Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

Outspoken Festival Finale – Brave Young Voices Speak Their Truth


The culminating event of Outspoken: WordXWord Youth Poetry Festival will be presented Saturday, May 7, 7:30P at the Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA. Featured guests will include Thomas Fucaloro and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib. The evening will also include some of the brightest and bravest young voices including finalist from the festival’s youth and college poetry slam competitions.

Thomas FucaloroThe finale caps a day and a half of workshops, sharing, competitions and fellowship – a gathering of youth voices (13 – 23) to create a supportive environment for exploration and creativity, sharing, celebration, and bonding. The finale is an opportunity for the poets to share their experience, vision and creativity with the public.

In addition to the youth voices, the festival finale will feature guest poets Thomas Fucaloro and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib who will also lead workshops and host preliminary events over the course of the festival weekend.

Thomas Fucaloro is a New York City poet who has been on 3 national poetry slam teams and was the Inspired Word’s 2012 Grand Slam Champion. He is a co-founding editor of Great Weather for Media and NYSAI press and is a writing coordinator at the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Hanif Willis-AbdurraqibBorn and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic. His poems and essays have been published in places such as The Nation, The New York Times, and Pitchfork. He is a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine, a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, and a columnist at MTV News, where he writes about the intersection of music, culture, and identity.

Admission to the Outspoken Festival Finale is free, but seating is limited.

Outspoken Finale
May 7, 7:30P
The Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA

Free (seating is limited!)

In addition to the festival finale, the public is welcome to attend any of the preliminary poetry slams happening throughout the afternoon.

Outspoken Preliminary Poetry Slams (public welcome)

Youth Poets ages 13-19
May 7, 1P & 4:45P Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield
May 7, 1P & 4:45P Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave, Pittsfield

Poets ages 19-23
May 7, 2:45P @ Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, 444 North Street, Pittsfield<

Outspoken events are recommended for audiences 13+ and parents/guardians are advised that content may contain mature themes and/or address issues that some may find difficult.

For more information about Outspoken, including schedule updates, visit OutspokenYouth.com. For more information about WordXWord, including other upcoming events, visit wXw365.org.