Upcoming Poetry Events – Week of August 11, 2013


We have a lot going on this coming week in the Northeast. A solid seven days of opportunities to get involved in the poetry and spoken word community. This week marks the beginning of the National Poetry Slam in Boston where Nitty Gritty Slam team will be competing. Closer to home, the WordXWord Festival kicks off a week’s worth of great spoken word events in venues all over Pittsfield. Add all of the fantastic mics taking place in Albany and the Hudson Valley, and you have one heck of a week.

The week ahead…

Sunday, August 11

7:00pm – WordXWord Festival – WXW Story Slam Finals
Historic Eagles Club Building, 148 First Street, Pittsfield, MA
The finals of the WXW Tuesday Project Story Slam series. Similar to the popular Moth podcast, the WXW Story Slam features storytellers chosen through a process of preliminary events and semi finals, who have 3 minutes to tell a true story and score points from judges chosen from the audience.


Monday, August 12

7:00pm – WordXWord Festival – Poetry sCrawl
Dottie’s, 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA
In this twist on the pub crawl concept, audience members are led on a walking route to sample some of the finest poetry and spoken word that the Berkshires have to offer.

8:00pm – Club Harmony
Wok ‘N Roll Cafe, 52 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY
Weekly poetry open mic with a featured reader hosted by Michael Platsky.


Tuesday, August 13

7:00pm – Emack and Bolio’s Open Mic Night
Emack & Bolio’s, Delaware Ave., Albany, NY
A weekly open mic for music and poetry.

7:00pm – Club Helsinki Open Mic
Club Helsinki, 305 Columbia Street, Hudson, NY
The Club Helsinki Open Mic offers burgeoning artists and veterans alike an opportunity to practice their chops, network, and impress their friends using an incredible stage and sound system every Tuesday night in Hudson, NY.

7:00pm – WordXWord Festival – WordXTeens
Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave., Pittsfield, MA
Young writers from through out Berkshire County reach deep and show their stuff in a fast paced hybrid spoken word/poetry slam event.

8:00pm – Northampton Poetry Open Mic
Hinge, 48 Main St., Northampton, MA
Northampton’s only weekly open mic poetry night offers some of the best, most creative voices in the county. Every Tuesday night at 8:00pm. Come down and listen. Come down and share your words. Academic or slam, spoken word or political: Your words are welcome. Every show features an open mic reading and a featured poet. Sometimes we all get rowdy and slam. All ages welcome. We charge a $2 cover at the door.


Wednesday, August 14

6:30pm – WordXWord Festival – WXW Poetry Slam Preliminary Bouts
yBar, 391 North Street, Pittsfield, MA
WXW “doubleheader” with local and regional poets compete in the preliminary rounds of the popular WXW Poetry Slam. Two prelim bouts, one at 6:30 followed by the second at 8.

7:00pm – Live From The Living Room
The Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave., NY
Monthly poetry open mic with featured reader hosted by Don Levy.

8:00pm – Cock ‘n Bull Open Mic
The Cock ‘n Bull, 5342 Parkis Mills Road, Galway, NY
Do you write poetry, essays, stories, memoirs, songs? Do you sing, play an instrument, tell jokes or read aloud? Or do you just enjoy hearing other people perform? Then come enjoy an Open Mic evening at the Galway Cock n Bull Restaurant, sponsored by the Galway Public Library.

8:00pm – Pauly’s Hotel Open Mic Night
Pauly’s Hotel, 337 Central Ave., Albany, NY
Poetry, Music, Comedy and more take center stage at Pauly’s weekly Open Mic Night hosted by Brian LaPoint and Joshua Gruft.


Thursday, August 15

5:00pm – WordXWord Festival – The Amazing Poetry Race
yBar, 391 North Street, Pittsfield, MA
Weaving in and out of the Third Thursday festivities, teams of two compete, following clues and racing from location to location. At each location the teams will face a different poetry-related challenge.

7:00pm – Rockhill Bakehouse Open Mic
Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe, 19 Exchange Street, Glens Falls, NY
Weekly open mic for musicians and writers.

7:00pm – Poetry Slam at Parlor Cafe
The Parlor Cafe, 303 Ashland Street, North Adams, MA
Monthly poetry slam in the Berkshires with cash prizes.

7:30pm – Third Thursday Poetry Night
Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY
Long running monthly open mic (1 poem) with a featured poet hosted by Dan Wilcox. This month’s featured poet is Jacqueline Kirkpatrick.

8:00pm – Starving Artist Thursdays
Hudson River Coffee House, 227 Quail Street, Albany, NY 12203
A weekly open Mic for music, poetry, and spoken word at one of Albany’s best new coffee shops.

8:00pm – WordXWord Festival – The Encyclopedia Show
Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA
The Encyclopedia Show conceived, and hosted by Chicago-based poet Robbie Q Telfer is making its third appearance at WXW. A live variety extravaganza, the Encyclopedia Show brings together artists and experts from multiple disciplines to use their talents to present a verbal and musical encyclopedia entry, with the ongoing mission to “chafe against logic and proof, find meaning in obfuscation, and wrest truth from fact once and for all!”


Friday, August 16

6:30pm – WordXWord Festival – WordXWord Poetry Slam Semi Finals
yBar, 391 North Street, Pittsfield, MA
The eight poets who have survived the preliminary round, compete for one of 4 spots in the finals and a chance for the prize money and title of WordXWord Poetry Slam Champion!

8:00pm – Hudson Valley Writers’ Center 
Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, 300 Riverside Drive, Sleepy Hollow, NY
Featured Poets + open mike for poets, fiction writers, essayists with rotating hosts. Located in the restored Philipse Manor railroad station, which is approx. 30 miles north of midtown Manhattan and 2.6 miles north of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

8:00pm – The Parlor Cafe Open Mic
The Parlor Cafe, 303 Ashland Street, North Adams, MA
A weekly open mic each and every Friday at the Parlor Cafe in North Adams for poets, musicians, and artists. Signup at the bar and get ready for the show, starting at 8:00pm.

8:00pm – WordXWord Festival – Feature Night
Historic Eagles Club Building, 148 First Street, Pittsfield, MA
Eight of the hottest young poets/spoken word artists share a program that puts words squarely in the spotlight. The program will include sets by Jon Sands, Robbie Q Telfer, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz and Omar Holman as well as others tba.


Saturday, August 17

6:30pm – WordXWord Festival – WordXWord Poetry Slam Finals
yBar, 391 North Street, Pittsfield, MA
The top 4 finishers from the Poetry Slam semis face off in two rounds for cash prizes and the title of WXW Poetry Champion.

7:00pm – Mudd Poets Poetry Series
Mudd Puddle Cafe, 10 Main Street, New Paltz, NY
Monthly poetry open mic series with featured readers hosted by Robert Milby.

8:00pm – WordXWord Festival – WordXWord Festival – WXW Finale / The Big Top
Crawford Building Underground, 137 North Street, Pittsfield, MA
WXW 2013 wraps up with the Big Top – a slightly irreverent, high energy bouncing-off-the-walls mash up of poetry, performance and on-the-spot challenges featuring a cast of nationally recognized and local poets. Designed to top last year’s wildly successful, laugh-until-it-hurts Poetry Olympics, at the Big Top, anything goes. Rarely will one have the opportunity to see this much talent, challenged this intensely, for the benefit of an audience!


If we are missing anything on this list, check out the full events calendar. If you would like to have your poetry event listed on AlbanyPoets.com, send an email to albanypoets+events@gmail.com with the details.

For a full listing of all of the poetry and spoken word events in upstate New York, head over to the events calendar page. And if you live in the Western Massachusetts / Connecticut area, be sure to check out Lori Desrosiers‘ Poetry News Calendar.