Apr 1, 2024 - News

O, Miami's month-long poetry festival returns

"My Home, Mi Hogar" Created by Boa Mistur -- a mural project that covers two adjoining 3 million-gallon water storage tanks in the City of Miami Beach with a bilingual poem.

The 2023 mural project "My Home, Mi Hogar" by Boa Mistura and commissioned by O, Miami. Photo: Chantal Lawrie

O, Miami's month-long poetry festival is back for its 13th year: Beginning Monday, poetry-infused and -inspired events will be taking over the city.

Why it matters: The local nonprofit — founded in 2011 — aims to have every Miamian encounter a poem through community gatherings, workshops, readings and civic publishing initiatives often proposed and realized by locals.

  • The festival "strives to be a celebration of Miami and its people," and is guided by the belief that "poetry is for everyone and anyone can be a poet," according to the nonprofit.

For founder P. Scott Cunningham, "the festival is our love letter to the city that is continuously rewriting itself."

Fun fact: The nonprofit announced Miami-based artist, poet and coder Yucef Merhi as the recipient of its inaugural "Technically Poetic" commission.

  • The $30,000 award is granted to those working at the intersection of poetry and technology.

The big picture: The month-long agenda is packed with almost daily events and gatherings, which can at times be overwhelming (at least for us, two Miamians who love the festival, but fail at attending all the events that pique our interest).

  • To help with choice paralysis, we created a little cheat sheet:

In Miami, I'm Happier: Education Showcase, the festival's first weekend event on April 5, will feature poetry readings from O, Miami's year-round education initiative, in-school student participants, teaching artists and audiobook contributors.

  • Poet Arsimmer McCoy will host the event, which will also feature activations by Dale mobile Zine truck and others.

Ventanitas Dinner on April 9 is inspired by the nonprofit's book, "Ventanitas: A Window into Miami's Coffee Culture," and will take place at Amelia's 1931.

  • Dinner tickets include two cocktails and a four-course meal.

Lost Socks/Missed Connections is an embroidery workshop at Easy Peasy on April 15. Socks embroidered with South Florida's Craigslist Missed Connections will later be dispersed at five laundromats across the county with the hopes of spreading "a bit of joy to those who find them."

Building Black Uto-poems: Transforming Redlines into Green Phrases features a guided somatic session prompted by the concept of a "Black Utopia." Attendees at the April 20 event will have an opportunity to "retell the story of their own neighborhood through poetic dreaming."

  • Their responses will be edited into a short film.

Drag Poetry Slam II: KIN is a site-specific drag and poetry performance project at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden on April 23 that "explores the relationship between queer bodies, chosen families and the natural landscape of Miami."

Zip Odes Finale at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens on April 24 offers readings from all the Zip Ode finalists and the end of the "Ode to Your Zip Code" campaign.

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