Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series on February 2, 2020

This reading is part of our LGBTQIA+ series, Moonlighting. This month’s event is scheduled for Sunday, February 2, 2020, and the featured readers are Keely Fae and Justice Ameer.

Keely Fae is a visuals teaching artist, poet, and performer from Providence, RI. He has represented the Providence Poetry Slam at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival, Keely was featured by Write About Now in the Best of BNV Showcase in 2018.

Justice Ameer is a poet and organizer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Xyr work explores the experience of being a Black trans woman in a post-racial and potentially post-apocalyptic America. Xe is a Pink Door fellow, FEM Slam Champion, and two-time Providence Grand Slam Champion. Justice was the Grand Marshal of the 2019 Rhode Island PrideFest. Xe is also a co-writer and producer of the theatrical production ANTHEM. Xyr work has been published in Glass Poetry Press, POETRY magazine, The Nation, and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic anthology.

Click here for more information about this recurring show, or here for our Facebook event.

This show in our monthly Sunday queer series takes place The Democracy Center, 45 Mt. Auburn St. in Cambridge. Doors open at 7:00 for a 7:30 open mic with the feature to follow. The show is all-ages and a $5 donation is requested; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Click here for detailed accessibility information, or read on:

Physical Accessibility- The Democracy Center has a wheelchair accessibly entrance and the room we are in is wheelchair accessible. The Democracy Center does not have a wheelchair accessible bathroom, but one is available for use at the neighboring restaurant “The Daedalus”. Moonlighting strives to be as accessible as possible, we apologize for this inaccessibility and are working to secure a more accessible venue.

Stimulus Accessibility- Moonlighting does not play loud music at any point in the show. We ask that all participants on the open mic and all performers use the microphone provided for all aspects of their performance. There are a few options to adjust the lighting in the room we are in– if you need the lighting adjusted to better your experience at our show, please talk to Ilyus or Myles and we will do everything in our power to do so. We ask that you do not wear strong fragrances in our space. We love you and want you here and want to acknowledge and act upon everything in our power to ensure that as many folks have full access to the space as possible.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, January 29, 2020: Porsha Olayiwola

Boston Poet Laureate and House Slam co-founder Porsha Olayiwola. Photo by Carlie Febo.

Boston Poet Laureate and House Slam co-founder Porsha Olayiwola. Photo by Carlie Febo.

Porsha Olayiwola is from the future! Black, poet, queer-dyke, hip-hop feminist, womanist: Porsha is a native of Chicago who now resides in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the artistic director at MassLEAP, a literary youth organization. Olayiwola is an MFA Candidate at Emerson College. Porsha Olayiwola is the author of i shimmer sometimes, too forthcoming with Button Poetry and is the current Poet Laureate for the city of Boston.

There will be no poetry slam competition after the feature tonight; please come celebrate our feature’s new book.

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, with one flight of stairs to access the basement room (click for directions and accessibility information). 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, January 22, 2020

It’s been an exceptionally sweet January on the open mic, and this past week was a great highlight: lots of newcomers, lots of returnees, and a warm feeling of listening and being listened to all night. The night was headlined by writer and teacher Devin Kelly, a storyteller with a long-reaching arc of poetics and emotion to his work. Among other events, you can catch Devin hosting the Dead Rabbits reading every other week in Manhattan.

Our open slam, the last of January, saw two fresh-faced finalists face off in a sixty-second battle for a ten-dollar prize. Open mic regular and favorite Briana took the top honors, with Sara H. collecting another berth in our fabulous list of poets qualified for the 2020 Team Selection Slams. Looking for an opportunity to slam? We’re taking February off from competition, but we’ll offer four more chances to qualify in the month of March.

Next week: we close out our January with a feature from House Slam co-founder and Boston Poetry Laureate Porsha Olayiwola. Porsha will have copies of i shimmer somtimes, too on hand for sale; this will be a very popular night, so folks hoping for a spot on the open mic are advised to be in line for doors before we open!

Tips from the Bar: Simple But Also the Worst

Write a poem that turns around a pun (the worse, the better).

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, January 22, 2020: Devin Kelly

Dead Rabbits Reading co-host Devin Kelly. Photo by Meg Farmer.

Dead Rabbits Reading co-host Devin Kelly. Photo by Meg Farmer.

Devin Kelly is the author of In This Quiet Church of Night, I Say Amen (Civil Coping Mechanisms) and the co-host of the Dead Rabbits Reading Series. He is the winner of a Best of the Net Prize, and his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Guardian, LitHub, Catapult, DIAGRAM, Redivider, and more. He lives and teaches high school in New York City.

An open poetry slam is scheduled for the late-night portion of this show, following the feature. The slam will be speed slam format: eight open sign-ups will be available starting at door time, and poets will slam head-to-head in up to three rounds with time limits of 3, 2, and 1 minute. Winner and runner-up qualify for the 2020 Team Selection series. To volunteer to judge in exchange for free admission to the show, or to ask questions about the slam, email the slam curator at slamseries@bostonpoetryslam.com.

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, with one flight of stairs to access the basement room (click for directions and accessibility information). Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the feature performs at approximately 10:00, with the poetry slam to follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Workshop for Wednesday, January 15, 2020 with Kyle Lopez

Arrive in advance of tonight’s event for an early-bird workshop at the Cantab Lounge before the show. The one-hour workshop has limited space and begins at 5:30, with latecomers admitted no later than 6:00. This is a generative workshop that is open to anyone who wants to write a poem and contribute to the night’s feeling of community.

Workshop leader Kyle Carrero Lopez is a Black Cuban-American poet. Originally from North Jersey, he is an MFA candidate in poetry at NYU and reads poetry submissions for Homology Lit. Learn more about the workshop leader here.

This generative workshop will be focused on freshening up our word choices! As poets we often return to a few thematic obsessions over and over, but by varying our vocabularies, we can make each retread of these subjects feel totally new. We’ll scan for words new to our writing, then work on drafting and sharing poems using what we’ve found. Some of the poets we’ll look at are Camonghe Felix, Joy Harjo, & Adrian Matejka.

Cover charge is $5-$20 sliding scale, which includes admission to the evening show. We ask financially stable poets to consider contributing the higher end of this scale (or more) in order to defer costs for others and support this teaching artist’s generous donation of time to our space.

Due to the constraints of the venue, this workshop has limited space; room can be guaranteed to poets who identify as POC or queer. The best way to secure a spot in the workshop is to send an email.

The venue is 18+ and a photo ID is required. For more information on the night’s open mic, click here.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, January 15, 2020: Kyle Lopez

Breakbeat New Jersey poet Kyle Lopez. Photo by Hao Nguyen.

Breakbeat New Jersey poet Kyle Lopez. Photo by Hao Nguyen.

Kyle Carrero Lopez is a Black Cuban-American poet. Originally from North Jersey, he is an MFA candidate in poetry at NYU and reads poetry submissions for Homology Lit. His poems are published or forthcoming in Poetry, The Florida Review, The Cincinnati Review, & elsewhere, as well as in the anthologies Grabbed (Beacon Press, 2020) & The Breakbeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNEXT (Haymarket Books, 2020). You can follow him on Twitter.

Kyle will lead an early-bird writing workshop before the show. Click here for more details.

An open poetry slam is scheduled for the late-night portion of this show, following the feature. The slam will be speed slam format: eight open sign-ups will be available starting at door time, and poets will slam head-to-head in up to three rounds with time limits of 3, 2, and 1 minute. Winner and runner-up qualify for the 2020 Team Selection series. To volunteer to judge in exchange for free admission to the show, or to ask questions about the slam, email the slam curator at slamseries@bostonpoetryslam.com.

This show in our weekly Wednesday series takes place at the Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, with one flight of stairs to access the basement room (click for directions and accessibility information). Doors for the show open at 7:15. The open mic begins at 8:00 and the feature performs at approximately 10:00, with the poetry slam to follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, January 8, 2020

What a warm and wonderful night full of full hearts at the Cantab this week, folks. 2018 Boston Poetry Slam Team member and NPS semi-finalist Meaghan Ford generated a brand-new chapbook for the feature slot, put together brand-new content for the stage, and oh btw basically put on a performance clinic for anyone needing a slam refresher. If you’re looking for a copy of their new work, What Lives in the Muscle After the Bruise is Gone, there MIGHT be a few copies left if you get at them at their regular bar seat next week.

January is also a super-great time to qualify for the 2020 Boston Poetry Slam Team, don’tcha know: six poets took the stage in a classic 3-2-1 speed slam this week, coming down to John Pinkham and George Abraham in the final round. Both poets qualify, of course, but only one can win: coming in with the top score of the night (and only second place in time penalties, lulz) was George, who took home the ten dollar prize.

Next week: it’s a huge night at the Cantab with FOUR events in our little show! The night starts with our early-bird writing workshop, led this week by featured poet Kyle Lopez: come around 5:30 p.m. to get in for a 6:00 workshop with Kyle (click here for more info) or by 10:00 if you want to catch a full feature from the workshop leader. In between those times, you can get a chance to get on our open mic, or close out the night by signing up to slam (or judge). Go ahead, click on our main event for all the important details.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, January 8, 2020: Meaghan Ford

New Jersey born, Cantab-raised poet Meaghan Ford. Photo courtesy of the artist.

New Jersey born, Cantab-raised poet Meaghan Ford. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Meaghan Ford is a queer writer from New Jersey who was voted Most Likely to Leave and Never Come Back. They are a two-time National Poetry Slam Semi-Finalist with the Boston Poetry Slam team and received their MFA from Emerson College. Some of their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, NAILED, PANK, and the Write Bloody We Will Be Shelter Anthology. Meaghan can most often be found hanging out with the cat at your party.

An open poetry slam is scheduled for the late-night portion of this show, following the feature. The slam will be speed slam format: eight open sign-ups will be available starting at door time, and poets will slam head-to-head in up to three rounds with time limits of 3, 2, and 1 minute. Winner and runner-up qualify for the 2020 Team Selection series. To volunteer to judge in exchange for free admission to the show, or to ask questions about the slam, email the slam curator at slamseries@bostonpoetryslam.com.

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, with the poetry slam to follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series on January 5, 2020

This reading is part of our LGBTQIA+ series, Moonlighting. This month’s event is scheduled for Sunday, January 5, 2020, and the featured readers are Levi Cain and Red Maienza.

Moonlighting Features for January 5, 2020: Levi Cain and Red Maienza.

Moonlighting Features for January 5, 2020: Levi Cain and Red Maienza.

Levi Cain is a gay Black poet that was born in California, raised in Connecticut and currently lives in the Greater Boston Area. Levi is a shortlist finalist for Brain Mill Press’s National Poetry Month contest, a Sagittarius sun with an Aquarius rising, and a dessert enthusiast.

Red Maienza (they/them/theirs) is a Boston-based poet, organizer, and dunky donut who would like to formally apologize for their Gemini moon. Their work has appeared in the literary publication The Other Side of Violet (great weather for MEDIA), NHPR, Slamfind, & thriving (glowworm press), and in their friends’ backpacks. They are the staff coordinator and secretary of Slam Free Or Die in Manchester, NH. They have competed in countless slams on both regional and national levels. Their full name is Redemption because they believe in the power of healing, growth, and skin-of-your-teeth survival. Most importantly, they believe in you. twitter: @red_whines // instagram: @depressoshot

Click here for more information about this recurring show, or here for our Facebook event.

This show in our monthly Sunday queer series takes place The Democracy Center, 45 Mt. Auburn St. in Cambridge. Doors open at 7:00 for a 7:30 open mic with the feature to follow. The show is all-ages and a $5 donation is requested; no one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Click here for detailed accessibility information, or read on:

Physical Accessibility- The Democracy Center has a wheelchair accessibly entrance and the room we are in is wheelchair accessible. The Democracy Center does not have a wheelchair accessible bathroom, but one is available for use at the neighboring restaurant “The Daedalus”. Moonlighting strives to be as accessible as possible, we apologize for this inaccessibility and are working to secure a more accessible venue.

Stimulus Accessibility- Moonlighting does not play loud music at any point in the show. We ask that all participants on the open mic and all performers use the microphone provided for all aspects of their performance. There are a few options to adjust the lighting in the room we are in– if you need the lighting adjusted to better your experience at our show, please talk to Ilyus or Myles and we will do everything in our power to do so. We ask that you do not wear strong fragrances in our space. We love you and want you here and want to acknowledge and act upon everything in our power to ensure that as many folks have full access to the space as possible.