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WordXWord Festival Kicks Off in Pittsfield
02:40PM / Monday, July 30, 2018
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Walkin’ w/ WordXWord kicked off the WordXWord Festival on July 29 at The Mount.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 10th annual WordXWord Festival will present a wide range of poetry and spoken word events from July 29 through Aug. 5.

Celebrating home-grown poetry and spoken word, as well as the work of visiting artists, the festival includes poetry and story slams - including the second annual invitational team poetry slam; themed events; a haiku competition; a day supporting and celebrating the voices of youth poets; outdoor events; and WordXWord's own twist on the celebration of Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday.

Festival events will take place in the Downtown Cultural District of Pittsfield as well as at The Mount in nearby Lenox. WordXWord events are free and open to the public.

The festival kicked off Sunday, July 29 with Walkin’ with WordXWord presented in partnership with The Mount, Jacob’s Pillow, and Lift Ev’ry Voice. The festival wraps up back at The Mount on Sunday, Aug. 5, with the second annual Team Poetry Slam in which four nationally ranked Slam Teams - from Boston, Lowell and Albany - will go head to head in a spirited competition.

Between the two stops at The Mount, the festival will present two workshops and sevem events in downtown Pittsfield at venues including the Hotel On North, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, the Berkshire Athenaeum, and the Berkshire Museum. The complete schedule is as follows:

* July 30, 7 p.m.: Summer In America / Poets Creating Conversation, Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. There have been summers of love and summers of unrest. It's summertime and it's the 10th annual WordXWord Festival. The Poets Creating Conversation series invites poets to focus on themes in the national discourse.

* July 31, 7 p.m.: Story Slam / Impeachable Offenses, Berkshire Athenaeum, 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield.
First person, true stories, scored Olympic-style.

* Aug, 1, 6 p.m.: Poetry sCrawl, starts at Dottie’s, 444 North St., Pittsfield. Wear your walking shoes as poetry takes a walk Uptown with stops along the way for poetry al fresco.

* Aug. 2, 7 p.m.: Poets Crash and Bernstein, Berkshire Athenaeum, 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield. To celebrate Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday, WXW has challenged poets to not "crash and Bernstein" in response to poetry used by the maestro in his American bicentennial tribute.

* Aug. 3, 6 p.m.: Head-To-Head Haiku, Dottie's, 444 North St., Pittsfield. Poets compete one-on-one armed with only 17 syllables.

* Aug. 4, 1:30 p.m.: Outspoken Youth Poetry Slam & Open Mic, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave., Pittsfield. Outspoken youth are rephrasing our world.

* Aug. 4, 7 p.m.: WordXWord Indie Poetry Slam Finals, Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield.
Poets throw down in a mind boggling, word tossing, eye gouging - friendly - competition.

* Aug. 5, 3 p.m.: WordXWord Invitational Team Poetry Slam, The Mount, 2 Plunkett St., Lenox.
Four nationally recognized poetry slam teams roll out their best stuff in preparation for the National Poetry Slam in Chicago.

In addition, free workshops will be held during the sCrawl at 4 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Hotel on North at 297 North St. for poets of all ages and varieties and at 11 a.m. Aug. 4 for ages 12 to 30 to work with guest poet Olivia McKee at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave. Advance registration is required for both online.

All WordXWord events are free and open to the public. The audience is advised that some programs may contain explicit content. WXW’s venue partners are committed to providing accessible facilities; however the sCrawl and Walkin’ With WordXWord require that the audience move from stop to stop and may require assistance for some circumstances. Email for more information. The schedule is subject to change; for more information and/or schedule updates, visit the website.

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