Monday Oct 16th! Boston Comics REECE COTTON & NORA PANAHI! Plus! Iron Poet Qualifier “Buduski vs. Wonder”

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11, 2017 by dirtygerund

FEATURED PERFORMERS: Alt-Comedy Raconteur & pal of the show MATTHEW FLYNN has an eye for talent and has been generous enough to share some recommendations that we’re going to take this Monday for some much needed laughs. 

REECE COTTON effortlessly fuses humor with controversy and is one of the most sought-after emerging comedians hailing from Boston,  Massachusetts. She is making her TV debut on Comedy Central’s Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City 2. While hosting the 2017 Women In Comedy Festival, Reece delivered her signature mind-bending performance and was immediately approached by a representative from ADULT SWIM (Cartoon Network) regarding a potential collaboration. She recently featured on live radio with WGBH 89.7 Under the Radar with Callie Crossley and performs at esteemed New York comedy venues such as Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club. Consistently devoted to her community, Reece founded a comedy show & charity fundraiser called Straight Outta Money in 2015 and volunteers at multiple comedy festivals. Knowing no limits, she is even writing a series bible for a top-tier television network as well as developing her own web-series entitled Tags & Bits.

NORA PANAHI is a Boston-based Iranian-American Muslim-Buddhist stand-up comedian with great bangs and an okay body. She made her comedy debut in the fall of 2015 at one of Boston University’s Flat Waffle Comedy Hour shows, shortly after joining BU’s Stand-up Club. She has since performed at the Gotham Comedy Club and the Metropolitan Room in New York City, won the Laugh Boston Comic Knockout contest, and has opened for comedy superstars like Chris Hardwick and Hannibal Buress. Nora is known for her satirical take on everyday life, politics, and the challenges of growing up as the ‘teacher’s daughter’ at an all-girls’ boarding school in Massachusetts. She’s also been known to break out in song and entertain the crowd with her kick-ass ukelele skills. In March 2016, she became the first female comic to win ‘BU’s Funniest’ and everybody who knows her is very tired of hearing her talk about it…and how this makes her a “feminist icon.” She is not like other girls.

BONUS RUCKUS: IRON POET QUALIFIER, TAKE TWO: So last week, we were fortunate enough to get some extra poetry from a traveling friend, so we shelved the competition. This week, we’re back at it, welcoming plucky Iron Poet upstarts ADRIANA BUDUSKI vs. ASHLEY WONDER for a chance to challenge reigning IRON POET CHAMP MALT SCHLITZMAN for the trophy next month! # poetic concoctions, 3 judges, one diabolical secret ingredient from the chairman YOSH SHARTIN! Don’t forget, this saturday, ART PARTY for Puerto Rico is happening at Leitrims this Saturday, support our good friend JENNY RIVERA as her and her crew works to raise $$$ for those affected by the tragedy. This is an all day thing with an open mic component, drag show, dancing and tons of great food and folks! We’ll be in the house and hope to see you there!


Monday Oct 9th! PAUL SUNTUP visits from SoCal! Special spotlight from BEAU WILLIAMS! Plus! Iron Poet Qualifier!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2017 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE: PAUL SUNTUP’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications including Forklift, OhioRattleArtlifeCider Press ReviewISM and the anthology 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, edited by Billy Collins. His first full-length book of poetry, Sunset at the Temple of Olives was published in 2011 by Write Bloody Publishing. He was born in South Africa and currently resides in Southern California. check out some work at

Special bonus added guest spotlight set from BEAU WILLIAMS, traveling troubador from Portland Maine, who’ll be passing through town that night and share some work! BONUS RUCKUS: IRON POET QUALIFIER, let’s find out who the next opponent for next month’s championship against MALT SCHLITZMAN. Poets TBD, but expect great work from two gerund regulars, as they create 3 original concoctions based on one diabolical secret ingredient. Former Worcester Arts Council Fellowship winner DON HARTMANN is our guest visual artist! We’re promised a snack from Midnight Munchies. Because of a stacked feature line-up, we’ll be keeping time on our open mic and starting at 9pm shahp! (as we say in New England).

Monday October 2nd! LEON LEGACY storms the Gerund! Plus! MALT SCHLITZMAN’s PUN BASH!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2017 by dirtygerund

FEATURED PERFORMER: Things like popularity and a sense of belonging were a flight a fancy for a young Leon navigating his way through the urban backdrop of Worcester, MA. Three music projects, two tours, and thousands of fans later he has finally cemented his place in the world. Put simply, Rapper/ Producer LEON LEGACY Is super strange dude who likes to make songs for people. However he’s no stranger at all to ear catching word play and anthemic hooks. Bringing together the intense energy and presence of Indie rock, with the lyrical depth and swagger of your favorite hip hop gods, He has been gracing the north east with his own brand of heartfelt, impactful, and original music for the past six years. With stints ranging the 2013 vans warped tour, to opening for cash moneys, Caskey. Amassing a fan base across different generational gaps and social groups as he goes. One fan, one stage, on city at a time.

Check out the newest video! Word is there’s a new album in the works, and we’re all about to get AWARE!

BONUS RUCKUS: Central Mass PUN BASH w/ MALT SCHLITZMAN: A speed round sample of head to head punny lunacy facilitated by IRON POET CHAMPION MALT SCHLITZMAN! We’re giving him ten minutes and ten dollars to reward the gerunder with the deepest pun pockets. JOSEF MOGUL will be handling the visual arts. MARK LEIGHTON will be handling the band (if you want to check Mark’s other musical project this Sunday, you can check him out with SHANE HALL at Goodstuff Smokehouse at 12:30pm, then with CHRIS MacNAMARA at Thirsty Lab from 4-7pm, hardest working man in showbiz style! Buy local!

Monday Sept 25th! ADOBO-FISH-SAUCE flambays the Gerund! Plus “Prompt & Circumstance” Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2017 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE(s):  ADOBO-FISH-SAUCE: NOUN. An artist project comprised of (Lowell poetry royalty) ANTHONY FEBO and RICKY ORNG, a Puerto Rican and Cambodian duo that continuously practices discovery, healing, and self preservation through their relationship with food, culture, and heartbreak. VERB. An interactive multicultural cooking show using spoken word as a vital ingredient to create recipes for celebrations. A Puerto Rican and a Cambodian walk into a kitchen. The kitchen is your heart. The food is made with food. The food is sometimes poems. Either way you are fed. Adobo-Fish-Sauce is an active choice to celebrate in the face of bitterness. It is responding to “Go back to where you come from!” by bringing where they come from right to you. The show fuses spoken word, cooking, music, crying and laughing to create a one of a kind experience that can’t be found in any restaurant or open mic. Both of these artists have graced our stage multiple times, but never quite like this! We are so incredibly excited for this presentation! Check out for more info, videos and shine! 

BONUS RUCKUS: Return of the “PROMPT & CIRCUMSTANCE” Challenge – We’re cleaning out the house (and Nick’s car) for wonderfully weird objects which we will hand out randomly to competitors. This object is your writing prompt, as the surface on which your poem is written! It’s one of our favorites. Prizes and all that!

HOST NOTE: Please please please do your best to respect our 5 minute open mic slot time. Most of you do a really great job week after week, but preparation and choice of piece length is critical to ensuring our show does not run overtime. We’ve noticed some recent oversteps on this and it’s all good, it’s all love, we just wanted to drop a note to make sure we keep getting closer to being on that proverbial same page. That being said, we’ll have more music, more visual arts, more zaniness and hopefully one or two more excellent weather nights to do the show outside. Hope hope! Irregardless, the shiniest shows are coming our way, inside or out and we hope you’ll keep rocking with us all year!

Monday Sept 18th – BRANDON MELENDEZ from California! Plus! “Back to School” Slam Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2017 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE: BRANDON MELENDEZ is a Mexican American poet from California. He is a National Poetry Slam finalist, 2015 Rustbelt Poetry Slam Finalist, and two-time Berkeley Grand Slam Champion. He has poems in or forthcoming in Tinderbox, Friction, and Corridors. He is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College. Most recently he competed at the National Poetry Slam in Denver Colorado, as a member of the Boston Poetry Slam (Cantab Lounge) Team.

BONUS RUCKUS: Back to School Rant Slam Challenge – bring us your best poem that reflects on your current or past school days. Poetry Slam rules apply (3 minutes in length, no props or music, no costumes). What was good back then, what’s good now? Wanna verbally clap back at that teacher who gave you a D in Physics? Got a gym horror story? Did you dominate wood shop? We wanna know about it! Welcome to teachers who wish to blow off some steam as well! $20 prize and a well deserved drink on us. One round only. We’ll let the crowd choose the winner!

LAINE BERRE will be returning to rock some visual arts! Been too long! Super thanks to M13 for jumping in to replace our drummer this past week with some serious beatboxing skills. THIRD MONDAY at the Gerund brings the return of “Third half of the open mic” that’s just for musicians to bring an extra song, collab with the house band, or hall of fame jam to make us dance at the end of the show, facilitated by ERIC FOURNIER. As we enter autumn, we’re on a week by week basis as far as how many more shows we can do outside. Stay tuned day of for the weather report! Otherwise, our open mics have rocked lately with vets and newbies bringing it every week. Don’t forget, stART on the Street Festival (the greatest non-monday event this City’s ever seen!) this Sunday, hope to have some fliers and friends to help spread the gospel of ruckus! Cheers! Now do your homework!

Monday Sept 11th, Dirty Gerund welcomes “NUCLEAR IMPACT: Broken Atoms in our Hands” poetry book release!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2017 by dirtygerund

FEATURED POETS: Regional contributors will be visiting the Gerund this week, to celebrate the upcoming anthology release NUCLEAR IMPACT  of over 400 poems by 163 international contributors and covers every aspect of the nuclear age from the days of the Manhattan Project to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Chernobyl disaster, to present day nuclear-related events. Among the New England poets reading will be: PETER MARCUS, (author of the book Dark Square, and published in Antioch Review, Crab Orchard Review among others) who is the academic program coordinator at Elms College (Chicopee, MA) and the Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Programs at Holyoke Community College and Mount Wachusetts Community College; BRITT MELEWSKI, a poet based in Brooklyn, New York (works published in Puerto del Sol, Sparkpress and Prairie Schooner); BRITTANY MISHRA, Connecticut resident (Nuclear Impact); KARA PROVOST, Providence Rhode Island resident and author of the chapbooks Topless and Nests, as well as works included in numerous literary magazines (Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, The Newport Review), and KAREN WARINSKY, an English teacher at Shepherd Hill Regional High School, (2013 Global Anthology/Montreal International Poetry Contest, poems in Joy Interrupted, an anthology on motherhood and loss, and a short story “Decatur Girl,” published in the book Dear Nana, as well as being featured in the Winter 2018 edition of The Blue Heron. Poets DOREN DAMICO (Los Angeles), SUSAN APRIL (Maryland) and PHIL ST. DENIS SANCHEZ, (Brooklyn, New York) will also be involved in the reading.

BONUS RUCKUS: IRON POET CHAMPIONSHIP – SOL vs. SCHLITZMAN – it’s gonna be epic. Recently crowned Ms. Dirty Gerund ANA SOL PEREZ goes for the title and the trophy, but MALT SCHLITZMAN‘s rocking some alternative ideas on how the evening is going to go! 3 rounds, 3 poetic concoctions, one diabolical secret ingredient!

Open mic, music, snacks and so so much more!

Monday Sept 4th! Eight years in the FAKING, Dirty Gerund Anniversary w/ MARTIN ESPADA & LAUREN MARIE SCHMIDT!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1, 2017 by dirtygerund

This is our EIGHT YEAR ANNIVERSARY SHOW – 8 years ago, Nick & Alex agreed to take over a poetry reading in Worcester! We kept banging pots and throwing half baked pasta against the wall until we had what we have now! A national treasure? You decide! We’ll be at the bar!

DOUBLE POETRY FEATURE(S):  Called by Sandra Cisneros “the Pablo Neruda of North American authors,” Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. His latest collection of poems from Norton is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). He has received the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and has been issued in a new edition by Curbstone/Northwestern University Press. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 

Lauren Marie Schmidt is the author of four books. Her new collection of poems from Curbstone/Northwestern University Press is called Filthy Labors. Of this book, Sam Hamill says: “No one, I believe, has written with such delicate honesty and compassion about shelters for homeless (often abused) women…The range of her vision is exquisite, and the unity of the work is inspiring.” Other collections include The Voodoo Doll Parade (2011), Psalms of the Dining Room (2011), and Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing (2013). Her work has appeared in such journals as The Progressive, North American Review, New York Quarterly, and Rattle. Her awards include the Vilcek Prize for Poetry from the Bellevue Literary Review, the So to Speak Poetry Prize and the Neil Postman Prize for Metaphor.  She received her MFA from Antioch University, served as a Poet in the Schools in Paterson, New Jersey, and now teaches English at Bay State Academy in Springfield, Massachusetts.

BONUS RUCKUS: THE ANNUAL MS DIRTY GERUND ANTI-PAGEANT – we think traditional beauty pageants are pretty terrible, so we’ve spent the last several years trying to honor fierce women (and those who identify) by creating a silly anti-pageant! We want to celebrate bad-assness in many of it’s forms without ball gowns and swimsuits, so here’s the deal. Three rounds. PANDER HAIKU – in 17 syllables, let us know how you feel about the Dirty Gerund. TALENT – 5 minutes to show off your stuff (poem, song, juggling, dramatic interpretation, whatever!) and INTERVIEW – After all these years, co-host NICHOLAS EARL DAVIS is still so full of childlike curiosity. He’s got some zany questions for you, be quick on your feet and impress us all with your wit! We’ll have secret judges planted through the audience. Winner will be crowned Ms. Dirty Gerund 2018, flowers, tiara, cash prize and all sorts of props!

We’re hoping for a cross generational house band for the evening! Visual arts, special snack and open mic! We will accept gifts in the form of dollars for the bucket!