The 2006 Albany Word Fest was a huge event for us. Two Open Mic sessions over two days and a jammed schedule of poetry and music at Valentine’s was a lot to live up to, but we certainly were able to in 2007.
On Friday, April 20, poets and curious onlookers crammed into the UAG Gallery on Lark Street for the Word Fest Open Mic. This year we went back to the “one night only” model with over 80 people signing up to read at the annual event. Mary Panza again hosted the reading and kept everything moving throughout the night with poets including Jason Dlaba, Dennis Sullivan, Pat Dyjak, Carol Graser, Alan Catlin, Richard Morrell, Alifair Skebe, Ford McLane, R.M. Engelhardt, Joe Hollander, Mimi Moriarty, Margot Lynch, Matt Walsh, and John Weiler stepping up to the mic to share their work.
On Saturday afternoon, Tess’ Lark Tavern hosted The Experimental Cabaret with poetry, music, and art from Mother Judge and Nicole Peyrafitte, Mary Panza with Monica Roach and John Weiler, and Thom Francis with Keith Spencer and Jared Funari. This was a great event that showcased the power of combining the spoken word, music, and moving images.
We then traveled a little further down the street and packed Valentines to close out the Word Fest with performances by Shaun Baxter, A.C. Everson, Debora Bump, Palatypus, Fire Flies, Tom McWatters, and Princess Mabel, in what would be one of their last live shows.
The 2007 Word Fest was difficult to pull off, but well worth the effort. We had a great time and even before the weekend ended we were looking ahead and planning for the next Albany Word Fest.