Monday, August 16, 2010

Trying to get myself to the Word X Word festival in Pittsfield

3 hours away
3 weeks away
still miles away

So that's a lame little attempt at poetry to convince myself to drive the three hours to the Word x Word festival, a week of performances by poets, songwriters, "spoken word artists" and the like.

I might have zoomed by the story in the Globe had I not notice the photo of Taylor Mali, the spoken word artist who headlined last year's festival and helped organize this one.

Isn't that the guy, I thought, who does "The the impotence of proofreading," which I show to students at the beginning of each semester ? I always laugh my head off. Some students don't. They know the pain of the SCE -- spell check error. Following the link to Mali's page,  I watched his now legendary "What teachers make" piece, which I plan to send to every teacher I know. 

I had a rough semester last spring in one of my classes. Teaching (insert adjective here) BU and Northeastern students is not the same as teaching in NYC public schools. Still, I feel  pumped up by Mali's bit and by Frank McCourt's Teacher Man, which I read this summer. 

So, I'm thinking of going, maybe for Friday and Saturday. I need to inject more fun, depth and me in my writing. I'll keep you posted.

PITTSFIELD — Coming soon to this Berkshires city: a nine-day antidote to the texting, verbing, and jargoning that threaten to reduce our language to a series of ungainly and perfunctory twitters. Beginning Aug. 21, downtown will host a nightly party for those who cherish the word, be it written, spoken, or sung,

It is called the Word x Word Festival, and its organizers promise a jamboree of performances by some 60 songwriters, poetry slammers, and stage actors in a variety of settings along North Street, including a tapas bar, a barbershop, the upper floor of a movie cinema, and a rooftop.

“Let’s change the world, word by word,’’ says Jim Benson, the founder of the event, and the owner of Mission Bar + Tapas, which will be de facto mission control for the festival. It will host the rooftop opening-night party and nightly musical performances, but it is also a likely spot to rub elbows with the performers.

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