Tips from the Bar: The April Penn Prompt

Write a poem wherein you introduce an animal that would be especially bad at driving (or expand it to a skill or trade you have). Write a second part in which you find it difficult to perform the animal’s natural skills.

SCHEDULE CHANGE! Cantab Feature for December 11, 2019: Evan J. Cutts

Our previously scheduled feature is not able to attend this week’s show: we will work to reschedule Noor Ibn Najam for a future date. In the meantime, we are proud to present Evan J. Cutts, who returns to the area on winter break from his MFA program in New Jersey.

Erstwhile-and-future open mic host Evan J. Cutts. Photo by Kelsey Lardiere.

Erstwhile-and-future open mic host Evan J. Cutts. Photo by Kelsey Lardiere.

Evan J. Cutts is a 25-year-old Boston-native, poet, writer, MFA Candidate, and Chancellor’s MFA Mentors Fellow at Rutgers University – Newark. Evan was a member of the Emerson College 2017 CUPSI Team and 2017 National Poetry Slam “Last Chance Slam” Team. His poetry navigates Blackness, locality, mythology, and magic. His poetry is published or forthcoming in Apogee Journal, Jabberwock Review, Juked, The Offing, Lumina Journal, Wildness, and others.

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

Cantab Recap for Wednesday, December 4, 2020

This past Wednesday, we enjoyed an incredible feature– punctuated with brilliant and of-course-hilarious banter– from Raych Jackson, Chicago poet and prescient, excellent human. Raych’s book is newly published and beautifully produced by Button Poetry, and you can buy it directly from the publisher if you missed your chance on Wednesday.

Now that it’s winter, we’ve extended our shows hours late into the icy night: we kept warm this last week with a joyously competitive slam, with the final round coming down to new-to-us reader Eust and longtime open mic regular April Penn. Both finalists win an opportunity to try out for the 2020 Boston Poetry Slam Team, but an extra congratulations goes to April, who took home the top score and a ten-dollar prize from the show.

Next week: hometown hero Evan J. Cutts returns to our scene! This longtime open mic host has been off in parts unknown (okay, Jersey) obtaining his MFA: we lucked out in booking him to fill an unexpected feature slot opening next week. As always, we’ll start the night with an open mic, and this week we also close with another open poetry slam with 3-, 2-, and 1-minute rounds.

Tips from the Bar: Give No Answers

Look for answers that you do not find in the poem.

Cantab Feature for Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Raych Jackson

Chicago poet Raych Jackson. Photo by Qurissy Lopez.

Chicago poet Raych Jackson. Photo by Qurissy Lopez.

Rachel “Raych” Jackson is a writer, educator and performer. While teaching third and fourth grade in Chicago Public Schools, Jackson competed on numerous national poetry teams and individual competitions. Her poems have gained over 2 million views on YouTube. She is the 2017 NUPIC Champion and a 2017 Pink Door fellow. Jackson recently voiced ‘DJ Raych’ in the Jackbox game Mad Verse City. Her latest play, “Emotions & Bots”, premiered at the Woerdz Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. Jackson wrote a room dedicated to her city for 29Rooms’ first installment in Chicago through Refinery 29. She co-created and co-hosts Big Kid Slam, a monthly poetry show in Chicago. Jackson’s work has been published by many— including Poetry Magazine, The Rumpus, The Shallow Ends, and Washington Square Review. Her debut collection EVEN THE SAINTS AUDITION was recently published through Button Poetry. She lives in Chicago.

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

Moonlighting Recap for 12/1/2019

Cambridge became a slushy winter wonderland tonight, but folks still braved the storm to get to the Democracy Center for their monthly queer poem fix. Audience members thawed out with some tea provided by co-host Myles, and the open mic filled up with warm & welcoming work. The night’s features, Q and Katya Zinn, brought gorgeous and searching poems to the stage– and left the room with some product left! If you’re bummed to have missed out, find them at the BPS weekly show and exchange dollars for merch: it’s almost like you were at the show.

Join us on January 5 for our next mic! We’re still deciding on a feature– feel free to email the co-curators with ideas or press kits. See you there!

Moonlighting: A Queer Open Mic and Reading Series on December 1, 2019

This reading is part of our monthly LGBTQIA+ series, Moonlighting. This month’s event is scheduled for Sunday, December 1, 2019, and the featured readers are Q and Katya Zinn.

Desert flower Q. Photo by Emma Ruff.

Desert flower Q. Photo by Emma Ruff.

Q is a Desert Flower & Current Resident of Providence, Educator, Direct Care Provider Community Events Coordinator, and poet.///// Truly just a Queer, Latinx Wild Thing on the Hunt for Candy almost Always.//// Has a handful of Poems in Maps for Teeth, Yellow Chair Review, Voicemail Poems, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Slamfind/// Has released several self-printed collections of Poetry to include” For//After-Forever, Probably” and as of September 2018 – “All Small Things/ Bare Hot Salts”// Is trying their best not to talk too much about Rock and Roll or Fruit Bats, but Promises Nothing.

Poet, educator, and 2019 Slam Free or Die team member Katya Zinn. Photo by Renata Watson.

Poet, educator, and 2019 Slam Free or Die team member Katya Zinn. Photo by Renata Watson.

Katya Zinn just took a DNA test; turns out they’re 98% that bitch, and 2% post-consumer recycled waste content. Winner of the Selase Williams Art as Social Activism award, 1st place in the 2019 Words Aloud poetry contest, and ‘Bestest Teacher in the Universe’ (according to a crayon certificate in their wallet), Katya Zinn’s work seeks to recapture childhood magic through stories celebrating neurodiversity and the resiliency of the human spirit. They graduated summa cum laude from Lesley University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Expressive Art Therapy and captained Lesley’s first team to compete on the national stage at CUPSI. When not poem-ing, Katya teaches the arts to children with disabilities and works in legislative advocacy towards ending campus sexual violence. A current member of the 2019 Slam Free or Die national poetry team, their work has appeared in The Merrimack Review, Underground, Silver Needle, and Zoetic Press. They hope you will look out for Human Verses, their first chapbook-length collection, available from Finishing Line Press in 2020, and for sidewalk-stranded earthworms at the next rainstorm. You can find Katya on Twitter and Instagram, or by performing a simple conjuring spell at the next full moon.

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.

Tips from the Bar: Cantos, Cantos

Write, edit, or unearth a series of short poems on the same topic, but different storylines or perspectives. Arrange and rearrange to create, uncover, or hide a narrative that doesn’t exist in the individual poems.

Cantab Slam for Wednesday, November 27, 2019: History of the Internet Slam

Extremely graphic History of the Internet illustration by Cassandra de Alba.

Extremely graphic History of the Internet illustration by Cassandra de Alba.

The thing about the internet is that anyone at the bar, sitting next to you at the basement floor, or looking uninterested outside the Cantab entrance could be an internet celebrity. Get your own fifteen minutes at tonight’s event celebrating the timeline of internet communication, from AIM to LiveJournal to Twitter to Tik Tok. This will be a team-based competition with a series of “event” rounds encouraging various formats, group pieces, and a solid dose of silliness.

Interested in learning more, putting forth ideas, or signing up for/with a team? Email tonight’s slam director Myles Taylor.

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.

Urbanity Dance Presents: The Boston Poetry Slam with VLA Dance

Friday, November 22, 2019
Urbanity Dance, 725 Harrison Ave., Boston
TWO 1-HOUR SHOWS: 6:30 doors & 8:30 doors, talkback with the artists to follow
all ages, $15 and up (click for tickets), drinks with advance purchase only!
click for Facebook event

Boston Poetry Slam meets dance: image courtesy Urbanity X.

Boston Poetry Slam meets dance: image courtesy Urbanity X.

One night only! The Irresponsible Birds of the Boston Poetry Slam– that’s RebeccaLynn, Joshua Elbaum, Zeke Russell, Terah Ehigiator, and Arianna Monet– will perform two sets of poetry alongside movement from VLA Dance. Neither interpretive nor literal, the two troupes explore buoying one another and dividing the concept of storytelling between genres in a dynamic collaboration.

This show happens on ONE NIGHT ONLY and is thanks to Urbanity X, an incubator program pairing dancers with other city artists and providing technical support. This program’s beautiful venue space is also courtesy of Urbanity.

Tickets are $15 and up for each of the two shows: click here for tickets. This intimate space is wheelchair-accessible with one single-gender bathroom. Because this space is not a bar, alcohol is available only by advance purchase! Please see our ticketing link to purchase drinks with your tickets.