April is National Poetry Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by heading over to The Linda in Albany on Saturday for the annual Albany Word Fest, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
But you might want to rest up tonight, because Word Fest kicks off with the 12-Hour Open Mic at 7am tomorrow. That’s right, 7am.
“After the success of the last two 12-Hour Open Mics, we have decided to do it again, but this time, during the day,” explains Mary Panza, vice president of Albany Poets, which produces Albany Word Fest. “This will give poets a better opportunity to share their work and also give the audience more time to appreciate the talent in the poetry and spoken word community.”
Nearly all of the 15-minute reading slots have been filled – there were still a few early morning slots available at the time of this posting – but if you’re a poet, you’ll want to bring a few of your poems with you just in case an a time-slot opens up somewhere throughout the day.
And most of Nippertown’s best poets will be on hand to share their words, including Dan Wilcox, Joe Kraussman, the Poet Essence, A.C. Everson, Donald Levy, Therese L. Broderick, Todd Fabozzi, Ken Salzmann and many, many more. Go here for a full schedule for the 12-Hour Open Mic.
At the conclusion of the 12-hour marathon open mic, there’s still more adventurous poetry and music as the Pycho Cluster F#*k 2011 kicks off at 7pm. It promises to be a great combination of music and spoken word featuring the talents of David Fey, Olivia Quillio, Avery, Daniel Nester, Poetyc Vyzyonz, Mother Judge’s Open Mic Showcase and the winners of Metroland Readers’ Poll’s Best Poets of 2011: Mary Panza, R.M. Engelhardt and KC Orcutt. All of these performers are long-time supporters of not just poetry and spoken word, but all of the arts throughout Nippertown.
“When we started this event 10 years ago on a Saturday afternoon in Thatcher Park, we never thought it would become one of the biggest ‘mark-your-calendar’ events of each and every year,” says Albany Poets president Thom Francis. “We are very proud of how we have been able to continue hosting one of the biggest poetry open mics in upstate New York for 10 years.”
MORE UPCOMING FESTIVALS FOR 2011:
Albany Tulip Festival @ Washington Park, Albany, May 7-8 FREE
Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 2-5
Rhythm On the Ridge @ Maple Ski Ridge, Rotterdam, June 11
Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, June 24-26
Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, June 24-26
Freihofer’s Jazz Festival @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, June 25-26
The WGNA CountryFest @ the Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, July 9
Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 16-17
The Big Up @ Sunnyview Farm, Ghent, July 28-30
Bluestock Music Festival @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, August 26-28