Tips from the Bar: The Hieu Minh Nguyen Prompt

Inspired by a Facebook post from the poet Hieu Minh Nguyen:

Think about a strange, surprising, or wonderful thing your body has done on its own. Focus on your surprise, and write without (or through) shame.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 27, 2017: Sam Rush

South Florida native and 2016 NPS Finalist Sam Rush.

South Florida native and 2016 NPS Finalist Sam Rush.

Sam Rush is originally from South Florida and began writing poems after developing progressive hearing loss and realizing how many words each word could be. Sam is a three-time competitor in the National Poetry Slam and was a 2016 finalist as a member of The House Slam team. Their work has been featured work featured in The Offing, Public Pool, Drunk in a Midnight Choir and on Button Poetry and SlamFind.

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.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Thanks to everyone for a fabulous Wednesday, Cantabbers! We hope you enjoyed our new and improved plumbing as much as we enjoyed the new and established readers of this week’s open mic. It was an extra treat to get to hear a full set of work from longtime regular reader Jackie Perry, local poet and thinker and number-cruncher who might possibly also be a penguin. Our open slam was an exciting affair, welcoming folks new to the venue to the mic, as well as established slammers. Frequent open mic poet Kayti Lahsaiezadeh jumped into the slam for the first time and took it all the way to the finals, where she was narrowly defeated by current World Qualifier champ Zeke Russell. Zeke took home the $10 and will advance to challenge RebeccaLynn for the venue: and heads up, folks, due to our never-to-be-spoken-of-again plumbing problem from two weeks ago, that champs match has been pushed up to October 25.

Next week: are you starting to feel the effects of shorter daylight? Brighten up: Sam Rush is back in town to celebrate a bit of autumn with you! Sam will visit us this coming Wednesday, September 27, as part of their month-long New England tour. Come early if you want a seat for this incredibly talented and clever feature.

Tips from the Bar: Something’s Missing

Write a want ad for a vacancy in your body.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 20, 2017: Jackie Perry

Local poet and numbers cruncher Jackie Perry. Photo by Esther Li.

Local poet and numbers cruncher Jackie Perry. Photo by Esther Li.

Jackie Perry was born in Boston and grew up on the south shore of Massachusetts. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Health in 2016.

By day, she crunches numbers in spreadsheets for a bunch of doctors and nurses. By night, she attempts to write poetry and then perform it on the open mic at the Boston Poetry Slam. She is a big fan of coffee, penguins, and flying trapeze.

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.

Cantab Out of the Blue Recap for Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Anybody know a good plumber? Have we got a job for them: last night, just after setup was complete at the Cantab, the sound of rushing water and a rapidly filling bar area forced our staff to jump the bar and clear the room. What to do? How about: give your grandest thanks to Michael F. Gill, longtime doorman and networker extraordinare, who led us down the street for an almost on-time at the generous (and fortunately available) Out of the Blue Gallery. Already home to the longest-running poetry open mic in Cambridge, Stone Soup on Mondays, the gallery took us in, seated us, and amplified us, all in time to run our usual open mic and welcome feature and TESTIFY author Simone John.

Invoking our new space was a great group of utterly unflapped open mic poets, all capped by a glorious feature by our headliner; Simone took us down the intense and necessary path her documentary work blazes for readers and listeners. If you missed the gift of her work last night, you can treat yourself to a purchase of TESTIFY straight from Octopus Books, or catch her at one of her many fall readings: her October 13 gig at the Haley House Slam comes to mind.

You might have noticed that we had no open slam last night: don’t worry, we’ll be back in the poetry competition business next week at the Cantab, with room for you to hop into the fifth competition of our 8×8 series. Our welcome-back-to-the-basement feature will be local favorite Jackie Perry.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 13, 2017: Simone John

Testify author Simone John. Photo by Stephanie Lamb.

Testify author Simone John. Photo by Stephanie Lamb.

Simone John is a poet, educator, and freelance writer based in Boston, MA. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College with an emphasis on documentary poetics. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wildness, The Pitkin Review, Public Pool, and the Writer in the World. She is a contributing editor at Gramma Poetry.

Testify (Octopus Books) is her first full-length book of poems, released in August 2017. Find her online at simonejohn.com or on twitter @simoneivory.

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.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September has sprung, Cantabbers, and with it comes the slow and spiraling fall of many perfectly good college students to the depths of our slammy little basement. Welcome and welcome back to our thoughtful and skilled open mic poets, who put on a great show for us on Wednesday, all as preview for a rawly honest feature and narrative from Al Gundy that included a bit of Walrus Walter, a bit of Super Grover, a bit of family-back-and-forth improv, and a truly genuine helping of Al’s sincerity. The six-poet slam started out casual, but progressed through friendly competition to a fierce head-to-head between finalists Kieran Collier and Meaghan Ford. Meaghan reigned supreme in the final round, earning $10 to go and sending Kieran off to slam (or host) another day.

Next week: we are exceptionally proud to present Simone John, an extremely strong local writer beginning the fall leg of her tour behind TESTIFY, her first full-length book of poems. For those interested in testing their own strength, we’ll have signups open for the fifth poetry slam in this season’s 8×8 series.

Tips from the Bar: The John Ashbery Prompt

Write the narration track of a nature documentary for an animal with ennui.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 6, 2017: Al Gundy

Whimsical rhymer Al Gundy. Photo by Jon Beckley.

Whimsical rhymer Al Gundy. Photo by Jon Beckley.

Al Gundy is a Boston-based performer of rhyming poetry, and a frequent flyer at the Boston Poetry Slam. His work delights with its elaborate language, musical meter, and whimsical tone.

Al also enjoys cartooning, and for very young audiences, he makes funny faces.

You can follow his work at algundy.com and on social media.

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.