In celebration of National Poetry Month, Albany Poets is proud to present the 2012 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry, spoken word, and music of upstate New York.  This year’s event will take place on Sunday, April 15 – Saturday, April 21, 2012

“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.” Thom Francis, Albany Poets President, says, “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.”

Mary Panza, Albany Poets Vice President adds, “This years Word Fest is what we have been working towards for years!  It has always been our dream to celebrate National Poetry Month with a week of events.  There is something for everybody!  From haiku’s to slam to straight up open mics to karaoke to featured performers; there are many ways to express yourself.”

The week will kick-off on Sunday, April 15 at 2:00pm with Pitchapalooza at The College of St. Rose followed by a cocktail party and meet and greet at McGeary’s that will also feature a special spoken word performance.

The poetry open mics start on Monday, April 16 at the UAG Gallery with the monthly Saint Poem Reading Series hosted by local poetry veteran R.M. Engelhardt.

On Tuesday, April 17 the spoken word continues with the Nitty Gritty Slam at Valentines.

On Wednesday the Word Fest comes to the Social Justice Center with “A Yes! Word Fest Communal Reading Experiment”.

Thursday evening we are back at the SJC with the Third Thursday Poetry Night hosted by Dan Wilcox with a featured reading by Christopher The Poet.

On Friday, April 20, Urban Guerilla Theatre takes over The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, with their monthly mic of poetry, music, spoken word, comedy, and fashion.

The final day 2012 Albany Word Fest is Saturday, April 21, with over 12 hours of activities. This year Albany Poets is partnering with the Albany Public Library and the Hudson Valley Writers Guild to bring the Word Fest Open Mic to the main branch of the library on Washington Ave.

Poets who wish to participate in the open mic can sign up online by going to the Albany Word Fest website, www.albanywordfest.com starting on Thursday, March 15 until Sunday, April 15.  Performers will also have a limited opportunity to sign up at the event itself.  The open mic is open to all poets and spoken word artists with no style or content restrictions.

After the Open Mic, starting at 7:00PM, the 2012 Albany Word Fest comes to a close upstairs at Valentines featuring poetry, music and spoken word from upstate New York artists including poets from the Nitty Gritty Slam series and the second Karaoke + Poetry = Fun!, hosted by Daniel Nester.

Admission for this event is $10.00. This event is 18+ (21+ to drink) with a picture ID required.

The 2012 Albany Word Fest is sponsored by Albany Poets, Hudson Valley Writers Guild, Albany Public Library, WEXT, Valentines, Urban Guerilla Theatre, Frequency North Reading Series at The College of St. Rose, Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary, McGeary’s, and the very generous donations of supporters of the arts in upstate New York.

For more information on the individual events of this Word Fest go to www.albanywordfest.com.

Schedule of Events:

Sunday, April 15
2:00 PM – Pitchapalooza
The College of Saint Rose, Standish Rooms, Saint Rose Events and Athletics Center, 420 Western Ave., Albany
Pitchapalooza is American Idol for books (only without Simon). Twenty writers will be selected at random to pitch their book. Each writer gets one minute—and only one minute! In the last month, three writers have gotten publishing deals as a result of participating in Pitchapalooza.

6:00 PM- Word Fest Family Potluck and Kickoff
McGeary’s, 4 Clinton Square, Albany
Join Albany Poets as we kick off Word Fest week with a cocktail party / meet and greet with an Albany Poets Founders Reading at McGeary’s, home of Poets Speak Loud.

Monday, April 16
8:00 PM- Saint Poem Reading Series
UAG Gallery, 247 Lark St., Albany
Host R.M. Engelhardt’s monthly open mic for poetry and spoken word featuring a tribute to poet e.e. cummings.

Tuesday, April 17
7:00 PM- Nitty Gritty Slam
Valentines, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany
Albany’s poetry slam continues with host Mojavi and Slam Master Dain Brammage.

Wednesday, April 18
7:00 PM- Yes! Word Fest Communal Reading Experiment
Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany
A special, experimental, Word Fest edition of Yes, Reading!

Thursday, April 19
7:00 PM- Third Thursday Poetry Night
Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany
Dan Wilcox hosts this open mic for poetry and spoken word featuring Christopher The Poet.

Friday, April 20
7:00 PM- Urban Guerilla Theatre
The Linda, 339 Central Ave., Albany
Albany Poets is very proud to team with UGT for the very special April / Poetry Month / Word Fest edition of Urban Guerilla Theatre.

Saturday, April 21
10:30 AM-2012 Word Fest Open Mic
Albany Public Library Main Branch, Washington Ave., Albany
The annual Word Fest Open Mic will take place from 10:30am – 5pm featuring Metroland’s Best Poets of 2012, the finals of the Haiku Battle, special open mic sessions for children, high school students, and adults. Signup begins online on Thursday, March 15. More details to come.

7:00 PM-Karaoke + Poetry = Fun
Valentines, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany
We head home to close out the 2012 Word Fest with featured poets from the Nitty Gritty Slam, music from some of the finest local talent, the return of Daniel Nester’s Karaoke + Poetry = Fun, and much more.