What’s better: assuming that the Cantab-powers-that-be totally knew it was World Elephant Day upon booking Jess Rizkallah’s feature? Or imagining that it was just the wildest, sweetest, luckiest, most synchronicity-stuffed feature selection in the calendar? Holy ker-wow, the brilliant and vulnerable and ass-kicking and, yes, elephant-invoking Jess Riz brought the house down at the Cantab last night, hauling us through all the bittersweets of family and love and gynecology and death, then releasing us to the shooting stars of the mid-August night. So proud to call her part of our Cantab community!
After the feature: okay, after Jess sold approximately one million books, we squeezed in the very last slam in the current 8×8 series. After some powerful match-ups and some squeaky-tight victories, the final round was Brenda vs. Meaghan Ford, two women with nothing to prove but surely with ten dollars to gain. An unofficially-themed We-Love-Love-Except-When-We-Hate-Love finale ended up with Meaghan on top, earning her the cash, the champions callback, and a berth in the 2016 Team Selection Preliminaries.
(Meanwhile, across the country in Oakland… The 2015 Boston Poetry Slam team was battling their way to a hard-fought 2-spot in their prelim 4×4 vs. SNO, Omaha, and Swag. Word on the street is that everyone nailed their poems and they gave the two-time previous NPS champs a great run for their money! So: it’s a great start, but they’ll need to win their bout tonight against Fuze, Humboldt, and Vancouver for a chance of making semi-finals. Those invested may choose to obsessively refresh the scores here for the team’s bout at 9pm PST.)
Next week: Sam Mercer comes to town from Portland, high off the National Poetry Slam and also, Facebook assures us, a pretty cool new hairdo. Sam’s feature will be followed by the much-anticipated Champion of Champions Slam, hosted by reigning champ Sean Patrick Mulroy. See you there!