WXW 2013

Our friends over at the WordXWord Festival in Pittsfield just sent out the official schedule of events for their 2013 festival that will be kicking off on August 11 all over the western Massachusetts city. This year’s lineup of events is bigger and better than ever to commemorate the five years of bringing poetry and spoken word to Pittsfield.

Here is the full release from the organizers of the WordXWord Festival:

During the 5th annual WordXWord Festival August 11-17, nationally acclaimed poets/spoken word artists Jon Sands, Robbie Q Telfer, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Omar Holmon and Adam Falkner will be “in residence” to anchor an unprecedented array of never-before-attempted– as well as now familiar and beloved — poetry, spoken word and storytelling events, workshops and other word-related activities.All events are free to the public.

According to Jim Benson, WXW founder, “Our fifth year will bring even more surprises, creativity and talent than ever. We’ve created new events, outright stolen others and brought back the best of the best.Words will literally be running wild at WordXWord 2013.”

A WXW tradition, events will take place in a variety of non-traditional downtown venues in Pittsfield, including the Berkshire Museum, a lingerie shop, street corners and funky empty spaces. “The proximity and variety of venues is designed to facilitate unexpected encounters in a disarming context,”Benson said.More information and the full schedule are available at wxw13.org.

First-Time-Ever Events

Poetry sCrawl – In this twist on the pub crawl concept, audience members will be led on a walking route to sample some of the finest poetry and spoken word that the Berkshires have to offer. True to form there will be something for every taste, and a few surprises along the way. Starts at Dotties, 444 North Street, and ends at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave.

The Amazing Poetry Race – Akin to the Amazing Race, teams of two will race to unravel clues to move from location to location and face a variety of challenges involving words and mental and physical feats.Takes place in various locations in downtown Pittsfield and coincides with Third Thursday festivities.

First Time in Pittsfield

Pop Up Poetry – Debuted in NY by Jon Sands, Samantha Thornhill and Adam Faulkner and recently featured in The New York Times, Pittsfield’s first-ever Pop Up Poetry will feature the trio literally taking poetry to the public – in some places where they might least expect it.“This is going to let us say thank you to the people of Pittsfield for having us in their city and hopefully rouse some folks who wouldn’t ordinarily come out to get to some of the WXW events,” Sands said.The scheduled venues are a surprise to the public but available to media upon request.

Festival Favorites

WordXTeens – Young writers from throughout Berkshire County and as far away as Albany and Springfield will reach deep and show their stuff in a fast-paced hybrid spoken word/poetry slam event.This event takes place at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.

The Encyclopedia Show – This variety extravaganza features artists and experts from multiple disciplines using their talents to present a verbal and musical encyclopedia entry.According to Telfer, the creator of the first-ever Encyclopedia Show, the mission is to “chafe against logic and proof and find meaning in obfuscation.” With the topic “paper,” the Encyclopedia Show will be staged at the Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, which is currently featuring a critically acclaimed exhibition, “Paperworks.”

Feature Night – This event includes performances by all five of the poets in residence, as well as a few exciting rising stars.The venue is the historic Eagles Club Building, 148 First Street.

Big Top Finale – Destined to top last year’s Poetry Olympics in spectacle, spoken words will run amok in a no-holds-barred festival finale hosted by the Berkshire’s own Curtis Asch with Robbie Q Telfer, Jon Sands, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Omar Holmon, Adam Falkner & others tba.All the fun will take place at the Crawford Building Underground, 137 North Street.

WordXWord is a 501(c)3 non-profit, whose work is made possible with the support of companies and individuals who understand the value of creating interest and excitement for literacy and the creative use of language as well as the experience of community that results from bringing poets, spoken word artists and audiences together.

Greylock Federal Credit Union is the lead sponsor for WordXWord Festival 2013.