When the first WordFest happened in 2001 it was an open mic. Since then WordFest has grown & changed over the years to include in various years a book fair, featured readings, book launches, rock & poetry extravaganzas, a Slam invitational, even a cook-out, but always & forever open mics where anyone in the community can sign up, read, become a poet instantly, or not. WordFest 2014 took over the 3rd week of April in Albany & this night, Friday, was the grand marathon open mic at the UAG Gallery on Lark St. You can find the list of poets who had signed up for each 5 minute slot at AlbanyPoets.com, but that’s not the whole story. Who showed up? Who didn’t? Who showed up but hadn’t signed up & still read because somebody else didn’t shown up? The full story is here, more or less, depending upon whom you believe.
I was there from the beginning to the (bitter) (incomplete) end (end) & what follows are just brief comments, observations, notes that I was able to deceiver days later, or just make up if needed. I admit to only what I’m willing to type. If I left out a mention of your best poem or something brilliant you said that I missed while I was taking a pee, please comment. Then you will be as famous (?) as I am & we’ll all be beautiful, but none of us will be mentioned in Metroland in the Morning. & I’m sorry if I didn’t speak to you during the reading. If I had I would have been distracted & there wouldn’t be so many photos (you can see them all at my Flickr! site) & I wouldn’t have enough notes to write this Blog.
& that was it. Mary Panza declared the reading over & we wandered off into the night, at least those of us who hadn’t wandered off already. A great night of words, images & characters — some of them the poets them(our)selves.