Spread the Word: The 2016 Albany Word Fest Kicks off on Sunday

April 15th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Greg


April is National Poetry Month, and in celebration Albany Poets is presenting the 2016 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry and spoken word of upstate New York. This year’s week-long celebration will take place from Sunday (April 17) through Saturday, April 23.

“Every year we celebrate National Poetry Month right here in Albany, and each year we add more to the list of events. What started as a one-day outdoor open mic in 2001 has become a full week of poetry and spoken word. There is something for everyone,” said Thom Francis, president of Albany Poets. “Whether you would like to take in a featured performance from a touring national spoken word artist, celebrate the launch of the fourth edition of Up The River, attend a regional poetry slam, or be part of one of the largest annual open mics in the area, the Albany Word Fest is the place for you.”

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Word Fest week will kick-off with the release of the fourth edition of Albany Poets’ literary journal, Up The River. The editors will debut their selections on Sunday (April 17) evening at McGeary’s Pub with a reading featuring by some of the published poets including Wayne Murphy, Stephen Minchin, Gary Murrow, Sandra Rouse, Howard Kogan, Tess Lecuyer, Alyssa D’Amico and Gary Barkman.

Kevin Peterson, Albany Poets board member and Up The River editor says, “Every year, we put on this week long series of events, and year after year, I’m blown away by the talent and creativity it draws out from our community and the literary community at large.”

Here’s the schedule of events around town for the 2016 Albany Word Fest:

Sunday (April 17), 6pm
Word Fest Kickoff & Up The River Launch Party
McGeary’s Pub, Albany
Featuring Wayne Murphy, Stephen Minchin, Gary Murrow, Sandra Rouse, Howard Kogan, Tess Lecuyer, Alyssa D’Amico and Gary Barkman

Monday (April 18), 6:30pm
An Evening of Poetry and Prose
Hudson River Coffee House, Albany
Featuring Allen Parmenter, Daniel Nester, Heidi Pangratis and Brian Dorn. Hosted by Harvey Havel.

Tuesday (April 19), 7pm
Nitty Gritty Slam Haiku Battle
The Low Beat, Albany

Wednesday (April 20), 7pm
Albany Poets Presents Wil Gibson
Restaurant Navona, Albany

Thursday (April 21), 7pm
Lark Street Poetry Walk
various locations on Lark Street, Albany
College of Saint Rose students recite their poetry on the corners of Lark Street starting at the Washington Avenue Armory CDTA bus stop and strolling down to Madison Avenue.

Thursday (April 21), 7pm
Third Thursday Poetry Night
Social Justice Center, Albany
Hosted by Dan Wilcox. The monthly open mic for poetry welcomes poets to step up to the mic and share their work. With featured reader Tina Barry.

Friday, April 22, 7pm
2016 Word Fest Open Mic
Upstate Artists Guild Gallery, Albany
With Tess Lecuyer, R.M. Engelhardt, Cheryl A. Rice, Therese Broderick, Brian Dorn, Frank S. Robinson, Alan Catlin, Anthony Bernini, The Poet Essence, Don Levy, Randee Renzi, Howard J. Kogan, Allison Davenport, Tim Verhaegen, Karen Fabiane, Shannon Grant, Annie Sauter, L-Majesty, Julie Lomoe, A.C. Everson, more. GO HERE to sign up online to read…

Saturday, April 23, 5:30pm
Creativity Workshop
Social Justice Center, Albany
Explore the value of free writing, group poetry and the ways that poetry can help us to claim and proclaim your voice.

Saturday, April 23, 8pm
Word Fest Invitational Slam
Social Justice Center, Albany
A no-words-barred competition featuring six teams from all over the Northeast, including Albany’s own Nitty Gritty Slam

Saturday, April 23, 10pm
Underground Slam
Social Justice Center, Albany
The inaugural four-round, head-to-head contest with 16 poets competing for a cash prize

MOVE MUSIC FESTIVAL @ various locations, Albany, April 22-24
ALBANY TULIP FESTIVAL @ Washington Park, Albany, May 7 & 8, FREE
ROCK ‘N DERBY FESTIVAL @ Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke, May 20-22
MOUNTAIN JAM @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 2-5
A TASTE OF COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 10-12
CLEARWATER’S GREAT HUDSON RIVER REVIVAL @ Croton Point Park, Croton-On-Hudson, June 18-19 UPDATE: This festival has been cancelled.
OLD SONGS FESTIVAL @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, June 24-26
BEACON JAZZ FESTIVAL @ Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, June 25
FREIHOFER’S SARATOGA JAZZ FESTIVAL @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, June 25 & 26
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 8-10
COUNTRYFEST @ Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke, July 9
GREY FOX BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL @ Walsh Farm, Oak Hill, July 14-17
FRESHGRASS @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, September 16-18
JAZZ AT THE LAKE @ Shepard Park, Lake George, September 17 & 18, FREE