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


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:

TODAY (Monday, April 13), 7pm.
Teen Open Mic
Upstate Artists Guild, Albany
A special evening of students who participated in the recent Poetry Out Loud competition plus an open mic for all teens.

TUESDAY (April 14), 7pm
Haiku Battle
Justin’s, Albany
The festival continues with the return of the Haiku Battle, pitting two poets against each other on stage in a battle of 17 syllables. Participation is limited to the first 16 poets who sign up.

WEDNESDAY (April 15), 7pm
Poetry, Music and Spoken Word Showcase
The Women’s Building, Albany
A special evening that shines the spotlight on the talents of local and regional poets,
musicians and spoken word artists.

THURSDAY (April 16), 7:30pm
Third Thursday Poetry Night
Social Justice Center, Albany
Hosted by Dan Wilcox, the long-running monthly poetry series welcomes poets to step up to the mic and share their work along with this month’s featured reader Michelle Battiste.

FRIDAY (April 17), 7pm
Word Fest Open Mic
Upstate Artists Guild, Albany
The annual Word Fest Open Mic is a five-hour marathon event with sessions for groups and featured poets from Woodstock to Saratoga and everywhere in between.

SATURDAY (April 18), 7pm
The Third Annual Word Fest Invitational Slam
Steamer No. 10 Theatre, Albany
$13 in advance; $15 at the door
Albany Poets, Frequency North, and UGT are proud to welcome six teams from all over the Northeast including the Roc Bottom Slam Team (Rochester), Pure Ink. (Buffalo), Nitty Gritty Slam Team (Albany) and more as they compete for top honors.

MOVE Music Festival @ various locations, Albany, 4/24-26/15
Albany Tulip Festival @ Washington Park, Albany, 5/9-10/15, FREE
SummerSound @ Tanglewood, Lenox, 5/23-24/15
Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, 6/4-7/15
FLY-92 Summer Jam @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, 6/6/15
A Taste of Country Music Festival @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, 6/12-14/15
Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival @ Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson, 6/20&21/15
Solid Sound @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 6/26-28/15
Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, Mass., 7/10-12/15
CountryFest @ Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke, 7/11/15
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival @ Walsh Farm, Oak Hill, 7/16-19/15
FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 9/18-20/15

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