Cantab Feature for Wednesday, October 30: Jack McCarthy Memorial Slam

This night is an installment in the Boston Poetry Slam’s “Sober October,” a month-long series of shows and readers selected to celebrate the sober and recovering artists in our scene.

The late Jack McCarthy performing at his last Cantab feature on June 15, 2011. Photo by Richard Beaubien.

The late Jack McCarthy performing at his last Cantab feature on June 15, 2011. Photo by Richard Beaubien.

“For me, the live audience is really the only audience I ever think about… When I put something down on paper and publish it, my highest hope is that someone somewhere will pick it up and read it to a third party. My sense of audience does not stop with the person who reads the poem. I hope the poem goes on to another life.” –Jack McCarthy, speaking to the Boston Globe, December, 2012

The Dead Poets’ Slam, a show dedicated to performing the works of long-gone artists, traditionally falls on the Wednesday closest to Halloween. This year, we will move the apostrophe back in order to honor just one: a friend of the Cantab lost in the past year. Please mark your calendars for the first-ever Jack McCarthy Memorial Slam.

All-star performers from the New England scene will perform work from the late, great, and much-missed Jack McCarthy, and they will be scored by a selection of judges, resulting in a landslide win for, well, everyone. Folks familiar with Jack’s work can expect very few of the standbys; Jack wrote thousands of open mic poems over years of performance and some still-hidden gems will have a chance to shine tonight. If you’ve never heard Jack, then this is your best chance to enjoy his work as it was meant to be: live on stage, and delivered with love.

Confirmed performers:
TEAM 1: Tom Slavin, Kieran Collier, Mckendy Fils-Aime, Sue Savoy
TEAM 2: Brian Comiskey, Marshall Gillson, Allison Truj, Kevin Spak
TEAM 3: Richard Cambridge, Kemi Alabi, Cassandra Euphrat Weston, Christopher Clauss
TEAM 4: Mark Palos, Caroline Harvey, Sophia Holtz, Sam Teitel
Sacrifice: Sean Patrick Mulroy

Open mic poets are also welcome to cover Jack at the show. However, we ask that you time your performance (Jack didn’t always stay under 3 minutes on the open, but you still have to!), and that you consider consulting with the SlamMaster to make sure the poem you have selected isn’t already scheduled for the slam.

To learn more about Jack, see his Wikipedia page, local obituary, or the website maintained by his family.

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 featured slam begins at approximately 10:00. An open slam in the 8×8 series will follow. The show is 18+ (ID required) and the cover charge is $3.