Cantab Recap for Wednesday, March 27, 2019

It’s the last days of National Women’s Month, folks, but this week Justice Ameer gave us plenty to think about and poem upon for the next eleven months of the year. Yes, the month is too short and thirty minutes is not enough time to hear all from Justice that you want, but if you didn’t get xyr book last night, you might get a chance to hear xem the next time you visit the Providence Poetry Slam on a Thursday night. Our slam following Justice’s fire feature was full of hot competition: finals came down to local sometime slammer Max Ureña and new arrival Terah Ehigiator, with Max taking the $10 prize but both poets qualifying for Prelims next week.

Next week: yes, yes, yes, it is that time already/at last! April 3 will mark the first night of our Team Selection Slams. A blistering list of qualified poets has been invited to slam off next week in two rounds totaling four minutes, with the top poets advancing to Semi-Finals at the end of the month. As always, we’ll be looking for judges: sign up to put up numbers in advance and you can earn free admission to the $5 show.

Tips from the Bar: The Michael F. Gill Prompt

Write a ten-line poem wherein each line is a single word containing three letters, making it appropriate to enter as the top 10 high scores on, for instance, a Pac-Man machine.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, March 27, 2019: Justice Ameer

Providence poet and leader Justice Ameer. Photo by Ally Schmaling.

Providence poet and leader Justice Ameer. Photo by Ally Schmaling.

Justice Ameer is a poet and performer based in Providence, Rhode Island whose work explores the experience of being a Black trans woman in a post-racial and potentially post-apocalyptic America. Xe has competed and featured at various poetry venues across the nation. Xe is a Pink Door fellow, FEM Slam Champion, and two-time Providence Grand Slam Champion. Xyr work has been published in Glass Poetry Press, POETRY magazine, and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic anthology.

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 2019 Team Selection Slams. 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, March 20, 2019

March marches on, folks, and blew in two lion-hearted features for last night’s show: Devin Devine and Clementine von Radics could steal any show they set foot into, but since they were already booked for ours, they had to steal our hearts instead. The slam was packed and featured a super-fun selection of new readers and vets, with the final round coming down to Max and Arianna. Both clear favorites of the crowd and the judges, it was hard to guess who would come out on top: at the end of the night, both poets qualify to try out for the 2019 Boston Poetry Slam Team, but extra congrats to Arianna, who took the decisive win in the one-minute round and walked away with the big ten dollar prize.

Next week: our feature will be the esteemed, honored, and all-around badass Justice Ameer, followed by our last open slam before team tryouts begin. We recommend arriving early if you are hoping for a seat or an open mic spot: it’s going to be a popular night!

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, March 20, 2019: Devin Devine & Clementine von Radics

Brooklyn poet Clementine von Radics. Photo by Christopher Diaz.

Brooklyn poet Clementine von Radics. Photo by Christopher Diaz.

Clementine von Radics is a queer poet based in Brooklyn. They are the author of the collections Dream Girl and Mouthful of Forevers, which appeared on multiple bestseller lists and was nominated for a Goodreads choice award. Clementine has toured internationally and across the U.S. over the past five years. Originally from Oregon, Clementine presented the Portland Poetry Slam five times at national poetry competitions. Their forthcoming collection, In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive will be released by Andrews McMeel Universal in April 2019.

Spokane poet Devin Devine. Photo by Clark Hartman.

Spokane poet Devin Devine. Photo by Clark Hartman.

Devin Devine is a stand up comedian and writer and graduate from Gonzaga University, with two degrees in theatre performance and creative writing. She laughs and writers her way through issues of trauma, mental health, sexuality, and love. She has self-published three chapbooks, Feral Empathy, Crying on the Toilet, and Domestic and Fowl.

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 2019 Team Selection Slams. 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, March 13, 2019

Happy March, poets! Wait… is it… mid-March already? Daylight Savings Time? Dare we say… spring? Heckin’ close, Cantabbers, and celebrating last night’s ides was the phantasmic-in-the-flesh apparition of torrin greathouse, author of boy/girl/ghost and perennial slam winner and crafter of delicately brutal work. torrin set to work on our audience last night with a precise and conceptual set, each poem building on the last. It looks like the book is currently sold out online, so if you want a copy, get at torrin in the venue on another Wednesday.

Also also: our Wednesdays are getting longer, by which we mean it’s a great month for open slam! Eight poets tried their hand at a little friendly competition last night in our 3-2-1 speed slam, open to all. The final round showcased two one-minute poems from Meaghan Ford and Josh, with Josh taking top honors and the big ten-dollar prize.

Next week: why, yes, we do have another late-night open slam, and our usual beginning-of-the-night open mic. Smack in the middle we present a wicked exciting !double !feature from touring duo Devin Devine and Clementine von Radics. Come early! Stay late! Tip your bartender! See you Wednesday.

Tips from the Bar: So Much April, So Little Time

In honor of the need for more poems for fast-approaching National Poetry Month (note: that’s April, and it’s never more than 11 months away), bartender Adam Stone offers two tips this week:

1. What’s in the back of your mind? The question, concept, or person that’s been bothering you? Get it on the page.

2. National Mario Day was this week. In deference to the holiday, write a poem about either leaping to something (i.e. a conclusion) or a poem about a bad experience with mushrooms.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, March 13, 2019: torrin a. greathouse

Local published poet and formidable slammer torrin a. greathouse. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Local published poet and formidable slammer torrin a. greathouse. Photo courtesy of the artist.

torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer trans womxn & cripple-punk haunting the greater Boston area. She is the author of boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018) & winner of the Peseroff Poetry Prize, Palette Poetry Prize, & the Naugatuck River Narrative Poetry Prize. Their work is published/forthcoming in POETRY, The New York Times, Poem-a-Day, Muzzle, Redivider, BOAAT, & The Rumpus. When she is not writing, her hobbies include awkwardly drinking coffee at parties & trying to find some goddamn size 13 heels.

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 2019 Team Selection Slams. 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 Feature for Wednesday, March 6, 2019: CUPSI Warm-Up

Warm up for college nationals with the Cantab! Photo courtesy of ACUI.

Warm up for college nationals with the Cantab! Photo courtesy of ACUI.

The annual collegiate national poetry slam tournament is the driving performative force behind a good number of the Cantab’s regular readers and listeners. This year, slammers will convene at the University of Houston for the annual College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. To help our town favorites gear up for the big competition, we’ll be offering the CUPSI Warm-Up, a team slam featuring locals in a nationals-style event, incorporating all the collegiate regulations, poetry, and intensity of competition we’ve come to expect from CUPSI.

The night’s slam will feature poets from Emerson College, Wellesley College, Smith College, Northeastern University, and Lesley University! It’s (just some of) the future of slam, folks: bring your fight songs, flags, and/or tough, objective judging faces to help these poets prepare for their national tournament in April. Prospective judges are also invited to email; judges who sign up in advance of the show will enjoy complimentary admission.

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

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Heck yeah, Cantabbers: thanks to everyone who squeezed into the house this past week for a(n expectedly glorious) feature set from locally-based writer and educator Krysten Hill. Krysten presented a selection of already-published work from her book and other sources, but also an elegant and exciting selection of new poems, questions to ponder, and her trademark quick-witted banter. Our brightest and most heartfelt thanks to this poet for closing out our February series.

Next week: it’s one of our most high-energy events of the year as we welcome the CUPSI Warm-Up to the Cantab stage! The featured event will be a five-team collegiate slam for local nationals-bound teams: Lesley, Northeastern, Smith, Wellesley, and Emerson will go four rounds in a winner-take-bragging rights celebration of rising New England slam talent.