Workshop for January 11, 2012: “The Terrible Discovery and the Mechanics of Time” with Scott Beal

Workshop: The Terrible Discovery and the Mechanics of Time

Join Scott Beal, the night’s scheduled feature, for an early-bird workshop at the Cantab Lounge before the show. Scott will welcome all comers to his one-hour workshop: The Terrible Discovery and the Mechanics of Time. From the workshop leader:

“The best poems don’t merely describe or explain their subject to an audience; they build a unique experience for the audience to feel and move around in. In this workshop we’ll experiment with manipulating time – slowing down, speeding up, controlling the rate at which information is withheld and disclosed – in order to recreate the experience of a terrible discovery for maximum impact. Our process will include some guided brainstorming as well as examination of poems by Frank O’Hara, Kathryn Starbuck, and Amy Gerstler before bringing to life our own brilliant and heartbreaking discoveries.”

Doors for the show open at 5:30, and the workshop runs from 6:00 to 7:00. Cover charge is $5, which includes admission to the evening show. The venue is 18+ (ID required).

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.

Feature for December 28, 2011: Champion of Champions Poetry Slam with Adam Stone

Boston Poetry Slam

Boston Poetry Slam

Once again, it’s time for the seasonal Champion of Champions Poetry Slam. Bartender and perennial Cantab Slam Team member Adam Stone has held the venue’s highest title since September of 2010, and has proved undefeatable in four consecutive matches! Tonight, this reigning champ will take on the fall season challenger (that’ll be Simone Beaubien, the 12/21 slam winner) in a best-of-seven match for a $100 prize.

Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the slam will begin at approximately 10:00. There is no open poetry slam this evening. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This past Wednesday, we had not one feature (Amethyst Arsenic), not two (including editor Samantha Milowsky), but nine! To celebrate the magazine’s winter issue release, Samantha put together a super line-up of poets who were published therein: Tony Brown, Sam Cha, Karen Locascio, Michael Lynch, Gordon Marshall, Jacqueline Morrill, Alexander Nemser, Tara Skurtu, and Jade Sylvan! To close out the night, Sean Patrick Mulroy and Simone Beaubien slammed off head-to-head in a genuine (not really) grudge match, with Simone taking the win and the season championship.

Next week: it’s the end of 2011, and, to celebrate, we’ll be asking Champion of Champions Adam Stone to defend his series title! The challenger will be Simone Beaubien, last week’s winner and season champ. The bartender and SlamMaster will fight it out the series’ last best-of-seven match ever, showing off some seriously deep pockets and likely some hearty trash-talking skills as well. There’s no open slam tonight, so hang out and enjoy the bar after the show!

Tips from the Bar: Raid Your Own Closet

Take two completed poems of your own and combine them into one. (The more incongruous, the better.)

Feature for December 21, 2011: Amethyst Arsenic Release Party

Amethyst Arsenic

Amethyst Arsenic

Amethyst Arsenic, an online poetry and art journal based out of Somerville, MA, was founded by Samantha Milowsky in 2011 to publish the best poetry and art to the widest possible audience. The journal is open to all forms of poetry from new and established voices. The journal pays for accepted work and nominates poems for established critical awards. The journal has sponsored NPS 2011 and Mass LEAP, and was selected as one of 5 Awesome New Literary Journals for 2011.

The Amethyst Arsenic Winter 2012 issue release will feature Tony Brown, Sam Cha, Karen Locascio, Michael Lynch, Gordon Marshall, Jacqueline Morrill, Alexander Nemser, Tara Skurtu, and Jade Sylvan.

Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the feature performs at approximately 10:00. A season final poetry slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

About the poets:

Tony Brown has been writing and publishing for close to forty years. Also a veteran of slam and performance poetry, including in the last few years a poetry and music duo with bass player/guitarist extraordinaire Steven Lanning-Cafaro named “The Duende Project.” Blog with link to tracks and a running stream of poetry is at Tony lives in Worcester, MA.

Sam Cha lives in Cambridge with his partner, Dawn, a racket (or a mess? both collective nouns are apposite) of children, a gaggle of books, and a cat who steals strawberries. He’s an MFA candidate (poetry) at UMass Boston. Stuff by him’s appeared here and there, but that’s neither here nor there. He usually gets carded for liquor, and sometimes for smokes.

Karen Locascio currently lives in Dorchester, MA. She’s attended Bread Loaf and Tin House and left the illustrious world of finance to pursue an MFA in Poetry at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Karen loves Boston but will always be a Jersey Girl at heart. Find her on Facebook, because she could really use more friends.

Michael Lynch lives and writes in Melrose, Mass. His poetry has appeared in Night Train, In Posse Review, White Whale Review, Harvard Divinity Bulletin and elsewhere. A chapbook, Underlife and Portico, is available through Aforementioned Productions.

Versed in critical theory and versatile, Gordon Marshall writes jazz criticism in addition to the eleven volumes of poetry he has published (Shires Press). Jazz Journalists Association president Howard Mandel writes of his work in this field: “The images are many, word choices artful, concretization of abstract or elusive points well-realized.” A corresponding sensibility characterizes his poetry.

Jacqueline Morrill fell in love at first slash. A graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College, she devotes her thesis writing to tales of sexual fetishism, pseudo-psychology and the feeding habits of forest animals. Blurring the line between persona and personal, she delivers the last words of murdered children off a silver tongue that no sooner begs forgiveness than it asks acceptance. Hailing from Worcester, Massachusetts, Jacqueline has become a strong and welcomed voice in the Worcester poetry scene over the past few years. She looks forward to graduating and plans to teach creative writing at the collegiate level, back in New England.

Alexander Nemser’s poetry has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Paris Review. He has performed his work internationally, including at the Bowery Poetry Club and the Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka.

Tara Skurtu studied Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her work has twice been recognized by the Academy of American Poets: she received the 2010 Academy Harold F. Taylor Prize (judged by Jericho Brown), and won an Honorable Mention for the Academy’s 2008 Prize (judged by Elizabeth Alexander). Lloyd Schwartz selected her as the recipient of the 2010 Marcia Keach Poetry Prize. Tara’s work appears or is forthcoming in: Poet Lore, Salamander, Hiram Poetry Review, The Southeast Review, The Comstock Review, and in the anthology Viva La Difference; Poetry Inspired by the Painting of Peter Saul.

Jade Sylvan is a nationally-touring poet, songwriter, speaker, and teacher. Her first full-length collection of poetry, The Spark Singer, was published in 2009 by NYC’s Spuyten Duyvil Press, and her work has appeared in Word Riot, Decomp, The Pedestal, The November 3rd Club, and OVS. She is the co-founder of Mass LEAP (Massachusetts Literary Education And Performance), a collective that creates teen poetry opportunities in greater Boston. For the past couple of years, her OCD has been hijacked by the Rock ‘n’ Roll icons of the 1960s and their mythological resonances. She currently works as a writing teacher and teen mentor in Somerville, MA. Her hip-hop side personality, Madame Psychosis, has a Zombie Apocalypse music video online, and she released her first album of original indie-folk music, Blood & Sand (Red Car Records) in 2011. She does a lot of other things.