April is National Poetry Month, which means that it’s time once again for Albany Word Fest, an annual arts festival that brings together poets, writers and performers from all across upstate New York to celebrate the vibrant poetry and spoken word scene right here in Nippertown.
Organized by Albany Poets, the Albany Word Fest has grown from an afternoon poetry open mic in Thatcher Park in 2001 to this year’s rhyme-a-rama bash – a week-long cavalcade of events taking place at six different venues throughout Albany including featured readings, open mics, poetry slams and more.
Come on out to listen and watch, or if you prefer, lend your own voice. Here’s the schedule of events for 2014′s Albany Word Fest:
SUNDAY (APRIL 13), 7pm
Word Fest Kickoff & Up The River Launch Party
McGeary’s Pub, Albany
Join Albany Poets as we kickoff Word Fest week with a cocktail party and a special reading with contributors of the second issue of Up The River, Albany Poets’ literary journal at the home of Poets Speak Loud. FREE.
TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 7pm
The Nitty Gritty Poetry Slam
The Low Beat, Albany
Albany’s poetry slam continues with the return of the Haiku Battle with featured poet DDE the Slammer. Admission is $5; $3 students.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 7pm
Poetry, Music & Spoken Word Showcase
Pauly’s Hotel, Albany
An evening of the finest local and regional poetry, music and spoken word featuring Nick Bisanz & Pat Irish, Dan Landa and Metroland‘s best poets. FREE.
THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 7pm
Third Thursday Poetry Night
Social Justice Center, Albany
Dan Wilcox hosts this monthly open mic for poetry and spoken word featuring poets from the College of Saint Rose. FREE.
FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 7pm
Word Fest Open Mic
Upstate Artists Guild, Albany
The annual Word Fest Open Mic, hosted by Albany Poets, returns home to Lark Street with featured poets from Woodstock to Saratoga and everywhere in between. Confirmed readers include Nancy Klepsch, Alan Catlin, Charles Straney, Da God Ezekiel, Alan Casline, Shaun Baxter, Howard Kogan, Don Levy, Carol H. Jewell, Joe Krausman, Marina Mati, Cecele Kraus, Cheryl A. Rice, Tim Verhaegen, L-Majesty, Glenn Werner, Karin Maag-Tanchak, Mike Jurkovic, Tess Lecuyer, Adam Tedesco, R.M. Engelhardt, Carolee Bennett, Matt Galletta, Bob Sharkey, Jill Crammond, Steven Minchin, Shannon Shoemaker, Casey Fisk and Brian Dorn. Online sign-up for the five-hour session continues through Monday, April 14. FREE.
SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 7pm
Word Fest Invitational Slam
WAMC-FM’s The Linda, Albany
Poetry slam teams from Albany, Suffern, Jersey City, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse come together to close out Word Fest and compete for prizes and bragging rights, as we get closer to the National Poetry Slam in August. Tickets are $10.
ADDITIONAL UPCOMING FESTIVALS FOR 2014:
Knickerbocker Film Festival @ various locations, Albany, 4/21-24/14
MOVE Music Festival @ various locations, Albany, 4/25-27/14
Albany Tulip Festival @ Washington Park, Albany, 5/10-11/14, FREE
Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, 6/5-8/14
FLY-92 Summer Jam @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, 6/7/14
The Old Songs Festival @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, 6/27-29/14
Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival @ Saratoga Performing Arts Festival, Saratoga Springs, 6/28&29/14
The Hudson Project @ Winston Farm Saugerties, 7/11-13/14
WGNA’s CountryFest 2014 @ Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke, 7/12/14
FreshGrass Festival @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 9/19-21/14