beaubien kick out a totally weird set, complete with new poems composed in the midwest! Mckendy closed the night with his own set, a reflective series of portraits that had the workshoppers inspired enough to scurry for notepaper.

Next Monday: we’re back with a 2012 Boston Slam Team double-whammy! On Monday, May 21, Melissa Newman-Evans and Kemi Alabi will share feature time starting at 9:00. You’ll want to get there at 8:00 for the open mic, or, even better, come at 7:00 for Melissa’s writing workshop! Doors open at 6:30 for a 21+ show, and cover charge is just $5 for the whole night.

Feature for May 16, 2012: Franny Choi

Poet Franny Choi. Photo by Fatimah Asghar.

Poet Franny Choi. Photo by Fatimah Asghar.

Franny Choi’s poetry explores the collisions of identities, the volatile nature of language, and the haunting relationship between an artist’s body and her body of work.

In 2011, Franny was a finalist at two of the three most prestigious poetry slams in the country: the National Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Poetry Slam. She was awarded Best Female Poet and Most Innovative at the 2011 Wade-Lewis Poetry Slam Invitational, and her team was specially recognized for Pushing the Art Forward at the 2011 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. She was also the top-ranking female poet at the 2011 Southern Fried Poetry Slam and the champion of 2010 Seoul Poetry Slam.

She is the co-author of two feature-length spoken word poetry shows, pretty/ugly and Maybe Never Words. In February 2011, her play Mask Dances was produced at Rites and Reason Theater as part of the Writing Is Live Festival, becoming the first undergraduate production in the history of the festival. Franny’s literary work has appeared in Fringe Magazine, Issues, The Java Monkey Speaks Anthology, and the College Hill Independent. Her work in Fringe was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Sundress Best of the Net Award in 2011. A graduate of Brown University’s Literary Arts program, she completed a cross-disciplinary honors thesis project, entitled “Per Mutation.”

Franny has served as an editor for VISIONS Asian American Literary Magazine and as a facilitator of WORD! Performance Poetry Group, which uses the medium to explore issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

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, May 9

In case you missed it: Patricia Smith, co-founder of the Boston Poetry Slam, featured at the Cantab this Wednesday! With no slam to hold her back, she gave the audience a marathon set of her new work… Expect inspiration from this show to blossom on our open mic for the whole summer.

Next week, we’ll have NPS 2012 Finalist Franny Choi from Providence! We’ll also continue our series of open slams in the summer 8×8.