The O, Miami poetry festival is back for a new round of events that attempt to deliver a poem to all 2.6 million+residents of Miami-Dade County.
Once again, WLRN and O, Miami ask residents to write poems about Miami. “Ode to Your Zip Code” is a poetry contest that turns the least lyrical designation of your home, your zip code, into an occasion for verse. The contest runs from the end of March through April 21. This year, a selected group of 40 will have an opportunity to read their poems at The Kampong for the finale on April 26. Find out more here.
The festival runs April 1-30, with lots of free events celebrating the spoken word. Here are just a few of the free events:
April 1: Flip the Script | 8:30–10:30am at Bayfront Park Metro Station Inaugurate the month of April by witnessing an original O, Miami project created with Miami artist Rudi Goblen. “Flip the Script” combines street-side “sign–flipping” advertising with contemporary dance and poetry. On the morning of April 1 (and select mornings throughout the month), a breakdance crew organized invades downtown Miami sidewalks and medians with 17 original “flip signs” created from Donald Justice’s poem “Twenty Questions.” Each line of the poem is given its own sign. Working in tandem, Goblen & crew rearrange and flip the signs in dialogue with pedestrians and drivers, creating an audience for the poem that Justice, who was born and raised in Miami, perhaps intimated but never expected. “Flip the Script” is made possible through a grant from Miami Downtown Development Authority.
April 2: Les Petits Poetes | 11am–1pm at the Betsy South Beach B Bar. A showcase of elementary school poets from The Word Up! Youth Poetry Initiative, a year-round City of Sunrise program for youth self-expression. Budding poets in Sunrise (Broward) and Liberty City (Miami-Dade), elementary and high school students created original poems with guidance from writing coaches Laurel Nakanishi and Ellene Glenn Moore, MFA candidates from FIU’s Creative Writing Program. This reading at The Betsy is the culmination of this cross-county project and an opportunity to experience the next generation of South Florida poets.
April 2: Favorite Poem Project | 7–9pm at The Wolfsonian–FIU The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating and documenting poetry’s role in the lives of Americans. Join us to celebrate the winners of Favorite Poem Project Florida with readings and screenings of Floridians reciting the poems they hold most dear.
April 4: Shadows of Home | 8–9:30pm at The New Tropic “Shadows of Home” is a concert combining music and poetry from composers and writers who have experienced exile from their homes, or imprisonment within their homelands during times of political and social turmoil.
April 8: Poetry in the Park | 7–9pm at Soundscape Park Bring your blankets and picnic baskets to Miami Beach’s Soundscape Park for a Friday night reading under the stars featuring the nation’s first Hispanic Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera.
Find a full schedule of O, Miami events, including more free ones, here.