WordXWord Festival
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About WordXWord

WordXWord was founded in 2009 (by Jim Benson) as a week-long spoken word/poetry festival held each August in the Upstreet Cultural District of downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The festival created 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 took place - then as today - in a variety of borrowed spaces in partnership with business owners and key cultural partners. Events included Poetry and Story Slams featuring local performers as well as feature events. The common element to all performance events - then as now - is the focus on work from a personal perspective, specifically intended for oral, live presentation.

WordXWord Today

While the week-long summer festival week remains at its core, today WordXWord presents events year round. These events include poetry slams, commissioned challenges, workshops, and Poets Creating Conversation (see below). WordXWord encourages poets to accept a greater role in the cultural landscape, to provoke and bear witness, to use their craft to advocate for social justice, to act as agents of change, and to add their voices in celebration of the full potential of the human spirit. We use the arts - spoken word, poetry and storytelling - to build community, promote creativity, and provide a safe space for celebration of identity and exploration of the challenges of our time.

Poets Creating Conversation

Poets Creating Conversation is an ongoing series of events that invites poets to accept a greater role in the cultural landscape. By challenging poets to circle loosely around a theme or issue in the current social discourse we create a broad, multi-dimensional “conversation” between poems, poets, and audience. By sharing personal stories, observations, challenges, as well as moments of inspiration and hope, we weave a tapestry of creative voices that makes us stronger and helps us individually and collectively navigate the way forward.

Always Free

All WXW programs are free and open to all. WordXWord Festival, Inc is a 501(C)(3).