Feature for February 8, 2012: Sierra DeMulder

Sierra DeMulder

Sierra DeMulder

Sierra DeMulder is a two-time National Poetry Slam champion and twice-published Write Bloody author. In addition to reaching Finals stage at every major national event (NPS, IWPS, CUPSI, BNV), Sierra coached the Macalaster College Slam Team at the 2011 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, from which they took home the national title. While not performing poetry, she enjoys making and imbibing coffee, making full use of public transportation, and waxing on about feminism.

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 February 1, 2012: Mckendy Fils-Aimé Wins the World Qualifier Finals!

The Cantab Lounge was stuffed to the gills last night for the final rounds of our two-night World Qualifier series, with strangers practically in each other’s laps just to catch a glimpse of the finalists. The eight poets were gunning for that all-expenses trip to the 2012 Individual World Poetry Slam in Fayetteville, Arkansas (don’t you laugh! Arkansas loves poetry!), and it would all come down to a wicked head-to-head match-up in the fourth and final round.

Due to a last-minute drop-out, Bobby Crawford was called up from the minors to slam in last night's World Qualifier Final. Here he performs in the January semi-finals. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Due to a last-minute drop-out, Bobby Crawford was called up from the minors to slam in last night's World Qualifier Final. Here he performs in the January semi-finals. Photo by Marshall Goff.

The slam kicked off with Jared Singer, special guest from NYC, as the first sacrificial poet, and Sophia Holtz bounced back from her elimination from semi-finals last week to bring an intimidating piece to the second sac spot. Finalist Nate Leland found himself unable to attend at the last minute, so last week’s ninth-ranked poet, Bobby Crawford, cheerfully jumped in the mix to open up the first round. After a round of painfully consistent judging (sixes and sevens! fours and fives!) Bobby and Matthew Richards were eliminated, with Melissa Newman-Evans decisively taking the top score from the final spot in the round.

Round two opened up with Kevin Spak leading the audience in a (non-printable) call-and-response that stood as the second-highest score of the round; Melissa just edged him out a few poems later. Meaghan Ford was narrowly eliminated in this round, and Sam Teitel took a surprise drubbing from judges who had enjoyed his mockery of New York City in round one, but were apparently unfamiliar with Jew-berty.

The fourth “long-poem” round saw Mckendy Fils-Aimé step off-mic to work the room; a flawless performance of his Michael Jordan piece earned him the highest score of the entire night. Paulie Lipman’s memorial to Blair was the only poem to take advantage of the four-minute time limit, but a super-consistent judging staff returned to their unimpressed baseline. Spak put up a solid effort with a newer-to-this-listener piece dedicated to a past co-worker, but, in an ironic twist, was soundly defeated by Melissa’s love poem.

That left Mckendy and Melissa to fight it out in the final round! Both poets had put forth solid efforts all night; Melissa had won the first and second rounds and was sitting on the coveted final performance spot in the pairing, but Mckendy had clearly been gathering momentum. When the dust cleared, Mckendy’s “Elegy for the Aftermath” topped out over Melissa’s “Letter for Myself at Seven Years Old,” and the crowd went wild.

Mckendy Fils-Aimé, our 2012 IWPS representative, performs on the Cantab open mic. Photo by Cassandra Ashley.

Mckendy Fils-Aimé, our 2012 IWPS representative, performs on the Cantab open mic. Photo by Cassandra Ashley.

Final rankings:
1. WINNER: Mckendy Fils-Aimé
2. Runner-up: Melissa Newman-Evans
Eliminated after three rounds:
3. Kevin Spak
4. Paulie Lipman
Eliminated after two rounds:
5. Meaghan Ford
6. Sam Teitel
Eliminated after one round:
7. Matthew Richards
8. Bobby Crawford
DNS: Nate Leland was unable to attend. Bobby Crawford was called up from the semi-finals to fill the eighth slot.

Congratulations to Mckendy Fils-Aimé, who will represent the Boston Poetry Slam @ the Cantab Lounge in Arkansas this October! Special thanks to all the poets who slammed, audience who cheered and heckled, and, of course, a crew of the most fabulously consistent and harsh judges we’ve seen in a long time: Lindsay Warriner, Dave McKenna, Jeep and Josh, T♥, and Ikenna and Khadijah.

Next week: we knew we’d have to bring in a champion of everything to top this week’s show, so we booked Sierra DeMulder, National Poetry Slam champion from 2010 and 2011. We’ll also hold an open poetry slam in the 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: Marty, Something Has Got to Be Done About Your Kids

You have received a gift from a new lover. However, due to a time travel incident, the “you” who is receiving the gift is the “you” five years from now– who knows exactly how the relationship ends. How do you turn the gift down?

(Yes, this prompt sounds exactly like it came from bartender Adam Stone, but it’s actually thanks to guest tipper Cassandra Ashley.)

Feature for February 1, 2012: World Qualifier Finals

Boston Poetry Slam

2012 World Qualifiers

The World Qualifier Finals will determine the Boston Poetry Slam’s representative to the 2012 Individual World Poetry Slam. Top scorers from the World Qualifier Semi-Finals will compete in four rounds of slam, including one long-poem (4-minute) round. The two-night, six-poem series will culminate with a single poet left standing!

The eight finalists are pictured below. All photos are courtesy of and © Marshall Goff, and all were taken at the January 18 World Qualifier Semi-Finals. Photos may be republished with appropriate artist credit only. Media outlets seeking high-resolution versions may contact the photographer directly.

Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the 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 to help fundraise for the winner’s trip to IWPS.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hadn’t heard of Megan Falley before hearing her at the Cantab this week? No biggie: your life is better now… Megan rocked a fabulously thoughtful set, writing with both a gentleness and directness of craft. The slam was won by Patrick S., who edged out Nora in a thoroughly enjoyable final pairing.

Next week: OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY IT’S WORLD QUALIFIER FINALS. Eight poets will slam off for the honor of representing the Cantab at the 2012 Individual World Poetry Slam! You can see a gallery of photos of their pretty faces on the event page, courtesy of Marshall Goff. You’ll want to save some extra quarters this week, as the cover charge is $5 to help fundraise for the winning poet’s trip to the event.

Tips from the Bar: Proverb, Punchline

Write a poem with an excessively long title that serves as set-up for a punchline.

Feature for January 25, 2012: Megan Falley

Megan Falley

Megan Falley

Megan Falley is one of just a handful of poets to be published on both Write Bloody Press and Penmanship Books. After earning her undergrad degree and representing SUNY New Paltz for four years at CUPSI, she helped found one of the largest collegiate spoken word tournaments in the country. Her publication credits include Vinyl, kill author, and PANK. She may be reached at meganfalley.com.

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, January 18, 2012

Well, we don’t call it slam for nothing; last night’s event was boisterous, rollicking, edge-of-your-seat kind of fun, all tied together with that silly scoring system we informally use to reduce art to cold, hard numbers. That’s right, the World Qualifier Semi-Finals rocked the house from beginning to end, with competing poets rolling out their highly anticipated 2- and 1-minute performance poems. Congratulations to the poets in bold, who have qualified to advance to the World Qualifier Finals on February 1:

Melissa Newman-Evans, top scorer for the night, laying down "The Shame Machine." Photo by Marshall Goff.

Melissa Newman-Evans, top scorer for the night, laying down "The Shame Machine." Photo by Marshall Goff.

1. Melissa Newman-Evans 54.4
2. Mckendy Fils-Aimé 53.0
3. Meaghan Ford 51.8
4. Nate Leland 51.8
5. Kevin Spak 51.5
6. Paulie Lipman 51.3
7. Matthew Richards 50.1
8. Sam Teitel 49.0

9. Bobby Crawford
10. Sophia Holtz
11. Z
DNS: Adam Stone, Carlos Williams, Tatayana Brown, Antonia Lassar, Sean Patrick Mulroy, Brian Omni Dillon, Simone Beaubien, Christian Drake

We’ll have a quick break from the tough competition next week to bring you Megan Falley, Write Bloody author and SUNY New Paltz grad. We’ll also hold the third open poetry slam in the current 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: Your Poem Is Obviously About Michael Gill

Write a poem that uses lemons as its central image. Do not use the following words: yellow, sour, bitter, “when life gives you,” or meringue.

Feature for January 18, 2012: World Qualifier Semi-Finals

Boston Poetry Slam

Boston Poetry Slam

The World Qualifier Semi-Finals is one of our biggest slams of the year, and by far the wildest. Poets will compete in 2- and 1-minute speed rounds to see who advances to the February 1 finals. This unusual format is guaranteed to flush out some extraordinary and atypical writing from your favorite slammers.

Qualified to slam: Z, Carlos Williams, Sophia Holtz, Tatyana Brown, Matthew Richards, Paulie Lipman, Antonia Lassar, McKendy Fils-Aimé, Bobby Crawford, Sam Teitel, Nate Leland, Sean Patrick Mulroy, Brian Omni Dillon, Meaghan Ford, Simone Beaubien, Melissa Newman-Evans, Christian Drake, and Kevin Spak.

Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the 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 to help fundraise for the venue’s IWPS representative.