Cantab Recap For Wednesday, October 18th, 2023

It was another packed house at the Boston Poetry Slam this week, eager to see the feature from one of our favorite local poets, Krysten Hill! There were a lot of highlights on the open mic, which started with a theme of infinity (Chris Rye actually finished their “infinite poem”, March Penn combined infinity, Derrida, and old favorite Patrick S in a stunning tour de force), and later featured moving memorized poems from Mariam and Nikki (the latter bringing the crowd into a tense, mediative stillness). We also had another episode in Kaitie D’s “Dirty Water” series, Hallie’s great piece “My Mom Has Only Rewatched One Show Ever”, and Colin Killick’s very entertaining series of famous poems condensed down into haiku. We rounded out the night with a couple of covers of works by the late and exceptionally great Omoizele Okoawo.

Our feature was the aforementioned Krysten Hill, who absolutely blows us away every time we hear her! There are very few poets who can command the stage with such force, while still crafting each poem into a mini symphony with both warm and firm edges. Every poem felt like an event. We heard work from both old and new manuscripts, encompassing the topics of race, violence, Nina Simone, and being a teacher. Thank you Krysten!

This week we have a feature from Ren Liu, a 2023 NorthBeast champion from the Providence Poetry Slam Team!

Ren L[i]u ((they/he/他) is bracketed (for now). In figuring out how to translate [their]self, they are grateful for the spaces where they do not have to—those rooted in disability justice, circle process, their poetry/spoken word families, and of course, their grandma’s kitchen. In Ren’s work facilitating community accountability processes and responding to crisis beyond state systems, they have grown to always turn to poetry as survival and pleasure in imagining our collective sick/disabled QTBIPOC liberation. Ren is a 2023 Zoeglossia Disability Poetics Fellow, a proud regular/staff at ProvSlam, and was a member of the 2023 Providence Poetry Slam team.

See you soon!

– MFG 🚪

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