Albany Word Fest

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Albany Poets is proud to present the 2017 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry and spoken word of upstate New York. This year’s event will take place on Monday, April 17 – Saturday, April 22, 2017.

“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.” Thom Francis, Albany Poets President, said, “Whether you would like to take in a featured performance, celebrate the launch of the fifth edition of Up The River, attend a regional poetry slam, or be part of the return of the Readings Against the End of the World 24-hour open mic, the Albany Word Fest is the place for you.”


2017 Albany Word Fest - An Evening of Poetry and ProseMONDAY, APRIL 17

6:30 PM – An Evening of Poetry and Prose
Hudson River Coffee House, 227 Quail Street, Albany

On Monday, April 17 the Word Fest will be at the Hudson River Coffee House on Quail Street for “An Evening of Poetry and Prose” featuring readings from regional poets and writers, hosted by Harvey Havel.

2017 Word Fest - Haiku BattleTUESDAY, APRIL 18

7:00 PM – Nitty Gritty Slam Haiku Battle
The Low Beat, 335 Central Ave., Albany

The festival continues with the return of the Haiku Battle. This event pits two poets against each other on stage in a battle of 17 syllables. This wonderfully popular event has brought many “page poets” out to showcase their work and their performance chops at Word Fest over the past three years. Participation is limited to the first 16 poets who sign up.

Albany Poets Presents R.M. EngelhardtWEDNESDAY, APRIL 19

7:00 PM – Albany Poets Presents R.M. Engelhardt
Restaurant Navona, 289 New Scotland Ave., Albany

For Wednesday night, April 19, the Word Fest goes to New Scotland Ave for Albany Poets Presents as we welcome Albany Poets and Word Fest founder R.M. Engelhardt as our featured reader.

2017 Word Fest - Kathleen McCoyTHURSDAY, APRIL 20

7:00 PM – Third Thursday Poetry Night
Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany

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, one of the longest running mics in the region, welcomes poets to step up to the mic and share their work along with featured reader Kathleen McCoy.


7:00 PM – Lark Street Poetry Walk
Lark Street, Albany

Join Daniel Nester and The College of Saint Rose students Thursday evening as they walk Lark Street and recite poetry on the every corner.


7:00 PM – Readings Against the End of the World
Husted Hall Café, UAbany Downtown Campus, 135 Western Avenue, Albany 

The annual Word Fest Open Mic will be making a few changes this year as Albany Poets and the English Department at UAlbany are reviving the 24-hour reading event, Readings Against the End of the World, to benefit the South End Children’s Café.

Online sign-up for individuals is now open! Groups can contact Albany Poets about a larger time slot for multiple poets. Organizations interested in having a table can contact Albany Poets at for information.

Roc Bottom Slam Team at Word Fest Invitational SlamSATURDAY, APRIL 22

7:00 PM – Word Fest Invitational Slam
Troy Kitchen, 77 Congress Street, Troy

On Saturday, April 22, the Word Fest comes to an end as Nitty Gritty Slam welcomes teams from all over the Northeast to compete in the Word Fest Invitational Slam starting at 7:00 p.m. at Troy Kitchen in downtown Troy.

The 2017 Albany Word Fest is sponsored by

2014Sponsor-AlbanyPoets   2014Sponsor-HVWG  2014Sponsor-TheLowBeat   2014Sponsor-McGearys