Samuel Maurice

Talking With Poets: Ed Rinaldi, Karen Peters, & Samuel Maurice at the 2024 Word Fest


Thom Francis welcomes poets Ed Rinaldi, Karen Peters, & Samuel Maurice who shared their work at the 2024 Word Fest Open Mic at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts on April 27, 2024.

Poet, Peace Activist, and Photographer Dan Wilcox recently wrote on his blog:

“The very 1st Albany Word Fest was held on September 8, 2001, at the Greenhouse Shelter in Thatcher Park, in the mountains outside of Albany. It was the brain-child of [Albany-area poet and host] R.M. Engelhardt. That day featured readings by 31 poets, divided into five groups. There was even an open mic, where six poets shared their work.

“Over the years there were various iterations of Word Fest, including strings of multi-day events, even folding in the Third Thursday Open Mic as well as other regularly-scheduled events into a grand Word Fest, all held in Albany, many at the UAG Gallery on Lark St., eventually in 2005 switching from the Fall to April (to coincide with National Poetry Month). Then the pandemic.”

In April of this year, the Word Fest and the Open Mic made it’s return, this time in Troy and West Sand Lake. The two-day event was filled with books, writers, featured spoken word artists, and an amazing lineup of open mic poets.

Today, we are going to hear from three poets who took the stage at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts.

Ed Rinaldi, who has started to come back out to literary events, read an untitled philosophical meditation. Karen Peters, who was a new voice for many in the room, read poems with rain and snow and a paper bag. The final reader was Samuel Maurice, who as an intern for the Hudson Valley Writers Guild was around all day setting up the venue. Samuel, who co-hosts the Invocation open mic series at The Eleven on Lark St. in Albany, read one poem, “Love Poem to My Hangnail.”

For more stories from Hudson Mohawk Magazine, go to the Sanctuary for Independent Media website.