Cantab Recap for Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wow, wow, wow, there really is no place like home. On this post-Nationals Wednesday, the Cantab was extra-glad to welcome a sweet and conversational open mic to the stage, followed by a much-awaited feature from Providence organizer Charlotte Abotsi that did not disappoint. Charlotte brought us work that is, in so many ways, the story of slam; personal narrative crafted to both give and receive from the audience, rife with figurative language in a straightforward package. Also: can we talk about that send-up of both haters and lovers of fanfic? You know Charlotte didn’t bring any product to vend you, but you should definitely follow her on Twitter for more of her wits and wit.

Our Champion of Champions slam closed the night and it was glorious and so very right to see all eight champs in the house. These poets brought genuine A-game, with work full-out performed and written for a Nationals-level (ahem) stage. The ultimate pairing came down to mortal enemies Lip and Myles: Myles Taylor took the season championship and made the fiscally responsible decision to challenge reigning champ Brandon Melendez! However, after a blistering new-poem round, the judges determined that the student had not yet (YET) surpassed the master: Brandon maintains the title and can add that $100 prize straight to his tequila fund.

Speaking of slam… If you are at all involved in, or even tangential to, the national slam community, you have likely heard of some big shake-up in the organization. The dust is still clearing over Poetry Slam, Inc., but what we know for sure is that there will be no PSI events in 2019: most relevant to you may be the announcement that there will be NO National Poetry Slam next August.

What does that mean for us? Actually, we think it means a great opportunity to restructure our slam series to better serve our audience, poets, and performance poetry community. Effective this week, our gently-attended late-night slam events will enter hiatus until further notice; instead, we will begin a showcase slam series promising more themes, more fun, and more prime-time opportunities for audience to enjoy competitive literary hijinks. It all starts with our Sestina/Sonnet/Ode Slam on September 12, and continues with a Ghost Story Slam hosted by Zeke Russell in October.

Got ideas? Got questions? Got a killer Sestina/Sonnet/Ode set you want to present on September 12, or (hallelujah) an itchin’ to judge the slam? Please email with all you’ve got, and keep watching this space, and our Facebook page, for more info about our transforming slam series and plans for 2019.

Meanwhile: our extremely hot summer series marches on, with a feature from the most excellent Jeremy Radin this coming Wednesday. Did you hear about Jeremy’s top-notch poetic AND acting chops? You can get some of that sweet sweet stage advice honey from the poet himself at Jeremy’s early-bird workshop, a rare opportunity for performance practice with a trained performer. Sign up here! See you there!