In celebration of National Poetry Month, Albany Poets is proud to present the 2014 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry and spoken word of upstate New York. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, April 13 – Saturday, April 19, 2014.
“What a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month right here in Albany. With a full week of poetry and spoken word, there is something for everyone.” Thom Francis, Albany Poets President, said, “Whether you would like to take in a featured performance, celebrate the launch of the second 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.”
Avery Stempel, Albany Poets board member, adds, “There are so many talented writers and performers in the Albany area. The weeklong activities of wordfest open up different venues to allow people of the various writing circles to unite and perform together. I have been a part of the last 3 wordfest celebrations and I am excited to be in on the planning phases of this years’. We have some great new venues to showcase and some amazing talent to listen to. It is going to be great!”
The week will kick-off with the launch of the second edition of Albany Poets’ literary journal, Up The River. The editors have been inundated with hundreds of submissions and will debut their selections for the second issue on Sunday, April 13 at McGeary’s. The evening will also feature performances by some of the poets published.
Kevin Peterson, Albany Poets board member and UTR editor says, “It was both a privilege and a pleasure serve as an editor for Up the River. There are a lot of talented poets out there, and it’s awesome the Capital Region has so many different avenues for showcasing them.”
On Monday, April 14 we head across the river to The Arts Center of the Capital Region for “Let Your Voice Be Heard”, where young writers are invited to tell your story, in your own words using poetry and spoken word.
On Tuesday, April 15 the festival continues with the Nitty Gritty Slam at The Low Beat. For the Word Fest edition of NGS, we will present the return of the Haiku Battle. It was such a great time last year, that we couldn’t wait to bring it back to the Nitty Gritty stage in 2014.
For Wednesday night, April 16, the Word Fest goes next door to Pauly’s Hotel for a showcase of local and regional poets, musicians, and spoken word artists.
Thursday, the poetry heads down Central Ave. to the Social Justice Center with the Third Thursday Poetry Night hosted by Dan Wilcox. This monthly poetry series welcomes poets to step up to the mic and share their work along with featured performers from the College of Saint Rose.
This year Albany Poets is going back to a familiar place for the Word Fest Open Mic. We are returning to the UAG Gallery on Lark Street for this annual Word Fest tradition. The UAG has hosted the Open Mic six times in the past (2006 – 2010, 2013) and it is great to be back home for the 2014 Word Fest.
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 Friday, March 14 until Monday, April 14. Performers will also have a limited opportunity to sign up at the event itself. Each poet will have 10 minutes to share their work. The open mic is open to all poets and spoken word artists with no style or content restrictions.
Finally on Saturday, April 19, the Word Fest comes to an end with the Word Fest Invitational Slam at The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, starting at 7:00pm. Albany Poets, Frequency North, and Urban Guerilla Theatre are proud to welcome six teams from all over the Northeast to compete in this event. Admission for this event at The Linda is $10.00. Tickets will be available online beginning on Monday, March 17.
Additionally, all throughout the week, Albany Poets will be publishing local poetry on their website as part of the Word Fest Online Open Mic. Poets who wish to participate are encouraged to send their poems to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Online Open Mic” in the subject line, starting Sunday, April 6.
The 2014 Albany Word Fest is sponsored by Albany Poets, Hudson Valley Writers Guild, Frequency North, Urban Guerrilla Theatre, The Low Beat, McGeary’s, and the very generous donations of supporters of the arts in upstate New York.
For a complete schedule of events, go to www.albanywordfest.com/schedule.