What’s the Word? Albany Word Fest Takes Over the Town

April 13th, 2015, 10:00 am by Greg


April is National Poetry Month, which means that Albany Poets is once again celebrating this week with the annual Albany Word Fest, a jam-packed week of poetry and spoken word events at venues all throughout Albany.

The fest features a variety of poetry readings, a regional poetry slam and one of Nippertown’s largest spoken word open mics.

Albany Poets board member Avery Stempel explains, “The Albany area has such a strong spoken word community. There are so many people here wholly engaged in bringing their written works to life. Albany Poets does a fantastic job of connecting the various readings in diverse settings throughout the year, but with the Word Fest week in April it all really pulls together – well-attended events at multiple venues for all your poetry needs.”

The fest kicked of yesterday (Sunday, April 12) at McGeary’s Pub with the publication party for the third issue of Albany Poets’ literary journal, Up The River, and spoken word events will continue every day this week, culminating in the third annual Word Fest Invitational Slam at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany at 7pm on Saturday (April 18).

Here’s a round-up of the complete schedule of events for the 2015 Albany Word Fest:

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Festival Fever: Albany Word Fest

April 17th, 2012, 2:30 pm by Greg
Albany Word Fest

Albany Word Fest

Photographs by Dan Wilcox and Carolee Sherwood

April is National Poetry Month, and Albany Poets is in the midst of celebrating the 11th annual Albany Word Fest this week at various locations all around Albany.

“This is by far the biggest Word Fest to date with eight events over seven days at six different venues in the heart of Albany,” says Thom Francis, president of Albany Poets. “Almost 12 years ago a bunch of poets gathered at Thatcher Park for a day of poetry and art. Now we are holding our 11th Word Fest spanning an entire week. The dream of creating a true, community-focused literary festival, representing the diverse and talented poets of upstate New York has come true.”

“This year’s Word Fest is what we have been working towards for years,” adds Albany Poets vice president Mary Panza. “There is something for everybody – from haiku to slam to straight-up open mics to karaoke to featured performers. There are many ways to express yourself.”

The fest kicked off on Sunday evening (April 15) with the Albany Word Fest kick-off party and the Albany Poets Founders Reading at McGeary’s Pub in Albany.

As one of the featured poets, Mojavi declared, “We are building a movement. We are taking poetry out of the halls of academia and bringing it into the streets. We are making poetry a viable alternative to cable TV.”

Here’s the line-up for the official Albany Word Fest events throughout the rest of the week:

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Festival Fever: Albany Word Fest, 4/16-17/10

April 5th, 2010, 9:59 am by Greg

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Albany Poets present the 2010 Albany Word Fest, featuring the poetry, spoken word and music of upstate New York. The bash takes place on Friday-Saturday, April 16-17 at the Upstate Artists Guild Gallery in Albany.

Albany Word Fest kicks off on Friday, April 16 with a Youth Open Mic session at 5pm. Sign up at the gallery to read your poetry or just do your thing.

At 7pm, the fest hosts a marathon 12-Hour Open Mic session. Yup, an all-night open reading that will wrap up at 7am Saturday. Poets who wish to participate can sign up online or at the event. Each poet will have 10-15 minutes to share their work. There are no style or content restrictions. Admission is by donation.

The annual Psycho Cluster F*#k wraps up the Albany Word Fest, beginning at 8pm on Saturday, April 17. Featuring poetry, music and spoken word of all sorts, the event will spotlight Rebecca Schumejda, Nathan Graziano, the Johnnie Bravehearts, Murrow, the Urban Guerilla Theater and more. Admission for the all-ages event is $5.

The Empire State Book Festival @ the Empire State Plaza, Albany, 4/9-10
Rock the Resort @ the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa, Kerhonkson, 4/9-11
GottaGetGon @ Saratoga County Fairgrounds, Ballston Spa, 5/28-30
Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, 6/4-6
Rhythm On the Ridge @ Maple Ski Ridge, Rotterdam, 6/12
Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival @ Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson, 6/19-20
The Old Songs Festival @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, 6/25-27
Freihofer’s Jazz Festival @ SPAC, Saratoga Springs, 6/26-27
The WGNA Countryfest @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, 7/10
The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival @ Walsh Farm, Oak Hill, 7/15-18
Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George, 9/18-19/10

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