Cantab Feature for Wednesday, May 22, 2019: Shay Alexi

Atlanta poet and NPS Group Piece Finals Champion via Art Amok: Shay Alexi. Photo by RJ Owens.

Atlanta poet and NPS Group Piece Finals Champion via Art Amok: Shay Alexi. Photo by RJ Owens.

Shay Alexi is a poet and performance artist based out of Atlanta, GA. They are the author of DIARY OF A GHOST GIRL (Glass Poetry Press, 2019). Shay’s work explores the intersections of tenderness and aggression- navigating queerness, girlhood and various forms of softness. Shay has been featured by or is forthcoming from The Rumpus, Button Poetry, Tinderbox Poetry, Write About Now, FreezeRay, and Glass, amongst others.

Shay was the winner of the 2017 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins poetry prize and the 2017 Java Monkey Slam championship. In 2018, their slam team, Art Amok, won the National Poetry Slam group piece finals. Shay was a Whitinger Scholar at Ball State University, where they earned a BFA in Acting.

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. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 15, 2019

We did it, Cantab: eight poets hit the stage last night in the hope of achieving the first-ever 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team, went three rounds against one another with utmost joy and professionalism, and, at last, when the dust cleared the results were in:

1. Joshua Elbaum 83.8
2. Arianna Monet 82.3
3. (tie) Terah Ehigiator 82.2
3. (tie) Zeke Russell 82.2

5. Kieran Collier
6. Myles Taylor
7. George Abraham
8. Meaghan Ford

The four top-scoring poets in bold are invited to represent the venue as the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team! An enormous bouquet of gratitude to each and every one of the slammers tonight: expectations are always high for team finals, and the range, craft, tenderness, and power of the work this year spoke so exceptionally to the community we aim to foster.

Thanks also to our glorious sacrifice poets, Yehya Barakat and Lip Manegio, and all-star scorekeeper Jamei Bauer. Lastly, let us not forget our important judges who sat tight (and kept the scores tight) for 100 minutes of poetry: Brandon Melendez, Roswell Seamark, Emily O, Kara, and Srimana and Namratha. Thank you to everyone for making this show possible and beautiful.

Next week: poetry rolls on! For those who missed out on the open mic this week, we have a regular-sized sign-up list coming for March 22, as well as southern-based poet and performer Shay Alexi on tour with their new book, Diary of a Ghost Girl. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: Gentrificapitalism

A title to prompt your poem:

I Live in the Capital of Everything You Love Is Gone

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, May 15, 2019: Team Selection Finals

Breaking the national mold, but refusing to break with tradition, the Boston Poetry Slam is on the cusp of selecting a four-poet team to represent the venue for 2019. After fighting through Prelims and Semis in the last two months, already requiring four pieces in competition plus a brand new poem, you can expect the eight competitors qualified for tonight to bring competitive performance, tense strategic moves, and the most finely-polished work work of the slam season.

The following poets have earned invites to the Finals show. Contingent upon their acceptance, this will be the order of the first round:

1. Meaghan Ford
2. Joshua Elbaum
3. George Abraham
4. Zeke Russell
5. Kieran Collier
6. Arianna Monet
7. Myles Taylor
8. Terah Ehigiator

Poets will each perform three poems, with a TOTAL time limit of 9 minutes. The top four poets at the end of the evening will comprise the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team.

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. A SHORTENED open mic begins at 8:00 and the slam begins at approximately 9:15. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $5.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What’s better than looking at the calendar and seeing you get five poetry Wednesdays in a single month? We’ve got it, and it’s definitely: getting a springtime double-barrel of features from the outgoing National slam team! This past week, 2018 NPS semi-finalist, CUPSI coach, podcast star, and Ploughshares production manager Allison Truj brought a brand-new chapbook, an intense and fun feature, and a series of bits, banter, and welcoming hilarity that sets a bar for features to come. If you missed it: we hope you had a good excuse, but you can ask Truj for a copy of her gorgeous chapbook, Fat Girl Feelings, the next time you catch her at the open mic.

This week: it’s coming! It’s really almost here! This Wednesday will mark the season’s most high-stakes slam: the eight-poet battle to see who will represent the Boston Poetry Slam on this year’s sweet-n-ultracompetitive slam team: Team Selection Finals! It’s a $5 night with a slightly shorter open mic, so come early if you want a seat and/or a chance to read, and don’t forget to bring your discerning yet unsuspecting friends along to volunteer as judges.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, May 8, 2019: Allison Truj

2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team member and light of the world: Truj. Photo by Brian Hamilton.

2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team member and light of the world: Truj. Photo by Brian Hamilton.

Allison Truj is an award-winning designer and performing artist living in Boston, but more importantly, she is an octopus who has escaped from the aquarium and cannot be stopped. She is a National Poetry Slam semifinalist, 4-time coach of the Emerson College CUPSI team, and member of the Boston Poetry Slam 2018 national team. Truj is the Production Manager of Ploughshares, co-host of the breakfast podcast Most Important Meal, and she probably likes you.

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. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A dream come true! We kicked off the heart of New England springtime this past week with our very own Maeday: Sara Mae, 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team member and Game Over Books author, was our radically smart and tender feature. The FEMS director read and performed old favorites and new, including a generous dose from her chapbook, Priestess of Tankinis, available from Game Over Books or at your local bookstore.

Next week: ohhhh, it’s a spring double-header, folks… 2018 BPS team member and glorious octopus Allison Truj will be our featured poet. Come early for our open mic: doors open at 7:15 for our 8:00 show, and Truj hits the stage right around 10:00.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, May 1, 2019: Sara Mae

FEMS Executive Director Sara Mae. Photo by C. Hartman.

FEMS Executive Director Sara Mae. Photo by C. Hartman.

Sara Mae is a kitchen witch and community organizer raised in Baltimore and based in Boston. She is the 2017 IWPS rep for Slam Free or Die, a 2018 Emerson College CUPSI team member, and a 2018 Boston Poetry Slam NPS team member. She is the Executive Director of the Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam (FEMS) Organization. Her work can be found in Tinderbox, Peach Mag, Breakwater Review and elsewhere. Her first chapbook, Priestess of Tankinis, is out via Game Over Books. She believes in the magic of blue bicycles and orange lipstick. If she could go to dinner with any famous person, she wouldn’t care who it was as long as there was Old Bay on the food.

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. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, April 24, 2019

What a close to National Poetry Month, Cantabbers! This past Wednesday, a dozen semi-finalists took the stage looking for fame, glory, and a time just under seven minutes in two rounds to get them each an invite to our upcoming Finals. After two poems each, we’re excited to announce that poets in bold will be invited to slam for a spot on the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team on May 15:

1. Terah Ehigiator 56.3
2. Myles Taylor 54.8
3. Arianna Monet 54.5
4. Kieran Collier 54.3
5. Zeke Russell 54.0
6. George Abraham 53.5
7. Joshua Elbaum 53.3
8. Meaghan Ford 53.1

9 (tie). Mugs Myers
9 (tie).Max Evans
11. Yehya Barakat
12. Dahlia Hill

What an incredible slam night! Our especial thanks to this amazing crew of poets, who brought style, substance, and slam honor upon our venue with a particularly excellent slam show. Big ups also to our sacrifice poets, Cali Stenson and James Merenda, as well as our judges: Abby, Brittany, Rob, Suzanne & April, Katie & Sean, and Kevin.

This week: April is over, but poetry marches on… May is a five-Wednesday month, and we’re kicking things off on May 1 with 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team member and Game Over Books author Sara Mae. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: Of Course It’s About You

Found poem prompt: pick two songs from any artist (or two different artists). Remix the lyrics into a poem about something entirely different.