Cantab Slam for Wednesday, September 12, 2018: SSO What Slam?

The Boston Poetry Slam is excited to kick off a new wild ‘n’ boisterous slam series with the most controversial and fiery slam theme possible: Formal Poetry. We expect bloodthirsty competition to ensue given the following head-to-head slam format:

  • First round: SESTINA.
  • Second round: SONNET.
  • Third round: ODE.

Any necessary tiebreakers will be conducted in HAIKU. The top prize for the slam is $25!

UPDATE: the roster for tonight’s slam is full! Audience will be pleased to witness the following murderers’ row of formal composers:
Sophia Holtz
Zeke Russell
Myles Taylor
Cassandra de Alba
Kieran Collier
Nathan Comstock
Lip Manegio
George Abraham

Warm-up poets with a sestina (or sonnet) are still being accepted to the show. Please email slammaster@bostonpoetryslam.com for more info, or walk in and chat with any of the night’s hosts.

Want to judge the slam? Judges with strong ideas about sestina composition as well as judges with strong ideas about which well liquor pairs well with a rowdy poetry reading are equally 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, September 5, 2018

Oh, we have gone some years without seeing Jeanann Verlee at the Cantab Lounge, and what a joy it was to remedy that this past week. Jeanann brought us the most sacred of narratives, conflating the concepts of confession and craft in a seamless and spare feature set. And, yes, she is a good-sport New Yorker who headed home thereafter to release her new book, but if you missed your pre-release chance, you can grab it straight from Black Lawrence Press today.

This Wednesday: it’s the first theme slam in our new series! Come see eight poets get down with a sestina, a sonnet, and an ode in our head-to-head SSO What Slam! The roster for the competition is full up, but we’re still taking advance sign-ups for judges (no poetic experience required, or even desired): please see the full event for all the info.

Tip from the Bar: Hindsight is High-Gloss

Consider the duct tape recently painted over at the Cantab Lounge. Now consider a time when you thought you had made some real self-improvement, maybe enough to tell somebody about. Did it go as well as you dreamed?

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, September 5, 2018: Jeanann Verlee

NEA Fellow Jeanann Verlee. Photo by Angelys Ocana.

NEA Fellow Jeanann Verlee. Photo by Angelys Ocana.

Jeanann Verlee is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellow and the author of three books: prey, finalist for the Benjamin Saltman Award (Black Lawrence, 2018); Said the Manic to the Muse (Write Bloody, 2015); and Racing Hummingbirds, silver medal winner in the Independent Publisher Awards (Write Bloody, 2010). She is a recipient of the Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Sandy Crimmins National Prize. Her poems and essays appear in a number of journals, including Adroit, BOAAT, BuzzFeed, VIDA, and Muzzle. She has served as poetry editor for Winter Tangerine Review and Union Station, among others, and as copy editor for multiple individual collections. Former director of Urbana Poetry Slam where she served as writing and performance coach, Verlee performs and facilitates workshops at schools, theatres, libraries, bookstores, and dive bars across North America. She collects tattoos, kisses Rottweilers, and believes in you. Find her at jeanannverlee.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 Recap for Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Last night! What a super time was had with Jeremy Radin in the house, consummate actor and teacher, who started the evening by leading an early-bird performance workshop for an enthusiastic crew. Jeremy went on to put together a glorious feature, leading us from birdsong through sweet personal patter and ending with a series of poemologues (yes, we made that word up, what about it) to tug the heartstrings and maybe just a very few stars free from the sky. Jeremy’s book, Dear Sal, is still available from Not a Cult publishing house, but you can also see more of Jeremy’s work live in the NorthBEAST this week if you check your other local slams’ listings (hint: he’ll be at Slam Free or Die this very evening).

Next week: oh, boy, these Wednesdays are full of glory. We are so pleased to welcome Jeanann Verlee back to the stage, touring in support of her new book, prey. Doors open at 7:15 for you to get a seat, our open mic starts promptly at 8:00, and Jeanann will take the stage sometime after a 9:45ish break. See you there!

Tips from the Bar: A Better Horrible

Think back to (or, sorry, just look over your shoulder at) a terrible boss you’ve had, one whose actions were bad for you, your co-workers, your customers, and the culture of the business. Write the apology from them that you are owed.

Alternatively: what could you do differently if you were in charge?

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 29, 2018: Jeremy Radin

Los Angeles poet, actor, and teacher Jeremy Radin. Photo by Tory Stolper.

Los Angeles poet, actor, and teacher Jeremy Radin. Photo by Tory Stolper.

Jeremy Radin is a poet, actor, and teacher. His poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Gulf Coast, Passages North, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Collapsar, Nailed, Sidekick Lit, Union Station, Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere. He is the author of two collections of poetry, Slow Dance with Sasquatch (Write Bloody Publishing, 2012) and Dear Sal (not a cult press, 2017). He lives in Los Angeles with his four plants and his refrigerator. Follow him @germyradin.

In addition to his feature set, Jeremy will also present an early-bird poetry writing workshop before the show. Click here for more details.

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, August 22, 2018

Wow, wow, wow, there really is no place like home. On this post-Nationals Wednesday, the Cantab was extra-glad to welcome a sweet and conversational open mic to the stage, followed by a much-awaited feature from Providence organizer Charlotte Abotsi that did not disappoint. Charlotte brought us work that is, in so many ways, the story of slam; personal narrative crafted to both give and receive from the audience, rife with figurative language in a straightforward package. Also: can we talk about that send-up of both haters and lovers of fanfic? You know Charlotte didn’t bring any product to vend you, but you should definitely follow her on Twitter for more of her wits and wit.

Our Champion of Champions slam closed the night and it was glorious and so very right to see all eight champs in the house. These poets brought genuine A-game, with work full-out performed and written for a Nationals-level (ahem) stage. The ultimate pairing came down to mortal enemies Lip and Myles: Myles Taylor took the season championship and made the fiscally responsible decision to challenge reigning champ Brandon Melendez! However, after a blistering new-poem round, the judges determined that the student had not yet (YET) surpassed the master: Brandon maintains the title and can add that $100 prize straight to his tequila fund.

Speaking of slam… If you are at all involved in, or even tangential to, the national slam community, you have likely heard of some big shake-up in the organization. The dust is still clearing over Poetry Slam, Inc., but what we know for sure is that there will be no PSI events in 2019: most relevant to you may be the announcement that there will be NO National Poetry Slam next August.

What does that mean for us? Actually, we think it means a great opportunity to restructure our slam series to better serve our audience, poets, and performance poetry community. Effective this week, our gently-attended late-night slam events will enter hiatus until further notice; instead, we will begin a showcase slam series promising more themes, more fun, and more prime-time opportunities for audience to enjoy competitive literary hijinks. It all starts with our Sestina/Sonnet/Ode Slam on September 12, and continues with a Ghost Story Slam hosted by Zeke Russell in October.

Got ideas? Got questions? Got a killer Sestina/Sonnet/Ode set you want to present on September 12, or (hallelujah) an itchin’ to judge the slam? Please email slammaster@bostonpoetryslam.com with all you’ve got, and keep watching this space, and our Facebook page, for more info about our transforming slam series and plans for 2019.

Meanwhile: our extremely hot summer series marches on, with a feature from the most excellent Jeremy Radin this coming Wednesday. Did you hear about Jeremy’s top-notch poetic AND acting chops? You can get some of that sweet sweet stage advice honey from the poet himself at Jeremy’s early-bird workshop, a rare opportunity for performance practice with a trained performer. Sign up here! See you there!

Tips from the Bar: Literally a Poem About Your Favorite Pizza

Try and find a piece of writing that stumbles over objectification of a person (or somehow makes the act of objectification seem lovely) and let it inspire you to write about something you are passionate about. Express this without mentioning a person in any way.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, August 22, 2018: Charlotte Abotsi and the Champion of Champions Slam

FEMS champion and Providence slam director Charlotte Abotsi. Photo by Em Jiang.

FEMS champion and Providence slam director Charlotte Abotsi. Photo by Em Jiang.

A former Youth Grand Slam Champion, Charlotte Abotsi has taken on a directorship role at her home venue, the Providence Poetry Slam. There, she serves as a youth director, booking coordinator, and SlamMaster. She has competed in several international slams, and placed in the top twenty at the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Charlotte is a 2017 Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam winner. She is half of The Rush Hour Poetry Tour Collective, a collective demanding intersectionality at every avenue. Her poems have been written about in The Huffington Post and Mic.com. She is an artist and writer who lives in Providence, writing essay criticisms, poetry, and screenplays.

Tonight also marks the final night in our current 8×8 poetry slam series! Following Charlotte’s feature, eight slam winners will slam off for the season championship and the opportunity to challenge Brandon Melendez (HELLA YES), the current reigning Champion of Champions.

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 Champions of Champions Slam in the 8×8 slam series will begin at approximately 10:45. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.