Cantab Recap for Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Snow? WHAT SNOW. Yes, we did hear that it is only scheduled to snow on Wednesdays from now until the end of the season, but weather, like metaphor, is fleeting, and our jones for poetry is eternal. So: our expectations were met perfectly last week when an ideal crowd of writers arrived early for C. Bain’s generative myth-and-truth workshop, and then the room filled in with a pleasant hum of wintertime excitement for the open mic and C’s feature. Our speed slam to close the night was a solidly awesome six-poet affair: let us offer congratulations to AJ Howell, taking second place in a first showing at the Cantab, and also to Lip McDonald, who took the top spot and the big $10.

Love the chance to workshop at the Cantab? We’ll be making a goal to offer these about once per month, on a slightly irregular basis, so please keep an eye on our schedule to see more pop up. Love C’s feature? You can check out more of his work on his personal website. Love to see some poetry slam? Well…

Next week: IT’S THE REAL DEAL, FOLKS! This is not a drill! On Wednesday, March 21, we’ll be out here selecting the team who will represent us at the 2018 National Poetry Slam in August! (Yes, that is a real month, with sunlight and bare knees and everything!) The hardiest nine Cantabbers you know will be slamming off in three rounds for just five spots; and if you like that kind of math, pack up $5 for the cover charge and bring your best judging brains, because we’re gonna need you to throw some numbers at these poets. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: The Way to Your Heart

Consider the thing you would most like to eat right now: something that would fortify you emotionally, digestively, or gustatorily. Now compare it to the thing you most recently ate.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, March 14, 2018: C. Bain

C. Bain, gender-liminal performer and Publishing Triangle finalist. Photo by Kyle Hislip.

C. Bain, gender-liminal performer and Publishing Triangle finalist. Photo by Kyle Hislip.

C. Bain is a gender-liminal writer, performer, teaching artist and theatre-maker. His poems are at once fiercely contemporary and mythological in scope. In his work, Bain turns to his own queer body to find and illuminate the cell of resistance within the self, the self-knowledge that makes transformation possible. He offers audiences this gift of Tiresian sight, prophesies from a second life.

C.’s book of poetry, Debridement, was a finalist for the 2016 Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature. His work has appeared in several anthologies and journals, including Muzzle Magazine, PANK, A Face to Meet the Faces, and the Everyman’s Library book Villanelles. He has thrice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He has an extensive background in poetry slam as a competitor and coach of several national-level teams. He has been selected for the showcases on Finals Stage at the National Poetry Slam multiple times. He has performed throughout the United States, and shared stages with diverse luminaries including Patricia Smith, Jim Carroll, Saul Williams, and Dorothy Allison.

As an out nonbinary trans person, C.’s more recent work has focused on the embodiment in performance, and the inseperability of body and text. He has studied acting and clown at the Barrow Group, and also has movement training in Butoh and martial arts. He is an Artistic Associate with the movement-based theatre company Sacred Circle. Most recently, C. collaborated with Sacred Circle to become Jokana’an in their production of Oscar Wilde’s Salomè at the Alchemical Theatre Laboratory in lower Manhattan. His delivery is known for its slow depth, searing emotion, and surgical clarity.

Note that tonight’s open poetry slam is a speed slam with 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds. Slam winners qualify for the 2018 World Qualifier.

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 speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Announcing the Fourth Annual Grudge Match Poetry Slam!

Thursday, March 29, 2018: come to OBERON at 2 Arrow Street in Cambridge to spring into National Poetry Month! Let our all-star lineup of seven matches (plus one bonus sacrifice round) from House Slam and the Boston Poetry Slam spring you into National Poetry Month just a few days early.

This is an 18+ show with custom cocktails available when doors open at 6:30. Music and comedy will open the show at 7:00 with the slam beginning at 7:30. Tickets are $10/$12/$15 and will sell out before the night of the show, so click here to guarantee yourself a seat!

For more detailed info on our performing artists, click here.

CANCELLED: Cantab Feature for Wednesday, March 7, 2018: CUPSI Warm-Up

Poetry fans and hardy New Englanders! We regret to announce that due to weather concerns, there will be NO POETRY SHOW on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at the Cantab Lounge. Although the forecast may not be reliable, we cannot justify asking our many out-of-towners to risk traveling for this slam.

The Cantab Lounge upstairs bar (21+, cash only) will remain open this evening, although no entertainment is scheduled.

Please join us next Wednesday, March 14, for an early-bird workshop and feature with C. Bain!

The annual collegiate national poetry slam tournament is the driving performative force behind a large number of the Cantab’s regular readers and listeners. This year, our local students (and some local familiar coaches as well) will be headed to Temple University for the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. To help our town favorites gear up for the national competition, we’ll be offering the CUPSI Warm-Up, a team slam featuring four teams in a nationals-style team slam, incorporating all the collegiate regulations, poetry, and intensity of competition we’ve come to expect from CUPSI.

This year’s event will feature Emerson College, Wheelock College, Wellesley College, Smith College, and sacrificial poems from UMass Boston! It’s (just some of) the future of slam, folks: bring your fight songs, flags, and/or tough, objective judging faces to help these poets prepare for their national tournament in April.

Host Kieran Collier performs in the Team Selection Slams. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Host Kieran Collier performs in the Team Selection Slams. Photo by Marshall Goff.

Our host for the slam, by the way, will be familiar Cantab host Kieran Collier, a Boston-based writer and educator. He is the author of When the Gardener Has Left (Wilde Press, 2015) and This to You (Beard Poetry, 2016). His work has been featured in the anthologies MultiVerse: A Write Bloody Superhero Anthology and Again I Wait for This to Pull Apart, as well as multiple online and print journals. The only four-time CUPSI member of Emerson College’s existence, Kieran is uniquely qualified to heckle, cheer, and introduce all of the competing poets. If you look closely, you might catch him weeping into a Shirley Temple intermittently throughout the night.

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 slam begins at approximately 10:00. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hot diggity dang! What a fabulous ending to Black History Month 2018, Cantabbers: our open mic was packed with good thinkers (and just a little sweet sweet love) to close out a truly excellent February. And then our feature, D. Colin, was everything we’d dreamed; she brought a carefully crafted, pull-no-punches set showing off all her poetic chops for the Women of the World Poetry Slam she’ll be competing at in just a few weeks.

Yes, yes, we, too, were super-sad that D was out of books to sell us last night. But listen: you can support the heckoutta a Black womxn’s art by checking out Empress Bohemia, D. Colin’s Etsy shop of her handcrafted, Afrocentric-inspired jewelry, paintings, and photos. (Oh, and, yes, if you want a copy of D’s book, Dreaming in Kreyol is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.)

Our slam, by the way, was also full of sweet thinkers and good lovers (wait, is that the same or possibly better than the open mic?); the final pairing came down to Mugs Myers vs. Liv Mckee, with a squeaky-tight 0.3 margin in the final 1-minute round. Out-of-towner (and August 2017 feature) Liv took the win and the $10 home, leaving Mugs free to slam another day. And, cool news: that means that if you want to support two poets from upstate NY who made our show awesome last night, you can drop your cash on the YouCaring page for Liv and D’s tandem trip to WOWPS this month.

Next Wednesday: GET READY FOR A HOTT NIGHT FULLA NERVOUS CUPSI POETZ, KIDS! That’s right, it’s our annual CUPSI Warm-Up, the shake-the-dust slam we offer to our locals who are collegiate-nationals bound. Come for one of the most intense open mics of the season, and stay to judge some much-in-need-of-judging slam students from Emerson College, Wheelock College, Wellesley College, Smith College, and Tufts University! Yes, we are 18+, so bring your friends, buy a soda, tip your bartender and get some poetry in your ears in the dirtiest bar in Cambridge.

Tips from the Bar: BotWho?

Write a poem using the Botnik keyboard of your choice.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, February 28, 2018: D. Colin

Albany area poet D. Colin. Photo by Robert Cooper.

Albany area poet D. Colin. Photo by Robert Cooper.

D. Colin is a Capital City region poet and a member of the 2012 first ever Nitty Gritty Albany slam team, representing the venue at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2016 and 2017: she is currently ranked 35th in the world. She holds a Masters in Africana Studies from the University at Albany, was a 2016 poet in residence for Voices of Community in Putney and Brattleboro, VT., and a Breathing Lights Grant recipient. D’s first collection of poems and prose is entitled Dreaming in Kreyol and is an homage to her Haitian heritage and history. She also handcrafts jewelry and paints; check out all the artist’s work at dcolin.com.

Note that tonight’s open poetry slam is a speed slam with 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds. Slam winners qualify for the 2018 World Qualifier.

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 speed slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cantabbers! Thanks to each and every one of you for coming out to the basement last night for SPRING BREAK 2018 Team Selection Semi-Finals! After a roller coaster of a slam, with much of our audience casting some high-quality side-eye at a few judges, we have results. It took two rounds to get the standings to shake out like so:

1. Brandon Melendez 57.9
2. Neiel Israel 57.6
3. Allison Truj 56.4
4. RebeccaLynn 56
5. John Pinkham 55.9
6. Evan Cutts 55.8
7. George Abraham 55.7
8. Meaghan Ford 55.5
9. Sara Mae 55.3

10. Myles Taylor
11. Kieran Collier
12. Anna Binkovitz

Our top nine poets (in bold) have qualified to advance to the March 21 three-round Finals (should they choose to accept the challenge). Extra thanks to Lip McDonald and Colin Killick for fabulous sacrificial poems, to our five judges (Fernando, April, Sean, Benji & Megan, and Shreya) for standing strong on their scores all night long, and to meticulous Ravenclaw Cassandra for spot-on scorekeeping.

Next week: we close out Black History Month strong with one of the Capital Region’s best, as D. Colin takes the stage for a feature set. We’ll also welcome up to eight slammers in our second open speed slam in the series, which includes rounds for 3-, 2-, and 1-minute poems.

Tips from the Bar: Freddy Krueger Works in HR

Consider a work-related nightmare (the waking or dreaming kind). Revise it to fit your own needs.