Word Fest 2024

HVWG Presents the 2024 Word Fest

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild is proud to present the 2024 Word Fest featuring the poetry and spoken word of upstate New York. This year’s event will take place Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, 2024.

This year, the Word Fest returns for the first time since 2019. It will begin with a book sale and signing on Friday night in Troy, followed by the Word Fest Open Mic on Saturday at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts, featuring performers SD, Samira, and the great Sierra DeMulder.


Books at the COG

Celebrating both Troy Night Out and National Poetry Month and kicking off Word Fest, poets from across the region and an array of sub-genres will gather to sign and sell their books at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity (“The Cog”), 30 Third Street in Troy, on Friday, April 26, from 5 pm to 8 pm.

“Most of these poets promote poetry within their communities by teaching and hosting slams, open mics, contests and publications. This event focused on their writing serves as a form of thanks for their leadership,” said Rhonda Rosenheck, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild board member organizing the event at The Cog, where she is also a member.

Poets and spoken word artists scheduled to exhibit include Adonis Richards, Rachel Baum, Nancy Klepsch, Judith Prest, Ellen Rook White, Therese Broderick, James H Duncan, Julie Lomoe, Jackie Craven, Nate Smith, Alan Catlin, Donna Lagone, Annabel Lee, and Pam Clements.


The Return of the Word Fest Open Mic

The Word Fest began in 2001 in Thatcher Park as a one-day open mic, bringing together poets from all over the region to share their work. Over the years, the event grew into a week-long celebration of poetry and spoken word with workshops, poetry slams, featured performances, and, of course, the open mic.

For the first time since 2019, the Word Fest Open Mic is back and will feature three amazing poets on Saturday, April 27, from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts, 2880 NY-43, Averill Park, NY.

Host and HVWG Vice President Mary Panza says, “We are so excited to partner with the Sand Lake Arts Center on this, the return of Word Fest open mic. They are providing a wonderful space for our local poets, writers, and performers to present their work. We are especially excited about our features, SD, Samira, and Sierra DeMulder. It is going to be an awesome event!”

The open mic will begin at 4 pm with the featured poets performing throughout the evening. Sign up for the open mic will take place on the HVWG website, https://hvwg.org, starting Saturday, April 20.

SLCA Executive Director Brian Sheldon adds, “SLCA is excited about finally working with HVWG! The Capital Region is home to some of the most eclectic and talented writers of every form. HVWG is a beacon for finding and celebrating writers of all shapes, sizes, mediums, creeds, and colors, and we can’t wait to see where this partnership takes us and them.”


About the Featured Poets

SG is a spoken word artist and poet known for her honest, passionate poetry and has performed widely.

Samira has performed at various events across the Capital District for many years. She is a slam poet, activist, human rights scholar, and Saratoga Black Lives Matter cofounder. For over 8 years, she has been performing at local slams, rallies, and events and has organized several readings showcasing spoken word talent from across the area.

Sierra DeMulder is an internationally-recognized poet, educator, and podcast host. She is a two-time National Poetry Slam champion, a five-time published author (The Bones BelowNew Shoes on a Dead Horse, We Slept HereToday Means Amen, and Ephemera), and the co-host of Just Break Up, a globally popular advice podcast that has been downloaded more than 4 million times. Sierra lives in upstate New York with her wife and daughter.


About the Hudson Valley Writers Guild

The Hudson Valley Writers Guild supports the efforts of writers in all genres by sponsoring readings, workshops, and contests and providing a number of valuable resources for the entire literary community of upstate New York.

The HVWG hosts a number of programs, workshops, events (open mics, readings, poetry slams, music, and spoken word), and the annual Word Fest, while pursuing new and vibrant ideas for members and community residents. The HVWG website is the most comprehensive resource in the Northeast for literary news and events listings. The Writers Guild also publishes Up The RiverTrailer Park Quarterly, and Offline.