Imagine that you arrive at the Cantab on a Wednesday to find that no poetry is happening. Now what do you do?
It’s the Wednesday closest to Valentine’s, which means it’s time for our annual Erotic Poetry Night! Poets are encouraged to bring original erotic poems, poems about sex, or poems about naughtiness in general. This year’s event will also feature the Boston Poetry Slam’s first-ever Head-to-Head Dirty Haiku Slam, produced by Gary Hoare: eight haikusters will slam off in pairs to see who can pack the most nasty possible into seventeen syllables. Sign-ups for the slam must be in advance, but the rest of the mic time is wide open to everyone. Is it hot in here, or is it just you?
Slammers have been confirmed! Audience can expect a wild selection of raunch and trouble from Patrick S., Jade Sylvan, Adam Stone, Cassandra de Alba, Harlym125, April Penn, Jessica Lovina O’Neill, and Brandi Macdonald.
Doors for the show open at 7:15. The erotic-themed open mic begins at 8:00, featuring head-to-head dirty haiku matches throughout the night. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.
After the finish of last week’s huge World Qualifier Slams, we knew we’d have to bring in a major player to keep the Cantab’s momentum going. No problem! First our open mic got a spotlight visit from Joe Brundidge, famed Neo-Soul slammer from Austin, Texas, who teased us first with haiku, then tenderized us with his heartfelt work. Our headliner, featured poet Sierra DeMulder, finished the job like the two-time national champ and double-published author that she is; her newest book is available online at WriteBloody.com. Finally, a big slam finished up the night, with Ed Wilkinson surviving a semi-final round tie-breaker to ultimately take the win over Michael Monroe.
Next week: it’s finally time for our long-awaited Erotic Poetry Night! This year’s show will feature an extended (heh heh) open mic, as well as our first-ever Head-to-Head Dirty Haiku Slam, produced by Gary Hoare. Our eight slammers have been confirmed, and they are ready to horrify and delight: Patrick S., Jade Sylvan, Adam Stone, Cassandra de Alba, Harlym125, April Penn, Jessica Lovina O’Neill, and Brandi Macdonald. This night will sell out, so arrive early if you want an open mic spot or a seat, and be prepared to wait in line to enter.
Write a poem based on a word or phrase misheard (or misread).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Write a poem with an excessively long title that serves as set-up for a punchline.