The Cantab Lounge has long been known as a hub for drinks, food, and music in Cambridge. But this Central Square bar and grille hosts a different crowd on Wednesday nights, when it dedicates its lower level to a night of poetry slamming, courtesy of the Boston Poetry Slam. (Editor’s Note: Here’s one of our favorite “Slam” books).
Cantab Lounge Poetry Slams in Cambridge
Doors open at 7:15 for the 8:00 show, and I recommend showing up early, especially if you want to claim a seat. The Cantab Underground seats 75, with standing room for another 25 people, and shows often sell out to an enthusiastic crowd.
Cantab Lounge Poetry Slam head-to-head combat!
Once you arrive, the mic is open to volunteers for two hours, so bring your best material to show off. After a short break at 10:00 the featured poet or event begins, which can last anywhere from 30 to 75 minutes. Many nights end with the Cantab’s 8 x 8 open poetry slam, which allows eight volunteers to sign up and face off in three rounds of head-to-head poetry combat, until only the final two remain and the winner is chosen for the grand prize of $10. If that isn’t enough to quench your thirst for poetry warfare, have no fear. After every eight open slams the winners are invited back to the Champion of Champions slam, for bragging rights to the ultimate title (and the slightly grander grand prize of $100).