WordXWord 2015 – A Week of Words and Workshops

WxW 2015

Our friends over at WordXWord in Pittsfield have a great week of poetry, spoken word, and more coming up. This has been a great series of events since the festival began in 2009 and every year it gets bigger and better, bringing in some of the best young poets in the country.

Here is more information from the organizers:

An exhilarating blend of poetry, spoken word and storytelling, the WordXWord Festival – featuring nationally acclaimed performance poets as well as local favorites – returns to downtown Pittsfield for a seventh season, August 16 – 22, 2015.

The week’s schedule includes free workshops, story slams (similar to the popular Moth Radio Hour), a poetry sCrawl (think pub crawl meets poetry) through the Upstreet Cultural District of Downtown Pittsfield, two evenings featuring the work of teen poets, an all star feature night with five nationally recognized performance poets, and the wildly popular (and generally just plain wild!) annual WordXWord Poetry Slam finals.

Guest hosts for this year’s festival are Robbie Q Telfer and Franny Choi who will be joined by featured poets Phil Kaye, Fatimah Asghar and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib.

All WordXWord events and workshops are offered free to the public through the generous support of sponsors and individual contributors, and with the hospitality of partnering venues including Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, The Whitney Center for the Arts and lead partner, the Berkshire Museum.

Greylock Federal Credit Union returns as the lead sponsor for WordXWord 2015. Additional major support is provided by CompuWorks, Housatonic Heritage, Harrison Design Associates, and the City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development.


WordXWord 2015 – August 16 – 22, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

All WXW Events are free. Schedule & venues subject to change. Parents and guardians are advised that some programs may contain mature content not appropriate for younger children. Updates and more information online at http://wXw365.org.

Sunday, August 16

5P – Poetry sCrawl
@ Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, 444 North Street
Departs from Dottie’s, ends at the Berkshire Museum. A multi-stop, walking poetry tour. Comfortable footwear advised. Hosted by Robbie Q Telfer & Fatimah Asghar. Participating poets includes Seth Brown, Curtis Asch, Eliza Ryan, Stan Spencer, Tammara Leminen, Greer Hed, Kevin Peterson, Algorithm, Jeanne Johnson, Grace Rossman, Maurice (Soulfighter) Taylor, Samson Dikeman, and Melissa Quirk Cairns.

7P – PechaKucha
@ The Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street
Presented by the Berkshire Museum, $5 general; members free.


Monday, August 17

7P – Young+Brave Teen Invitational & Open Mic
@ Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Ave
Spoken word & poetry by young Berkshire voices. Hosted by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib.

Tuesday, August 18

7P – Story Slam Semi Finals
@ Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, 444 North Street
Storytellers, chosen through a series of pre-festival prelims, compete for a spot in the WXW Story Slam Finals.


Wednesday, August 19

7P – Poetry Slam Semi Finals
@ Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, 444 North Street
Poets, chosen through a series of prelims, compete for a spot in the WXW Poetry Slam finals and a shot at the title.


Thursday, August 20

7P – 413/Youth Speak Invitational Teen Poetry Slam
@ Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street
Six of the Berkshires’ strongest youth voices compete in the first annual WXW Invitational Poetry Slam. With a special feature by WXW 413/Youth Speak poets. Hosted by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib.


Friday, August 21

6:30P – Story Slam Finals
@Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street
Storytellers who have survived the semi finals spin their 4-minute stories, competing for the WXW Story Slam title.

8P – Feature Night
@ Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street
Featuring Robbie Q Telfer, Franny Choi, Phil Kaye, Fatimah Asghar and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib.


Saturday, August 22

6:30P – Poetry Slam Finals
@ Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street
Four finalists go two rounds, competing for cash prizes and the title of WXW Champion.

8P – Festival Finale
@ Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street
Robbie Q Telfer, Franny Choi, Phil Kaye, Fatimah Asghar, and a host of local favorites tie it all together to wrap up the week.


Over the course of the festival week, 7 free workshops will be offered including two specifically for teens and one to introduce a collaborative social media project. A complete schedule of workshops, workshop descriptions, and registration information is available online at http://wXw365.org/workshops.