Founded in 2009 by Jim Benson, WordXWord is a week-long spoken word/poetry festival held each August in the Upstreet Cultural District of downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The festival creates a transient community of visiting, nationally recognized spoken word artists; local poets; and enthusiastic audiences in celebration of diversity and the creative use of language.
Festival activities take place in a variety of borrowed spaces in partnership with business owners and key cultural partners. Events include Poetry and Story Slams featuring local performers; Young+Brave, an evening showcasing the work of local teens; and feature events with nationally recognized performance poets.
The common element to all performance events is the focus on work from a personal perspective, specifically intended for oral, live presentation. WordXWord is a lively week at times humorous, at others serious, always honest, thought provoking, engaging and entertaining.
Pre and post season events include: “preliminary” qualifying events for spots in the Poetry and Story Slam finals that take place during the August festival; visiting artist residencies to work with teens in classroom or workshop settings; teen spoken word events; performances by visiting spoken word artists; and the 30/30 poetry challenge, an online program with participants from around the world.
All WXW programs are free and open to all. WordXWord Festival, Inc is a 501(C)(3).