Cantab Feature for Wednesday, June 6, 2012: Erich Haygun

Erich Hagan performs on the Cantab open mic. Photo by Hannah Cohen.

Erich Haygun performs on the Cantab open mic. Photo by Hannah Cohen.

Recently transplanted to the west coast of Canada, Erich Haygun was a fixture of the the venue’s open mic and slam for years, representing the venue at the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2008 and shaking the hand of many a first-timer at the door. Erich will bring us a full set of work informed by his latest travels.

For more information about Erich, see his bio page on our homepage here.

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, June 4

After three days of rain, it was pretty sweet to get out of the house and listen to a little poetry… And, as luck would have it, a little sultry rock and roll. Poetry came in the form of Jade Sylvan, who led a light-hearted and thought-provoking workshop on writing formal poetry that spilled over into our open mic; Jade’s feature was a complex romp through some of her (and our) favorite themes, and a fitting farewell before she leaves us for the summer.

Wait, but what about the rock and roll? Well, that came from the fabulous Ruby Rose Fox, making a special solo appearance as our debut musical feature. Ruby’s summer-strong voice and complex lyrical combinations gave all our writers and performers something new to think about. We look forward to Ruby’s CD release party next month!

We are so excited to be returning to this lovely little bar week after week: if you come to Radio next Monday, you’ll get another cross-genre treat as we present poet Erich Haygun and songwriter (yes, and poet, too) Steve Subrizi. Erich will lead a low-pressure performance workshop to kick off the night, then double feature with Steve… And Steve has hinted at an additional musical guest on the mic that night, so we hope you’ll join us for some whiskey and surprises.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 30

Oh, Cantabbers, your heads must be pounding. Relax, it’s not a hangover: it’s all last night’s “poetry” fighting with everything else you’ve ever enjoyed. For those who missed it… We spent a remarkable evening last night glorifying the worst poetry bartender Adam Stone could find with the biggest performances we could muster for the Boston Poetry Slam’s first ever Box of Doom.

Some notable crowd favorites included April Ranger’s incredibly dramatic version of “Sunglasses at Night”, Justin Sweetheart’s rendition of “MacArthur Park” (sorry, Donna Summer), and the night’s runner-up “winner,” the duet of Sue Savoy and Nathan Comstock covering “My Humps.” Some other fascinating unknown work also rose to the top, though, and our final winner was Antonia Lassar, who put on her best Long Island granny accent to mourn a long-dead-Irishman, as written by we-don’t-want-to-know. Congrats on your big $5 win, Antonia!

Next week: we’re back to good poetry folks (thank goodness), with Erich Haygun returning from Vancouver for a visit and a feature. We’ll also close the night with an open poetry slam in the 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: the Michael Fitzgerald Prompt

In honor of our survival of the Box of Doom slam, we entreat you to write a poem that doesn’t suck. (Hey, if Nora can write a good one about roadkill, we know you can.)

Cantab Feature for May 30, 2012: Box of Doom Poetry Slam

Worcester SlamMaster Emeritus Bill MacMillan emotes during the 2011 National Poetry Slam's Box of Doom. Photo by Richard Beaubien.

Worcester SlamMaster Emeritus Bill MacMillan emotes during the 2011 National Poetry Slam's Box of Doom. Bill is reading "The Tay Bridge Disaster," by William McGonagall. Photo by Richard Beaubien.

It’s the Box of Doom slam with bartender Adam Stone! After the success of this event at the National Poetry Slam (as well as at the Worcester Poets’ Asylum‘s annual Anti-Slam), we’ve asked Adam to produce another iteration of this super-fun event to kick off our summer.

Have you been wondering about the charming perfume that’s given the Cantab basement such atmosphere for the last nineteen years? You can blame our twisted bartender. Deep in the bowels (sorry) of the men’s room, Adam has concealed a concentrated package (ugh, sorry again) of the most obnoxiously odoriferous poems he could find: the Box of Doom.

Now the time has come to open the Box! Poets will draw “poems” at random from a trash can and have just three minutes to perform the piece of… art. Examples of the fine literature within may include pathetically unmetered sonnets about dead gerbils, diary entries from fourteen-year-old future slam poets, and excerpts of Kevin Smith’s Gigli. The slam will be judged by the audience and the winner will receive spectacular prizes, such as never having to perform said poem again.

Box of Doom Poetry Slam. Logo by Gary Hoare.

Box of Doom Poetry Slam. Logo by Gary Hoare.

Sign-ups will be available at the door on the night of the show. Interested parties may also e-mail Adam directly to get on the list of wanna-be performers. Sign up early as slots will fill up quickly! (It’s like a graveyard that way.)

Box of Doom t-shirts are now available! The fabulous logo was designed by Gary Hoare and is available in a variety of colors in men’s and women’s cuts. We’re selling them just a few dollars above cost and the proceeds will go to the Boston Poetry Slam. Neat!

Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the Box of Doom slam begins at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

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!