Apr 1, 2024 - News

O, Miami founder gives exit interview as he leaves nonprofit

P. Scott Cunningham

O, Miami founder P. Scott Cunningham. Photo: Chantal Lawrie

This will be the last O, Miami festival under the leadership of executive director P. Scott Cunningham, who is stepping down June 30 for new adventures in Chicago. (He will remain on the board.)

  • Before he goes, Cunningham is leaving his Miami neighbors with some parting thoughts — and a poem, of course — in an exit interview with WLRN.

What they're saying: Cunningham told WLRN that his favorite public activation O, Miami has done was last year's "[Your Poem Here]" campaign, in which the group published a resident-submitted poem on a billboard across from the Kaseya Center.

  • Little Havana resident Luz Rossy's poem — about sharing the same name as her grandmother — was chosen from 1,500 submissions.

A parting poem: O, Miami's signature poem is the Zip Ode, a five-line poem made with a person's ZIP code. Each number determines how many words per line the poet can use.

  • Here's one that Cunningham recited to WLRN based on his 33138 ZIP code: "The bay so close — but what's closer is the sun on my back as I am walking home."

Bottom line: "I think everyone's a poet. And I found over the years that people write these brilliant Zip Odes who just don't otherwise write poems. And so for me, that means that all they need is the occasion. They just need to have an invitation."

Go deeper: Listen to or read the full interview with WLRN


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