Why sit at home with a dog-eared copy of Pablo Neruda’s love poems when you can hear some of Asheville’s finest perform live this Saturday night? Wordfest is a celebration of local poets, featuring events as diverse as slam poetry and readings by survivors of sexual assault. There will be a plethora of Asheville poets, along with children reading their original poems under the magnolia tree between Pack’s Tavern and City Hall.
The Mountain Xpress will be part of the festivities: Our Poetry Bash will close out Saturday’s events, from 10 p.m. to midnight, with beer, music and a reading by Brian Sneeden, the winner of the 2011 Mountain Xpress poetry contest. Earlier in the evening, Asheville poets Justin Bigos, Rose McLarney, Kwame Dawes and others will perform. Musical guests Ten Cent Poetry start things off, and Asheville FM DJ Sean Dennis will spin jazz from 11 p.m. to midnight.
All events, except the “Mother of all Slams,” on Sunday, May 8, are free and open to the public. The festival will take place through May 8 at a variety of venues including The Altamont Theater, Biltmore Park Hilton Hotel, and the Fine Arts Theatre. See the Wordfest website for a complete list.