Poetry festival O, Miami puts poems on parking tickets and billboards
From parking tickets written in pentameter to a billboard ballad, O, Miami wants residents to experience poetry firsthand as part of its festival next month.
Driving the news: The 12th annual poetry festival throughout April, which marks National Poetry Month, will feature a series of events, public exhibitions and workshops aimed at fostering county-wide cultural exchanges.
Why it matters: "Each year, we hope our festival is a way for people to talk to one another," O, Miami founder and artistic director P. Scott Cunningham said in a statement.
- "Miamians are deeply imaginative, funny, and brilliant, and O, Miami exists to give them a public platform," he said.
What's happening: The festival kicks off Saturday night with a free panel discussion at Historic Lyric Theater, where poet and 2021 MacArthur Fellow Hanif Abdurraqib and writer Alexandra T. Vazquez will discuss the power of music and culture to create a sense of place.
- On Sunday, the popular and free Poetry in Pajamas event returns to the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, where kids of all ages will recite their favorite poems surrounded by a pajama-wearing audience.
- And next week, you can take part in an online poetry workshop about country music star Dolly Parton, a reading with author Clint Smith and poets José Olivarez and Jalen Eutsey, and a photo booth experience that will produce portraits with poems for participants.
What else: Apart from the many scheduled events happening in April, the festival will also host impromptu poetry demonstrations and civic publishing projects, such as:
Parking ticket trickery: If you happen to park your car at the right place at the right time, you may find a fake parking citation on your windshield with a poem.
- The project, by Christina Frigo, looks to make getting a ticket a positive experience. Citations can also be picked up at select O, Miami events so you can ticket one of your friends.
- If you find a fake parking ticket in the wild, organizers want you to post it to social media with the hashtags #omiami and #poetryparkingticket.
Zip Ode billboard: For much of April, the downtown billboard across from Miami-Dade Arena will display a resident-submitted "Zip Ode," or place-based poem written about a specific Miami ZIP code. Each number of the ZIP code dictates the number of words in each line of the poem.
- Out of 1,500 submissions, O, Miami will select the winning poem on April 5 to display on the billboard through April 23.
- Every Saturday in April, Miami's NPR station WLRN will announce the top ten "Zip Odes" of the week.
- Select poets will be invited to recite their poems at Vizcaya on April 26.
Megaphone recital: You might be hanging at the beach one day when a group of poets breaks out into a flash mob-like poetry recital, using megaphones to communicate with the masses.
- The poems, which will be in English and Spanish, explore Miami's relationship with the "poetic world."
Go deeper: Check out all the other cool projects and events that O, Miami has planned next month.
More Miami stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Miami.