Tip from the Bar: Not Abandoned, Just a Canto

Put together a series of your best unfinished first stanzas to create a single poem.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 28, 2019: Arianna Monet and an Open Poetry Slam

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Arianna Monet. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Arianna Monet. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

Arianna Monet is a queer Black poet and sentient strawberry milkshake currently living in Boston, Massachusetts. She believes strongly in curly bangs, heart-shaped sunglasses, and the color yellow. Arianna’s work has appeared in Rose Quartz Magazine, Honey & Lime Magazine, and What Are Birds? Journal, and this is her rookie year in the slam poetry world. She wants you to know that all thunderstorms are femmes; that all femmes are thunderstorms; and that, statistically speaking, she probably loves you. Arianna is a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team.

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

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Last night might have been the last Wednesday that the Cantab year-rounders had to ourselves (welcome back, students! there are empty seats in the front), and we surely made the most of it: poets from the last decade of slam at the show, including much-missed host April Ranger, turned out to see 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell lay down a multi-themed poetic storyline with his three-book/thirty-minute set. Zeke took the venue on a rugged and tender set, wading through rivers, stacking firewood for the winter, and bringing us all to northern Maine one step at a time.

Our slam was a compendium of regulars who must! have! heard! that we are qualifying for the 2020 team tryouts this August: the final round came down to Yehya Barakat and Cali Stenson, the very worst and most huggiest mortal enemies we’ve ever seen, in the one-minute round. Cali took the big win and the ten bucks, but both qualify for callbacks for the team.

Next week: it’s our final slam for at least a month, since September will be an all-early-bird month with four scheduled workshops! We’ve got one more team member to close out August, though, and it’s all-star rookie, mermaid, and Irresponsible Bird Arianna Monet. This is gonna be a hot one, folks, so plan to come early if you are hoping for a seat or a spot on the open mic.

Tips from the Bar: Like a New World, But New

Imagine how a single, small change in technology or circumstance would have completely reshaped our world.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 21, 2019: Zeke Russell and an Open Poetry Slam

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Zeke Russell. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

Zeke Russell is not your real uncle, but you can call him that. He grew up in Central Maine. In his thirties he found himself in Lowell, Mass., where he fell asleep at a coffee shop and woke up to a poetry slam happening right there in front of him. He fell in love with slam and started writing again. He first entered the Cantab in 2009 and never left the darkest corner of the bar.

Zeke is a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team. He was previously a member of the 2016 and 2017 teams, and represented the venue at IWPS in 2017. His work can be found in Maps For Teeth, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, and Wyvern Lit. He lives in Somerville, Mass. and is clean and sober.

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

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What a glorious couple of August weeks, Cantabbers! We’re so grateful for everyone who came out to the Tender Match on a stormy Thursday night last week: an evening with the Bowery crew, our slam team, city favorites and House emeriti was one to remember from here to New York City. Looking forward to a 2020 rematch!

Meanwhile, back at the Cantab, we’re hip deep in celebration for our 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team, with a show and chapbook release for Terah Ehigiator to open the month and Joshua Elbaum settling right in the heart of it. Both poets have more product coming from pizza pi press ultra-soon: watch this space for more info, pretty please.

Oh, and in further news: we’re spending this month qualifying folks for our 2020 slam team in open slams every Wednesday! A belated congratulations is due Ilyus Evander for a first-place finish in our slam on August 8, and to Max Evans for taking this week’s top honors; we also owe big ups and roses to our two runner-ups, who also qualify for 2020: Brittany Frederick and Vee Marie.

Thinking about jumping into the fray for 2020? Itching for more team work from next week’s 2019 team member feature, Zeke Russell? Come see us on August 21 for all of the aforementioned and the much-needed late-summer tenderness of our open mic, too.

Tips from the Bar: This Is Not My Beautiful Ostrich

Describe an animal as though you’ve never seen it before, in a way you’ve never heard before.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 14, 2019: Joshua Elbaum and an Open Poetry Slam

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Joshua Elbaum. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Joshua Elbaum. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

Joshua Elbaum has been trying to remember the same dream for a decade & invites you to join in the remembering through poems & songs & movement. They have a crush on birds, words, herbs, & a third of the people in the room. You can find Josh looking closely at plants, reading poetry at the Cantab Lounge, or waiting for you on your front steps, having sent you the word ‘here.’ Joshua is a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team.

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

OBERON Slam on Thursday, August 8, 2019: Boston vs. NYC Tender Match

Tender Match Poetry Slam: Boston vs. NYC
Thursday, August 8, 2019
OBERON, 2 Arrow St. in Harvard Square, Cambridge
7:00pm doors, 7:30pm openers, 8:00pm poetry slam
$10/$12/$15 (click for tickets)
click for Facebook event

August 8 at Oberon in Harvard Square! The Tender Match Poetry Slam featuring Boston and NYC all-stars. Banner by Allison Truj, photos courtesy of Tatiana M.R. Johnson and Bowery Poetry.

August 8 at Oberon in Harvard Square! The Tender Match Poetry Slam featuring Boston and NYC all-stars. Banner by Allison Truj, photos courtesy of Tatiana M.R. Johnson and Bowery Poetry.


Our biggest show of the year! The Boston Poetry Slam and Bowery Poetry come together for the sweetest, tenderest, hot-dawg slammiest slam featuring poets from Boston and NYC on Oberon’s Harvard Square Stage.

Move over, Grudge Match: it’s 2019 and these poets are ready to get Tender. Two of the longest-running slam series in the country will serve up all-stars from each home stage in head-to-head poetry matches. Poets from each team will use all the tricks of their trade— lyricism, comedy, grand performance, and straight-up heartfelt personal narrative— to impress rowdy audience and all-star judges in the heart of Harvard Square!

As usual, the slam will feature fabulous openers, including comedian Wes Hazard, and an awesome fivesome of no-holds-barred American-Idol-style judges. Teams will be captained by Simone Beaubien (BOS) and Mason Granger (NYC) with the full roster and poet pairings TBD.

PAIRINGS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!
SACRIFICE: Capt. Simone Beaubien (BPS) vs Capt. Mason Granger (NYC)
Zeke Russell vs. Clementine von Radics
Arianna Monet vs. Nia Aisha Calloway
Terah Ehigiator vs. Tyler Larsen
Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah vs. Taylor Steele
Rebecca Lynn vs. Gabriel Ramirez
Samgen vs. Chris Leja
Sam Rush vs. Nkosi Nkululeko

Tickets are $10/$12/$15 (click here for tickets), and THIS SHOW WILL SELL OUT, so we recommend advance purchase! All proceeds go to support the Boston Poetry Slam, Bowery Poetry, and the show’s supporting artists.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 7, 2019: Terah Ehigiator and an Open Poetry Slam

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Terah Ehigiator. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team member Terah Ehigiator. Photo by Tatiana M.R. Johnson.

Terah Ehigiator is a Cambridge-based poet by way of Garland, Texas. He is a recent graduate of Williams College and appreciates poetry that references both deer and names. Terah is a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team.

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