Thursday, August 11, 2011

WordXWord Festival Welcomes Gov. Deval Patrick

 Cultural Pittsfield and  The Word X Word Festival welcome Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts, who will share “lessons from an improbable life,” joining over 60 other writers and performers participating in the annual Word X Word Festival in downtown Pittsfield, starting August 13-20, 2011. He will be reading from his memoir,Reasons To Believe: Lessons From an Improbable Life, at the Colonial Theatre, located at 111 South Street, at 7pm on Thursday, August 18.

“We’re honored to have the Governor of the Commonwealth as one of our featured performers at Word X Word,” said festival founder Jim Benson. “Not only is he an accomplished writer, his father Laurdine Patrick was a jazz musician who performed with John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and the Sun Ra Arkestra.” Gov. Deval Patrick is part of the Word X Word Festival's spoken word performance legacy, joining dozens of other writers, poets, singers/song writers, play writes in this fantastic festival.

Word X Word Festival celebrates the word in all its glorious forms, be it written, spoken, sung, or even acted out. This is the third year for the Word X Word Festival and with each year it gets bigger and better, drawing in all different types of artist from all over the country that use the power of the word in their artwork, ranging from songs and poetry to one man shows and graphic art.

Released in April 2011, A Reason to Believe has been warmly received. Kirkus Reviews notes, “Patrick gives powerful voice to the reflective inner man who has a keen eye for things that really matter…A welcome celebration of idealism in a cynical time.” Library Journal enthused, “Patrick shows himself here to be a gifted writer. Especially engrossing are the early pages on his childhood—he summons forth all the senses as he describes 1950s–60s South Side Chicago.”  Listen to an interview with Deval Patrick on NPR's Morning Edition here.

In January 2007, Deval Patrick became the first black governor of the state of Massachusetts, one of only two black governors elected in American history. That was just one triumphant step in a long, improbable journey that began in a poor tenement on the South Side of Chicago. From a chaotic childhood to an elite boarding school in New England, from a sojourn doing relief work in Africa to the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies and then to a career in politics, Patrick has led an extraordinary life. In A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life, he pays tribute to the family, friends, and strangers who, through words and deeds, have instilled in him transcendent lessons of faith, perseverance, and friendship. Find out more about Gov. Deval Patrick at

We are very excited that Gov. Deval Patrick has decided to participate with and enjoy the Word X Word Festival this year, he will be a great fit with all the other talented artist that will be performing in the more than 30 events going on during this week long festival celebrating the word. A full schedule of Word X Word events is available online at The festival will also co-exist with Cultural Pittsfield's 3rd Thursday on the 18th, a monthly event that happens every 3rd Thursday from May through October.

Tickets to the reading are free but must be reserved in advance at the Colonial Theatre box office, Copies of his memoir will be on sale in the Colonial Theatre lobby courtesy of The Bookstore of Lenox, Massachusetts and he will be signing books afterwards. Please come and enjoy the power of the word in this wonderful festival's third year of celebrating the word in all its forms.

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