Apr 2, 2024 - News

New poet laureate wants to help tell Miami's untold stories

Caridad Moro-Gronlier

Photo: Caridad Moro-Gronlier

Cuban American poet Caridad Moro-Gronlier wants to help Miamians express the stories hidden within their hearts as Miami-Dade County's new poet laureate.

Why it matters: Moro-Gronlier, an award-winning poet, literary editor and English professor, was appointed to the county post yesterday on the first day of National Poetry Month.

  • Her 2021 book, "Tortillera," details "the queer experience of coming out while Cuban" and reclaims the Spanish slur.

What they're saying: Moro-Gronlier, who teaches dual enrollment English at Miami-Dade Public Schools and Miami-Dade College, tells Axios that she wants to host poetry events for residents of all ages across the county to create connections in a divided society.

  • Sharing your story in a poem can be cathartic and act like a "vehicle of empathy," allowing others to step into your shoes and see life from a different perspective, Moro-Gronlier says.
  • "I think we all ultimately want to be heard and want somebody to listen, and I really believe that we could truly approach the world a little differently if we actually listened to one another's stories."

What's next: She would like to partner with the Miami-Dade Public Library System to hold events in different parts of Miami, and has also considered pairing younger and older poets to create a memoir poetry project.

Moro-Gronlier credits much of her success to the public library system — her "home away from home" as a child — and her English teachers at Miami-Dade Public Schools.

  • At her appointment ceremony Monday, she said her teachers were the first to read and critique her early poems. They helped nurture her love for writing.
  • "They believed that this little Cuban girl had something to say."
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