Derrick C. Brown

2012 WordXWord Festival Sets Event Schedule

Derrick C. Brown

Our very good friends over at the WordXWord Festival has just sent out the event schedule for their upcoming 8-day poetry and spoken word extravaganza. Performing this year is a fantastic lineup of talent including Anis Mojgani, Derrick C. Brown, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Thuli Zuma, Jon Sands, and Taylor Mali.

Here is the press release with all of the information on what promises to be 8 Day of “Wall-to-Wall Words”:

WordXWord Festival Sets Event Schedule – 40+ Events in 8 Days

Pittsfield, MA – With all the pieces in place, WordXWord has released the schedule for the week long festival, August 11 – 18. Preceded by its popular annual rooftop party on August 11, the festival’s public events kick off on Sunday afternoon with a young adult Head-To-Head Haiku and wraps up the following Saturday evening with the Poetry Olympics featuring 4 competing teams of spoken word artists. In between, some 40+ events will take place in a dozen locations in and around the Upstreet District of downtown Pittsfield.

The schedule includes both events created and produced by WordXWord and events produced by friends of the festival.

Words Spoken
The core of the festival will be the spoken word masters including both local participants and 9 featured visiting artists – Derrick C. Brown, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Anis Mojgani, Robbie Q. Telfer, Thuli Zuma, Taylor Mali, Jon Sands, Jeanann Verlee and Megan Falley – all of whom are nationally recognized for their published work as well as their spoken word performances.

Each evening of the festival will include at least one spoken word event including a Feature Night on Thursday – a veritable blockbuster of spoken word – and the Poetry Olympics on Saturday – an event that pits poetry teams against each other in a series of grueling challenges with often humorous results.

Words On Film
New to the festival this year are two evenings of film presentation in partnership with the Berkshire Museum. Monday evening will include the area premier of the award winning film Louder Than A Bomb – a moving, highly entertaining look at the first and still largest high school poetry slam which takes place annually across the entire Chicago school system. The second evening of films on Wednesday will include a range of short films including a documentary – You Belong Everywhere – that chronicles poet Derrick C. Brown’s experience on tour with the indie rock band Cold War Kids.

Young Words
Young wordsmiths will have the the chance to step up to the mic in the Head-To-Head Haiku Challenge on Sunday afternoon. Head-To-Head Haiku is a fun, fast paced twist on the poetry slam concept. In addition, young (and old) will have the opportunity to test their word mastery in a day-long Scrabble Challenge hosted by the Berkshire Athenaeum on Thursday.

Words of Wisdom
Another new element this year is a series of workshops addressing challenges faced by authors and aspiring authors. Workshops, each with a different host and theme, are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Words Sung
Of course, WordXWord also features words sung. A slate of innovative songwriters will be presented at the Lantern including the quirky and unpredictable Mieka Pauley on Monday, John Brodeur with a soulful blend of alt-pop and straightforward rock on Tuesday, the duo Tall Heights on Wednesday, a double bill of Justin Hillman and Justin Allen on Thursday, and transcendent multi-instrumentalist Leo Crandall on Friday.

Words Slammed
One of the most popular events at WordXWord is the annual 4 day poetry slam at Shawn’s Barbershop with preliminary rounds on Wednesday and Thursday, semifinals on Friday and finals on Saturday. The slam – limited to the first 16 to register – is open to all who dare take the challenge. Local favorite and last year’s champion, Curtis Asch is expected to defend his title.

Words Created
Audiences will have the opportunity to peek in on new work being created as WAM Theatre is in residence all week, at Spice Upstairs, making a new theatre piece like/unlike. Under the direction of Leigh Strimbeck this work looks at the influence of social media on the lives of women. The work-in-progress will be presented in performance on Friday evening.

Words Featured
It’s true that words are in the spotlight all week long, but three events featuring all-star casts are worth particular note. Feature Night on Thursday will bring together a half dozen of the genuine masters of spoken word poetry. Friday night’s Encyclopedia Show will bring together many of the same poets in the entirely different context of a themed performance. The festival wraps up Saturday evening with the Poetry Olympics which pits 4 teams including Team USA, Team New York and a local Berkshire team against each other in a series of events – ranging from an Erotic Poetry Contest to a Cracker Haiku Battle, the Jalapeno Pepper Sonnet Face Melt to the Bardostical Super Challenge – for fun and prizes.

More Words
WordXWord is pleased to have the support of a number of “friends of the festival” who are presenting related events, exhibits and activities during the festival including Barrington Stage, the Berkshire Athenaeum, the Berkshire Museum, Mission Bar+Tapas, Ferrin Gallery and Berkshire Media Artists/New Stage Performing Arts.

See below  for the complete schedule.


A Word From Our Sponsors
All WordXWord events are free to the public. This is made possible by the support of Greylock Federal Credit Union, the festival’s Platinum Sponsor and other generous friends and sponsors including Aldam Press, Berkshire Bank, CompuWorks, Ltd, Cultural Pittsfield, Interprint, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Mission Bar+Tapas, Narragansett, tsmit limited inc, Berkshire Heating and Cooling, Berkshire Magazine, Blue Q, Four Seasons Heating and Cooling, Harrison Design Associates, Jewish Community Foundation of LA , Excelsior Printing, Berkshire Running Center, Love Us and Leave Us, Spice Dragon and Scarafoni Financial.

WordXWord Festival Schedule At A Glance

all events are free unless otherwise indicated ($)
*fof – indicates “Friend of Festival” event

Saturday, 8/11

6P – Pre-festival Rooftop Party, Greystone Building ($)

Sunday, 8/12
4P – Young Adult Head-To-Head Haiku @ Shawns Barbershop
7P – Head-To-Head Haiku @ yBar
9P – Writers Lounge @ yBar (fof*)

Monday, 8/13
6P – Page+Stage @ Gallery 25
7P – Staged Reading of Travesties @ Barrington Stage (fof/$)
7:30P – Louder Than A Bomb (film) @ Berkshire Museum
8P – The Hot Envelope @ yBar
9P – Mieka Pauley @ The Lantern
9P – The Beat Union plus Wrba.Weiss w/ special guests @ Mission
10P – Writers Lounge @ yBar (fof)

Tuesday, 8/14
4:30P – Writers Workshop w/ Megan Falley @ yBar
6P – Page+Stage @ Gallery 25
7P – PechaKucha Pittsfield @ Berkshire Museum (fof/$)
8P – Some Good, Some Bad & Some Ugly w/ Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz & Megan Falley @ Bra&Girl
9P – John Brodeur @ The Lantern
9P – Mission Open Mic Allstars w/ Justin Allen @ Mission (fof)
10P – Writers Lounge @ yBar (fof)

Wednesday, 8/15
4:30P – Writers Workshop w/ Cristin O’keefe Aptowicz @ yBar
6P – Poetry Slam Prelims @ Shawns Barbershop
8P – Poetry on Film w/ Derrick Brown, featuring You Belong Everywhere @ Berkshire Museum
9P – Tall Heights  @ The Lantern
9P – Chris Merenda and the Wheel @ Mission (fof)
10P – Writers Lounge @ yBar (fof)

Thursday, 8/16
10A -4P – Scrabble Challenge @ the Athenaeum (fof)
3-8P – OverDrive Digital Bookmobile hosted by the Berkshire Athenaeum @ Park Square
4:30P – Writers Workshop w/ Derrick Brown @ yBar
5-8P – Third Thursday Pop Up Performances
6P – Poetry Slam Prelims @ Shawns Barbershop
8:30P – Showcase Night – Derrick Brown w/ Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Anis Mojgani, Robbie Q.Telfer & Taylor Mali @ CompuWorks Loft
9P – Justin Allen & Justin Hillman @ The Lantern
9P – Billy Keane and the Misdemeanor Outlaws @ Mission (fof)
10P – Writers Lounge @ yBar (fof)

Friday, 8/17
6P – DISH+DINE @ Ferrin Gallery (fof/$)
6P – Poetry Slam Semis @ Shawns Barbershop
8P – WAM Theatre, like/unlike @ Upstairs at Spice
8:30P – Encyclopedia Show w/ Robbie Q.Telfer, Cristin O’keefe Aptowicz + guests @ Lichtenstein
9P – Leo Crandall @ The Lantern
9P – 8 Foot River @ Mission (fof)
10P – Writers Lounge @ yBar (fof)

Saturday, 8/18
5:30P – Audiobook Release Party “Birth of Pleasure” @ Lichtenstein Center (fof)
6P – Poetry Slam Finals @ Shawns Barbershop
8P – Poetry Olympics @ CompuWorks
10P – Writers Lounge @ yBar (fof)

M-F, Open Rehearsals of WAM Theatre like/unlike @ Upstairs at Spice
M-F, Daily Writing Prompt Challenge, online via Berkshire Athenaeum

Updates, details and more information online at
Schedule subject to change.

all events are free unless otherwise indicated ($)
*fof – indicates “Friend of Festival” event