Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 13, 2019: José Olivarez

Chicago poet and author of Citizen Illegal: José Olivarez. Photo by Marcos Vasquez.

Chicago poet and author of Citizen Illegal: José Olivarez. Photo by Marcos Vasquez.

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants and the author of Citizen Illegal, a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. In 2018, he was awarded the first annual Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association, and the book was named a top book of 2018 by NPR and the New York Public Library. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Chicago Magazine and elsewhere.

Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he is co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT (forthcoming from Haymarket Books). He is the co-host of the Poetry Gods podcast and a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Poets House, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the Conversation Literary Festival. Visit him at his website.

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, November 6, 2019

This Wednesday, we were so pleased to host Ashia Ajani for a feature and exceptional workshop, inviting participants and listeners to consider a whole environment, a whole nature that includes both the colonial and diasporic, and an apocalypse that invites us to love. Looking forward to hearing more of our workshoppers’ poems as the month goes on.

Coming up next: Citizen Illegal author José Olivarez hasn’t been to visit us since before his book was published, back in 2015. This coming Wednesday he’ll be riding high on the success of this vividly important publication, plus no doubt carrying some new work to share. Open mic hopefuls are advised to arrive at our 7:15 door time as tonight’s event is likely to sell out.

Cantab Workshop for Wednesday, November 6, 2019 with Ashia Ajani

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 all levels of writers and performers who wish to contribute to the night’s feeling of community. Black poets are invited to attend this workshop for free.

Ashia Ajani is a Black storyteller hailing from Denver, Colorado. Her work confronts Black environments and imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance in diaspora communities. Learn more about Ashia, who will also be the featured poet for the night, at this link.

DESCRIPTION FROM THE WORKSHOP LEADER
During this workshop, we will explore the dehumanization of Blackness, and how it complicates human-nature relationships. By looking at the poetic traditions of writers like Joy Harjo, Danez Smith and Thylia Moss, we will see how the destruction of the marginalized body mirrors the destruction of the environment, and how to incorporate these themes into our own writings.

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. Black poets are invited to attend this workshop at no cost.

Due to the constraints of the venue, our workshop have 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 and featured poet, click here.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, November 6, 2019: Ashia Ajani

Denver poet, Yale grad, and Environmental Studies major Ashia Ajani. Photo by Alice Oh.

Denver poet, Yale grad, and Environmental Studies major Ashia Ajani. Photo by Alice Oh.

Ashia Ajani is a Black storyteller hailing from Denver, Colorado, Queen City of the Plains. She is a graduate of Yale University and an Environmental Studies major with a specialization in environmental justice and food rights. Her work confronts Black environments and imaginaries, exploring the legacies of trauma and resistance in diaspora communities. She has been published in Atlas&Alice Magazine, The Journal, Pilgrimage Press, Sage Magazine, Brushfire Literature & Arts, and The Hopper Magazine, among others. She released her first chapbook, We Bleed Like Mango, in October of 2017. Follow her on Instagram at @ashiainbloom and on her website.

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.

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series Featuring Arianna Monet on November 3, 2019

This reading is part of our monthly LGBTQIA+ series, Moonlighting. Our next event is scheduled for Sunday, November 3, 2019, and the featured reader will be Arianna Monet.

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 is also a member of the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Honey & Lime Literary Magazine, Pizza Pi Press, What Are Birds? Journal, and elsewhere. She wants you to know that all thunderstorms are femmes; that all femmes are thunderstorms; and that, statistically speaking, she probably loves you

Click here for more information about this recurring show.

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.

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Happy Halloween, Cantabbers! Last night’s slam was a– broombuster? A beastly good time? Definitely magical: the transformative joy of the season was in full effect as Werewolves, Zombies, Ghosts and Vampires took the stage in an extremely-high-stakes and not-at-all off-the-cuff competition event designed to select the Supreme Supernatural Being of the Night. Hosted by hard-working and ghostly-dressing producer Cassandra de Alba as La Llrona, two sacrifices from Zeke Russell and Kelsey Chaplain kicked off a host of memorable moments, not least of which included: Werewolf Max Evans kicking in the door with a familiar incantation; Yehya Barakat appearing in full creeptastic costume and hilariously reprising the same character in a Zombie group piece with Megan Thoma; a serious haunting effort across the whole city of Boston captained by Ghost Allison Truj; and a treatise on the Hollywood complications of vampiric life from Chloé Cunha.

When the bats cleared, the Vampires had taken the top spot in the event, trailed closely by the Zombies and Ghosts, then with the Werewolves rounding out the high-spirited foursome. Congratulations to Nosferatu George Abraham, Myles Taylor, Kieran Collier, and Chloé Cunha on a well-crafted set, and big thanks to judges Katya, Ethan, Bothma, Robin, and AJ, who made awarding our not-at-all-janky skull necklaces prizes possible.

Next week: the five Wednesdays of October may be in the rearview, but autumn poetry rolls on! This week we welcome Denver storyteller Ashia Ajani to the stage for a feature set following our open mic. Early arrivals, take note: Ashia will offer a Wednesday workshop with discussion and generative prompts on the marginalized body (this event is free for Black poets). Click here for more workshop details!

Tips from the Bar: Another MFG Prompt

Write a poem about a soothing sound.

Cantab Slam for October 30, 2019: Supernatural Beings Slam

Don't come to the Cantab on October 30 if you scare easily! We'll be pre-gaming Halloween with a Ghosts vs. Zombies vs. Vampires vs. Werewolves slam. Image courtesy Shutterstock.

Don’t come to the Cantab on October 30 if you scare easily! We’ll be pre-gaming Halloween with a Ghosts vs. Zombies vs. Vampires vs. Werewolves slam. Image courtesy Shutterstock.

Conjurers! Exorcisers! Peeps with a creepy mask you’re dying to wear! Tonight is the night when witches fly– and when supernatural beings slam off against one another for supremacy of the spoooooopernatural realm (by which we definitely mean the dungeon we call the Cantab basement). Four slam teams representing Ghosts, Zombies, Vampires, and Werewolves will float/flap/lurch to the stage, with costumes encouraged and Themes of Darkness basically mandatory.

Interested in learning more, or signing up to slam? Email your team preference to Rat Queen Cassandra de Alba. Spots in the competition are limited, but our open mic will also welcome anyone writing (and/or dressing) to the seasonal theme. Come get your creepy creature scare on!

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

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Jess Rizkallah

Jess Rizkallah, author of The Magic My Body Becomes. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Jess Rizkallah, author of The Magic My Body Becomes. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Jess Rizkallah is a Lebanese-American writer and illustrator. She is an New York University MFA graduate, a Kundiman fellow, and editor-in-chief at pizza pi press. Her full-length collection THE MAGIC MY BODY BECOMES was a finalist for The Believer Poetry Award and won the 2017 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize as awarded by the Radius of Arab-American Writers and University of Arkansas Press. Find her at jessrizkallah.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. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, October 16, 2019: GennaRose Nethercott

Poet and lyricist GennaRose Nethercott. Photo by Kirk Murphy.

Poet and lyricist GennaRose Nethercott. Photo by Kirk Murphy.

GennaRose Nethercott’s book The Lumberjack’s Dove (Ecco/HarperCollins) was selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series for 2017. She is also the lyricist behind the narrative song collection Modern Ballads, and is a Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellow. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies including BOMB, The Massachusetts Review, The Offing, and PANK, and she has been a writer-in-residence at the Shakespeare & Company bookstore, Art Farm Nebraska, and The Vermont Studio Center, among others. A born Vermonter, she tours nationally and internationally composing poems-to-order for strangers on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter.

Tonight’s show also offers an early-bird workshop before doors open for the open mic! Click here for more information on GennaRose Nethercott’s Monster Lab, a generative workshop drawing on folklore to write on the subject of monsters.

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.