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.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It’s been a great 2012 so far, folks; Scott Beal rocked his feature slot last night with a superb array of humor and tragedy, storytelling and surreality, all of it read and performed ultra-satisfactorily. A few open slots in the slam didn’t stop five folks from getting down to business, though; Kevin Spak took a hard-earned victory over Nora Meiners, securing the last spot in next week’s slam.

Wait, is it time for the World Qualifier Semi-Finals already? Dang, we’ve got eighteen poets qualified for this thing! Next week, whoever steps up will slam off in a grand two-round slam with 2- and 1-minute poems. This is always a fun show with unusual work: remember that the cover charge is $5 for this night to help raise money for our representative to IWPS.

Tips from the Bar: Don’t Make It Creepy

Consider a historical figure whose goals may have been admirable, but whose means to achieve them were not. Write a poem to correct that person’s methodology. (Extra tip: if you are thinking about trying this with a particular WW leader… Don’t.)

Feature for January 11, 2012: Scott Beal

Scott Beal

Scott Beal

Scott Beal is a poet, educator, freelance writer, and stay-at-home father of two who grew up in Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Ohio, and earned his MFA from the University of Michigan in 1996. His poems have appeared recently in Indiana Review, Dunes Review, Radius, and in a split book with Rachel McKibbens and Aracelis Girmay entitled Jangle the Threads (Red Beard Press, 2010). He teaches poetry and fiction workshops at the Neutral Zone and 826michigan, and serves as a writer-in-the-schools for Dzanc Books in Ann Arbor and for InsideOut Literary Arts in Detroit. He recently co-authored Underneath: The Archaeological Approach to Creative Writing with Jeff Kass (Red Beard Press, 2011).

In addition to his feature, Scott will also present an early-bird workshop at the Cantab before doors open for the show.

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 4, 2012

HOLY THERESA DAVIS, CANTABBERS! We do like to start each New Year with a bang, and Theresa’s explosive Cantab feature for the first Wednesday of 2012 was no exception! What a fun, fabulous, excellent show from this off-the-hook Southern WOWPS champion. The slam was a little sparse, but turned out to be full of folks who were not fooling around: Christian Drake edged out Maya Phillips for the win in the final round.

Next week: we’re back with Scott Beal, a Michigan MFA poet touring the great northeast. Don’t miss Scott’s super-cool early-bird workshop at the Cantab before the show: doors open at 5:30 with a $5 cover (includes the rest of the show) for The Terrible Discovery and the Mechanics of Time. Cooooool.

Tips from the Bar: Post-Apocalyptic Prompt

Write about what the next doom-sayers will have to say once we survive the predicted 2012 apocalypse.

Feature for January 4, 2012: Theresa Davis

Theresa Davis

Theresa Davis

Born into a family of writers and entertainers, Theresa Davis has expressed her abilities over several mediums: she designed and created lines of hand-crafted dolls and books, released two music CDs, and started a clothing line for children. One of the southeast’s most in-demand performance poets, Theresa took top honors in the 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam representing Atlanta. A teacher for 18 years, she currently teaches middle school using the arts across the curriculum. She may be contacted at

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, December 28, 2012

We had a special treat for the last Wednesday of the year folks: Champion of Champions Adam Stone slammed off against challenger (and SlamMaster) Simone Beaubien in a best-of-seven title match! A remarkable open mic crowd was on hand to watch, including a few much-missed travelers back from college, and a few all-stars visiting for Christmas. Trevor Byrne-Smith stopped in from Denver, bow-tie and all, to host the competition. Oh, the winner? Simone over Adam in six rounds.

Contrary to popular rumor (who started that, anyway?), this is NOT the last Champion of Champions match at the Cantab. However, our format will be changing: you can get all the details here on our snazzy new website.

Our next show will be the annual demo slams at Boston’s First Night! Come on out to the Hynes Convention Center in room 208 to see us any time between 7:30 and 11:00. We’ll be back at the Cantab next Wednesday with 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion Theresa Davis, plus an open slam in the new 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: The Key Is Restraint

Write a poem about a song without using any of the song lyrics. DON’T SING.