Cantab Recap for Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Oh, hello there, extremely full basement bar! We had no idea so many people were craving increased pettiness in their lives this week: about a hundred, it turns out, or at least that’s how many piled into the Cantab this Wednesday to get their fill of non-earth-shattering, non-world-changing, wildly unimportant poetry. The first round was a barnburner with six poets jostling for the big two-point pettiness bonus; after three rounds, the night’s big winner (with an over-30 total!) was torrin greathouse, who earned a little money for art and eternal glory that lasts all the way until our next slam. Oh, our next slam: mark your calendars/star charts for December 19, when local celebrity Myles Taylor will host our first-ever Astrology Slam!

Next week: after the excitement of this week, we sure hope your papers are turned in and your deadlines are met early enough for you to skip out of your usual Wednesday afternoon obligations… Our doors will open at 5:30 sharp for a generative writing workshop with the elusive-and-very-awesome Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah! The workshop will last until 7pm, after which we’ll throw the doors open again for our usual 8:00 open mic and a 10:00ish feature from Emmanuel.

Cantab Slam for Wednesday, November 14, 2018: Petty Party Poetry Slam

The Boston Poetry Slam is pleased to continue our 2018 wild ‘n’ boisterous slam series with a glorious mid-fall petty party! Poets are asked to commit their most petty considerations to poetic form in a celebration of the most trivial topics fit for the stage.

Slam has long been home and refuge for the excitingly topical, the politically relevant, and the personally harrowing. Without discounting the importance of the genre as both sociopolitical education and space for the unheard story, we ask poets to turn tradition on its head and dig shallowly into topics typically deemed unfit for stirring presentation: tonight, treatises on the appropriateness of pineapple on pizza, odes to a lover’s belly button lint, and send-ups of institutional power’s most inconsequential foibles will be the price and prize for entering the competition.

Slam format and cash prizes are contingent on the number of advance sign-ups, but folks may expect standard slam rules to apply; prompts are available for those unable to dial their worldview down to inconsequentiality. To sign up for the slam and get format updates, please email slammaster@bostonpoetryslam.com.

Judges are also invited to offer their services in advance in return for free admission; please email slammaster@bostonpoetryslam.com. No experience is necessary, or even desired.

Of note: this event replaces the briefly posted “No-Net Slam.” Our slam staff would like to thank the community members who brought the neurotypical exclusionary nature of that ill-conceived format to the SlamMaster’s attention.

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

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 7, 2018: Ewan Hill

Ewan Hill, wondrous western Mass poet. Photo by Michaela Coplen.

Ewan Hill, wondrous western Mass poet. Photo by Michaela Coplen.

Ewan Hill (they/them) is a queer love ballad, an encyclopedia of cloud facts, a young trans Libra. They work in a children’s library which is exactly as wondrous and sticky as one might imagine. They are a poet, most recently published by The Academy of American Poets, Public Pool, and bluestockings magazine. Ewan enjoys wishing on stars and making things up. They believe in exquisite care and the cleaving of orbits. Find them on Twitter and Instagram.

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, October 31, 2018

What a Halloween night! Heckgolly, are we ever grateful for the folks who decided to spend their October 31 with us: an audience full of great costumes, funny hats, and folks who simply make it their business to leave the house for poetry warmed the room (and sold us out of the Bloodstorm drink special, by the way) for this velvety dark holiday. Our slam was a jam-packed roster of ten folks, including a couple of walk-in fill-ins, and we are pleased to announce the following rankings after two transformative and ghostly rounds:

1: torrin a. greathouse 57.7
2: George Abraham 57.4
3(tie): Lip Manegio 54.4
3(tie): Kelsey Chaplain 54.4

Meaghan Ford
Alison Kronstadt
Katya Zinn
Sarah Gabriel
The Phantom of the Opera
Mugs Myers

Congratulations to our top scorer, torrin greathouse, and all our prizewinners (in bold above)! Our biggest and spookiest thanks as well to our excellent slammers, our five hard-working judges, host Professor Elijah Lovejoy, bout managment from The Ghost of the Rat King Who Haunts the Stairs, and whomever paid their admission with a silver certificate, thus helping us present our big winner with immediate increased protection from dangerous spirits.

Next week: DON’T FORGET TO VOTE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6. Then reward yourself with a feature on November 7 from western Massachusetts’s own sweetest cloud heart, Ewan Hill!

Tips from the Bar: We’ll Be Right Down

Select a specific aspect of your personality for an event, outing, or night in. Now dress that part of yourself: in costume, drag, or daily wear.

Cantab Slam for Wednesday, October 31, 2018: Ghost Story Slam

In honor of the season, the Boston Poetry Slam is exhilarated to present our first-ever all-alive but very-much-haunted Ghost Story Slam. This two-round slam is open to any poets, storytellers, or performers interested in bringing their own on-theme work to the stage.

All entrants shall be guaranteed two rounds of performance for a total of six minutes on the mic. The theme of “ghost story” is open to interpretation, but artists are encouraged to consider two different takes on their subject in order to best surprise, delight, and get spooky for the audience. Our roster of slammers is now full, and audience members may expect original work, costumes, and props from the following confirmed artists:
Steven Mugs Myers
Sarah Gabriel
Kelsey Chaplain
George Abraham
Meaghan Ford
Katya Zinn
Claudia Morales
Lip Manegio
Chloé Cunha

The show will be hosted by the corporeal form of Zeke Russell and bout managed by the ghost of Cassandra de Alba.

Want to judge the slam? Judges with strong ideas about ghostly lyricism as well as judges with strong ideas about which bar offerings offer the most haunting experience are welcome: no experience is necessary, or even desired. Email slammaster@bostonpoetryslam.com to get in free and have your very own whiteboard to hold.

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

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What if your favorite powerhouse poetic artist released a chapbook for the first time? What if the chapbook were also a lovingly crafted mixtape of the best soul, funk, R&B, hip-hop, and slow jams of the last century? What if you knew enough to show up for Neiel Israel’s full-length feature at the Cantab Lounge… Who are we kidding: of course you did, and maybe you were one of the lucky few to snap up her sold-out chapbook run of The Dead Sing Better Than You. If not, well, keep your eyes peeled for this notorious writer to take one of our upcoming slams by storm…

Oh, you heard we have poetry slams around here? You betcha, and for next week, our totally on-theme celebration of poetic competition will be our first-ever Ghost Story Slam, a two-round show featuring costumes, spirits, witches & ghouls, brave and corporeal host Zeke Russell, and a spine-tingling roster of poets ready to speak on both sides of the veil. Sign-ups are full, but we’re still taking advance requests for judging (that’s the ghoulish part) and your ghostly story and/or costume will be enthusiastically welcomed to the night’s open mic.

Tips from the Bar: Inventors’ Club

Throwback prompt from Adam Stone’s Crooked Treehouse:

Write about a female or non-binary inventor. If you are female or non-binary, write it however you wish. If you’re male-identified, then completely remove yourself from the poem. Don’t talk about how the female or non-binary inventor inspired you or changed your life or what her love life was like, write a list poem about them, or find an angle that never mentions the inventor’s beauty or courage. Tell us about the invention.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, October 24, 2018: Neiel Israel

Eight-time National slam poet and "talented big-mouth" Neiel Israel. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Eight-time National slam poet and “talented big-mouth” Neiel Israel. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Neiel Israel: poet, artist, educator, humanitarian, eight-time National slam poet, and talented big-mouth. Graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Boston; is a fan of love, karma, music, bike riding, the beach, sunbathing, and babies that leap out of their parent’s arms in her direction to make her more attentive as well as sharpen her reflexes. [Neiel has secretly been avoiding marriage because she thinks it would be awful, but knows someday she’ll be delightfully persuaded to marry for the fun of it.] She enjoys dinner parties but doesn’t like cooking, and has been known to make people laugh hysterically without trying.

Neiel has written a chapbook (that she is finally willing to share) with pantoums, sonnets, and other forms titled: “The Dead Sing Better than You,” poems written in loving memory of Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Prince and other greats. You may be one of the fortunate few to get your hands on a copy (the night of the feature) before she changes her mind, and possibly decides not to share the chapbook at all. Good luck!

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 Feature for Wednesday, October 17, 2018: Anthony Febo

FreeVerse! founder and Adobo-Fish-Sauce partner Anthony Febo. Photo by Christian Arthur.

FreeVerse! founder and Adobo-Fish-Sauce partner Anthony Febo. Photo by Christian Arthur.

Anthony Febo is a Puerto Rican artist from Lowell, Mass. Febo lives at the intersection of poetry, theatre, performance art, sculptures, and education. With the help of his community, he created the slam poetry scene in the city that birthed and raised him. To start, he co-founded FreeVerse! an organization that works with Lowell’s youth to better understand themselves through poetry and performance. Then he became the SlamMaster of the adult scene, and has since passed it on to his partner in thyme Ricky Orng. Together they form Adobo-Fish-Sauce, a cooking and poetry duo.

Febo has been a teaching artist and performer for the last ten years and now he is taking the next step in both: two tours in the fall and a full time position at a new school that he is assisting with developing in Somerville. His show, On Finding Joy, explores what it means to actively choose joy in the face of what is trying to break you. The show examines issues such as toxic masculinity, family and mental health, culture and identity, and the role representation plays into a person’s development. These topics are sewn together with cooking, aspects of theatre, dance/movement, and of course spoken word poetry.

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.