Monday August 28th, LIV McKEE returns from Albany NY! Plus DG Scavenger Hunt & LAM NGUYEN on visual arts!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2017 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE: LIV McKEE is a queer spoken word artist, dancer, musician, and farmer living in the Capital Region of New York. Liv has featured and organized poetry events at venues all over the Northeast and currently competes with Albany’s Nitty Gritty Slam. She placed 33rd out of 100 poets at the 2016 Individual World Poetry Slam in Flagstaff, AZ this past year, and took 1st at the 2016 Emily Dickinson Slam in Amherst, MA, the 8th Annual QEW Regional Slam in Buffalo, NY, the WordxWord Women’s Invitational in Pittsfield, MA, and Wordfest in Troy, NY. Apart from (or wildly integrated within) writing and performing poetry, in her free time you may find Liv swimming, singing, mountain climbing, having conversations with the moon, and playing old time fiddle music. She hopes her poetry leaves you cut, bandaged, bathed, and heartened.

BONUS RUCKUS: Dirty Gerund Scavenger Haiku ChallengeNICHOLAS EARL DAVIS will present some Hai-clues (our own invented poetic form, where in 17 syllables play the part of clue), these clues will reference things that are in the space, or on your very person. Be the first to present us with three items described in these clues, will win themselves a prize!

Local friends LAM NGUYEN also returns to handle the visual arts component of the evening. Bring some auction dollars if you wanna an original creation home! MARK LEIGHTON has a roving set of musicians who set such beautiful tones. Open mics have been packed recently, so make sure you get to RALPH’S DINER early to assure your spot! Hoping we can stay outside through September! Is it Monday yet?


Monday! August 21st – Poet SAM RUSH features! Plus! The SpurtleToySplorts Verbal Flame Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2017 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE: SAM RUSH originally hails from South Florida and began writing poems after developing progressive hearing loss and realizing how many words each word could be. Sam is a three-time competitor in the National Poetry Slam, was a 2016 National Poetry Slam Finalist as a member of The House Slam Boston team. Their work has been featured in The Offing, Public Pool, Drunk in a Midnight Choir and on Button Poetry and SlamFind. Sam has spent the last decade working with youth across the U.S. and internationally.

BONUS RUCKUS: The SpurtleToySplorts FLAME CHALLENGE: We’ve got cash prize on the line for the poet, singer, comedian, performer who can verbally torch Worcester’s embarassingly intolerant local blog (the one that rhymes with the name of the challenge, but who’s name will not befoul this lovely blogpost blurb.) We won’t raise their online traffic by linking to their lowest denominator provocateur trash, but we will raise holy ruckus in our championing of those who can dexterously denounce these big gulp guzzling, typing child-trolls, using our mic!

Expect more visual arts, snacks, music and joy as we hope to continue outside on the patio!


Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2017 by dirtygerund
FEATURE: TARA JEAN BERNIER walked into an open mic in August of 2012, and never left.
Currently, she is the slam master and host of the weekly Northampton Poetry open mic & poetry (though, admittedly, she is vexed by adding three numbers together after having two beers on slam nights). She also taught things about books and writing to students at the second smallest high school in Massachusetts for eleven years. She is currently on sabbatical in attempt to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. Mama of a Kai and Keegan, she is not above using their antics as source material for her work. Incidentally, this led to her recent inclusion in the anthology, The Good Mother Myth published by Seal Press in 2014.
BONUS RUCKUS: IRON POET QUALIFIER: We need to find a competitor to challenge MALT SCHLITZMAN for the championship! You know (or should know) how this works. Two prospective challengers take the stage, delivering three poetic concoctions (haiku, short poem, and incorporated poem) for three judges who give scores on three criteria, all based on one crazy secret ingredient from the chairman! All poems delivered fresh!
SHANNON DONNELLY will be handling the live visual arts! MARK LEIGHTON will be handling house band leader biz. EMILEE will handle snacks unless we get a volunteer (hint, almost at rice cake alert time, hit us up!), YOSH, MIKEY & MATTY from Ralph’s got the rest! Check out ART WALK WORCESTER this SUNDAY!

Monday! August 7th, KELSEY ROSE serenades the Gerund! Plus! EMILY DICKINSON ON HELIUM Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6, 2017 by dirtygerund

FEATURED ARTIST: Worcester’s own KELSEY ROSE! In just a few short months has made an incredible impression on our open mic scene. Kelsey is a gritty storyteller who sings about her life experiences through lyrical wit and soothing melodies. Equally comfortable on multiple instruments, we’re so excited to see her rock two sets for us this Monday!

BONUS RUCKUS: Return of the EMILY DICKINSON ON HELIUM Performance Challenge! It’s exactly what it sounds like. We don’t have audio on one of the most famous in the game, so we’re operating under a different reality where she might have sounded… like… she … mighta been…. on…. helium? Why not, we’ll give you a poem and balloon. you do the rest!


Monday! July 31st! OLIVIA GATWOOD features! Plus The “OUTLANDISH TOUR RIDER” Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2017 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE: Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, OLIVIA GATWOOD has received national recognition for her poetry, writing workshops, and work as a Title IX Compliant educator in sexual assault prevention and recovery. As a finalist at Brave New Voices, Women of the World and the National Poetry Slam, Olivia is an active member of the slam poetry community and has been featured on HBO, Verses & Flow, Button Poetry and Huffington Post, among others. Olivia has traveled nationally to perform and teach workshops on gender equality, sexuality, and social justice at over 70 colleges and 30 high schools nationwide. She is a former member and co-founder of SPEAK LIKE A GIRL and was an Artist in Residence at the Chatham School for girls, alongside celebrated leaders such as Venus Williams and Gloria Steinem. Online, her videos, including Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Ode to My Bitch Face have gained over 3 million views collectively. Olivia believes in girl-power. She currently lives in New York City.

BONUS RUCKUS: The overwhelmingly outlandish “TOUR RIDER” poem writing prompt challenge! We’ve heard that celebrities and rock stars have huge demands for local promoters when they tour, aside from a local famous burger from Ralph’s, and sometimes a couch to crash on, traveling poets don’t usually don’t have much more that they need to perform for our crowds. Let’s play with that in a fun writing prompt! You’re the poetry super star on a world tour, if you could have anything ANYTHING you wanted, what would you ask for! BRETT KELLEY returns to do the live art! MARK LEIGHTON and friends will serenade our mic with sweet sounds, catered by EMILEE on the snacks! OPEN MIC WILL BEGIN EARLIER THAN 9 IF LIST IS FULL AND WEATHER’S NICE, ARRIVE EARLY TO GUARANTEE A SPOT ON THE MIC. THANKS

Monday July 17! Get HIP w/ HIPSTORY Collective! Plus! “PROSE CUDDLE” Compliment Challenge!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 14, 2017 by dirtygerund

FEATURE: HIPSTORY is a Boston Based community collective & media brand responsible fohipstoryr creating unique, memorable, and inspiring art while maintaining a vivid connection to the artist and external influences that inspired its inception. Our mission is to build a platform and community for artists to cultivate stories through artwork that sustain over time, raise collective consciousness, and reestablish diversity within music. In short, we believe in: Redefining the Future History of Hip-Hop! Transforming music and film into engaging and moving experiences giving audiences a collection of diverse art addressing topics such as depression, relationships, blackness, sexual identity, racism, police brutality, marginalization, and an overall love for all things Hip-Hop. In 2016 HipStory produced and endorsed six Mixtapes/EP’s, was accepted into the Harvard RAP program, and curated seven HipStory House Parties giving 25+ local Boston artists a platform to perform and engage with a dope audience. Continuing into 2017, we have released two short films – Vitiligo and Art of Being Haunted – which has been screened at colleges all around Boston and New England. HipStory was also accepted in the Epicenter Social Venture Accelerator, and has 5 album releases planned for the year. The HipStoric Tour is an opportunity to build our brand, engage with amazing people, and share the incredible art of its artists. Worcester! We’re the final stop!

BONUS RUCKUS: THE PROSE CUDDLE is the OPPOSITE of a rap battle, as in, you gotta be nice! Real nice… to your opponent. And you don’t need to rhyme. Actually rhymes are kinda discouraged. Prizes for the nicest, the ones who make the crowd go “awww” instead of “OHHHH!”

Guest Visual Artist: One of the best in the local biz ANA SOL will be returning on oils and canvas! Old pal AMRITA has promised a snack! Open Mic has been jammed lately, so get to Ralph’s by 8:30pm to assure yourself a slot. We may have to start the show earlier to accommodate all! IS IT MONDAY YET?

Monday July 10th! RYK McINTYRE makes the 7 time feature club! PLUS! IRON POET CHAMPIONSHIPS!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2017 by dirtygerund

POETRY FEATURE: RYK McINTYRE has been a legendary presence on the New England poetry scene for decades. Which is to say, he is rarely photographed and not everyone is convinced he really exists. He has toured extensively around the continental United States and Canada, appearing on stages as varied as NYC’s New School, Portsmouth NH’s Music Hall, Lollapalooza and the very first “Legends of The Slam” Showcase, at the National Poetry Slam in 2006 in Austin, TX. He has been published widely, most notably, in The Worcester Review, Off the Coast, Short Fuse- An Anthology of New Fusion Poets, and Aim for the Head – An Anthology of Zombie Poetry, Freeze Ray, Drunks In a Midnight Choir. His second collection of poetry, “The Man At The Door” is due out, September-ish, from Broken Head Press.

BONUS RUCKUS: IRON POET CHAMPIONSHIP: “SCHLITZMAN vs. JEAN” – Oh man! This is gonna be a barn-stormer! Current Iron Poet Champion, MALT SCHLITZMAN will be putting his mad-cap pun-y proclivities up against challenger NIC JEAN in what’s sure to be an epic championship match! 3 original poetic concoctions, 3 judges, 3 categories for scores and ONE diabolical secret ingredient from chairman (Ralph’s Monday monager) YOSH SHARTIN! Buckle up, it’s gonna be a grumpy ride!

We assure you, we’ll have another bomb-ass visual artist this week. – LIVE ASS Music from MARK LEIGHTON and someone from his revolving cast of handsome musicians! Snacks by EMILEE, however, we’re headed to a RICE CAKE ALERT (someone’s gotta volunteer a snack soon, or the dreaded rice cakes will make their appearance!) Word has it, Ralph’s Diner is gonna be mobbed this Monday w/ comedian DOUG STANHOPE doing a sold out, sweaty ass show upstairs on the same night, but WE are gonna keep it as cool as possible outside! Yeah, we use the word ASS a bunch sometimes.