Prepare to be Rocked by Poetry
The Bayfront Eastside Task Force, and Civitas, Williams has organized Wordstock, a weekend-long extravaganza of poetry, spoken word, and music.
Friday, July 29
Erie County Poet Laureate Cee Williams has one final gift for the community before stepping down. With funding from the poet laureate initiative, as well as support from Poets' Hall, the Avalon Hotel, The Bayfront Eastside Task Force (BEST), and Civitas, Williams has organized Wordstock, a weekend-long extravaganza of poetry, spoken word, and music.
Slated for July 29 through July 31, at two venues, the weekend is filled with local and out-of-town talent, special family-friendly segments, and open mics. All events are free and open to everyone.
Friday and Saturday evenings are reserved for more complex poetry better suited to the adult audience. Things kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at Poets' Hall (Avalon Hotel Meeting Room 210) with music by Chris Pierce, and poetry by Brenda Snyder and Veda Leone, two kindred poets visiting from New England who will present together.
Saturday evening features a long list of celebrated local poets as well as some making their debut as featured poets, plus others from Buffalo and the region.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the event moves to the BEST facilities at East Third and Parade streets. These sessions welcome people of all ages and include an "under 18" open mic on Saturday and a "family-friendly" open mic on Sunday.
In these segments, you will hear Berwyn Moore, a former Erie County poet laureate; Thaisa Anne, creator of the Women of Words event held annually at Edinboro University; and Marisa Moks-Unger, a two-time Erie County Poet Laureate finalist. Presenting will also be Jason Baldinger, Scott Silsbee, and Megan Bell from Steel City Poets.
The weekend's schedule is packed with creativity, wisdom, and wit. Unfortunately there is no room to list the 30 or more poets on the bill. A quick peek at the Erie County Poet Laureate Facebook page will reveal every one of them, inform you about times for each day, and keep you up to date on last minute changes.
Cee Williams, well done. – Mary Birdsong
July 29 through 31 // Avalon Hotel, 16 W. 10th St.; BEST, 231 Parade St. // various times // See Erie County Poet Laureate Facebook page for details