Cantab recap for Wednesday, September 5

It was a packed and respectful house last night for local poet, organizer, workshopper, and all-around good guy Michael F. Gill. A poet with a real ear for sound and texture, Michael presented some old favorites and some bright shiny new work, all of it pleasing to our audience’s ear. He also released a chapbook, The Unglued Field: interested parties might want to track him down to find a copy!

The slam was a doozy as returning students fought against summer veterans, all looking for a spot in the January Team Selection Slams (and, of course, the coveted $10 prize). Meaghan Ford and Ed Wilkinson defeated some formidable opponents to reach the finals, with Ed taking the win in the final round.

Next week: we’re back with Columbus poet Ellie White on her first tour! We’ll also have the sixth open poetry slam in our ever-popular 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: This Prompt Is Not Michael’s Fault

“Clown sonnet.” Go!

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 5, 2012: Michael F. Gill

Local poet, workshop leader, and poetry organizer Michael F. Gill.

Local poet, workshop leader, and poetry organizer Michael F. Gill.

Michael F. Gill grew up in New York City but has lived and loved in Boston for the past thirteen years. He writes at the intersection of performance and experimentation, and the vivacity of his work owes a great debt to the New England poetry community. He has had work published or forthcoming in Amethyst Arsenic and Spoonful. He runs the Brighton Word Factory, a bi-weekly writing group in Boston, and helps co-host the Stone Soup poetry reading in Cambridge. More of his work can be found on the Boston 365/365 blog, and at his personal website,

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. 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 Encyclopedia Show: Somerville — Monday, September 3, S1V1: BEARS

Encyclopedia Show: Somerville -- V1S1: BEARS!

Labor Day, Monday, September 3
The Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm St. in Somerville
7pm welcome party, 8pm-10pm show
all ages, $10/$7 sliding scale
click for Facebook event

The Boston Poetry Slam and Simone Beaubien present the debut installment in a new monthly series!

The Encyclopedia Show Somerville is an event franchised from the original series founded in Chicago in 2008, wherein invited artists from a variety of performance disciplines present all-new, original works on sub-topics of a single theme. A recurring cast of hosts and characters welcomes the artists with open arms and minds, while the resident Fact Checker is charged with maintaining the integrity of the Encyclopedic Truth of the show.

Our theme for the September show will be BEARS! Presenting all-original guest performances from:

  • Tony Brown — poetry on the subject of RUSSIA
  • Krysten Hill — poetry regarding the nature of SLOTH BEARS
  • Adam Stone with Claudia Wilson — poetry about BOO BOO BEAR
  • Wes Hazard — comedy about THE BERENSTAIN BEARS
  • Veronica Barron — dance/mime regarding SURVIVING A BEAR ATTACK
  • Petaluma Vale — a harp solo with lyrics about URSA MINOR
  • Cowboy Matt Hopewell — a rock ‘n’ roll perspective on the CHENGDU PANDA BASE

In addition, we encourage you to welcome the work of our recurring cast members:

  • Aimee Rose Ranger and Kevin Spak provide deft and earnest CO-HOSTING
  • The Michael J. Epstein LiBEARy offers musical flourishes, house music, and a piece on DROP BEARS
  • Chef Bro presents an educational treatise on the history of BEAR CLAWS
  • And Intern Steve Subrizi has confirmed that he will be bringing a LIVE BEAR to the show!

Live Fact Checking is reluctantly provided by Jack van Sly from the Institute of Human Knowledge and Hygiene.

Encyclopedia Show: Somerville -- V1S1: BEARS!

This show in our monthly Encylopedia Show: Somerville series takes place at the Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm St. in Somerville. Doors and the theatre bar open for a pre-show welcome party at 7:00. The show begins promptly at 8:00 and finishes at 10:00, including a short intermission. This is an all ages show! Admission is $10, or $7 for students, teachers, or guests in Prohibition-era dress.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, August 29

Welcome back to the Cantab, Boston students! It’s about that time of year again… When the returning students who know what’s up come and see us again for the first time, showing off all they’ve learned about home over the summer. Appropriately enough, our feature was Tatyana Brown, a Bay Area poet who lived with us for the summer months back in 2011! Tanya brought us a great selection of work about loves lost and strengths found, and, of course, she invited us to all come hang out at her own show in California. The slam was just one poet shy of filling up for late night, but that didn’t stop a number of experienced performers from throwing down… In fact, competing against their friends might have driven some of these folks to new heights! When the smoke cleared, it was Sophia Holtz at the top of the heap, with bartender Adam Stone just shy of the win.

Next week: we’re back on Wednesday with local writer and workshopper Michael F. Gill, and another open slam. And don’t forget: if you’re looking for another event to whet your poetry appetite during the week, you can some see the debut show of The Encyclopedia Show Somerville at the Davis Square Theatre on Monday, September 3! We’ll be doing an all-ages show that’s all about BEARS to kick off this new monthly series.

Tips from the Bar: Are You a Good Witch?

We think of animal migrations as north-south, whereas famed explorers are known for east-west travel. Choose your own cardinal direction of travel and write about what drives you there (or away).

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 29, 2012: Tatyana Brown

Bay Area poet Tatyana Brown returns to Boston for a visit and a feature.

Bay Area poet Tatyana Brown returns to Boston for a visit and a feature.

Tatyana Brown is currently ranked fourth in the world of competitive performance poetry after participating in the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam. She is also the founding Captain of The Lit Slam, a monthly live-audience curated literary journal, and a co-host of San Jose’s Oversocial Mofo Revue. She has toured both coasts as a poet, read poems to teenagers on the mountaintops of British Columbia, told tales to captivated Bay Area audiences and on NPR’s hot new true-life narrative storytelling show, Snap Judgment, and sold instant literature ranging from short fiction to wedding vows as a street vending freelance writer in New York City. She holds the distinct honor of winning the longest consecutive string of XXX Haiku Deathmatch Championships at Oakland’s own Tourettes Without Regrets.

Most recently, Tatyana has begun guest lecturing in university classrooms (including the University of Indiana Bloomington and Yale University) on the subject of poetry slam as a contemporary American literary tradition specifically, and the rich, vibrant, vital nature of American oral tradition more generally. She also teaches workshops on poetry (writing as well as performance), storytelling, and the use of shock-value comedy as a tool to interrupt and dismantle systemic oppression.

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. 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, August 27

Let’s be honest: no one really subscribes to the philosophy that all good things must come to an end, do they? …Anyone who does surely wasn’t at Radio this past Monday, when Angel Nafis and Shira Erlichman gave our little Union Square show a fabulous send-off. From a dangerously inspirational workshop to a smart and all-new open mic to a remarkable confluence of double features in poetry and music, this past Monday’s show was everything we’d ever hoped New & Improved could be. Thanks so much to all our features and open mic poets who helped make this show great, as well as to Radio bar in Union, our favorite bartender/sound engineer/jack-of-all-trades Chachi, and erstwhile co-hosts Michael Monroe, Melissa Newman-Evans, and Jamei Bauer.

If you’re feeling sad, though, we’ve got just the tired old homily to cheer you up: from every ending comes a new beginning! That’s right, our weekly Monday open mic is transitioning to a monthly Monday variety show: The Encyclopedia Show Somerville! We’ve been planning this all summer, so we won’t let a little venue switcheroo get us down… Come join us at the Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm St. in Somerville, on Monday, September 3 for our first installment of the Encyclopedia Show Somerville: BEARS!

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, August 22

The weather may be cooling off a bit, but the Cantab is definitely heating up for the end of the summer: Chicago-gone-Cornell editor Stevie Edwards drew a packed house last night, reading from her Write Bloody book Good Grief. She took us on a sweet, sad, and sometimes whiskey-soaked journey to come out with just a glimmer of hope on the other side. The slam was a rowdy one (Again! You people are animals! Literature-loving animals!), full up with new and veteran slammers who all seemed to have a different idea of what “three minutes” entails. Ultimately, the final round came down to Christian Drake and Zeke Russell, with Christian taking the night by just 0.1!

Good times, folks, and we’ll be back next week to do it all again. This time, our feature will be Jersey-to-Bay-Area performance poet Tatyana Brown. Our slam will be open once again, so you might want to rest up for another wild night. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: Actually

Title prompt: The Moon Dislikes You Comparing Her to Your Love.