Poetry may not be the first thing you think of in April, but O, Miami is out to change that. It’s goal, to have every citizen of Miami-Dade County encounter a poem during the month of April, is reached via events throughout the county that seek to change the way people interact with the art form.
Founded by Boca Raton native and FIU grad P. Scott Cunningham in 2011, and funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation, the festival (run by the nonprofit of the same name) takes place throughout the month, with events taking place everywhere from Soundscape Park on Miami Beach to a Liberty City Elementary School. Though the events and projects change each year, the goal remains the same and draws poets and various visual and performance artists from around the globe as collaborators. Projects include:
- Oral Records: Miami public transit riders and employees will share stories of their daily commutes which will then be turned over to a group musicians, poets, theater groups, and dancers, who will “use the story material as inspiration for new creative works.” The works will be performed at the end of April at the YoungArts campus.
- Orchard Villa Elementary: Poet Laurel Nakanishi will lead an eight-session poetry workshop with students from Liberty City’s Orchard Villa Elementary School. The workshop will culminate in a show of student work.
- Poetry Parlor: Throughout the month poems will be snuck into the pages of tabloid magazines in beauty parlors throughout Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove and Little Haiti.
- Secret Sonnets: This project seeks to spotlight the beauty of braille by translating poems into the visual language. Residents can end a short poem and the Miami-Dade mailing address of its intended recipient to Secret Sonnets and have it translated into braille and sent it to that address, along with an alphabet card that will explain the project and how to read the poem.
For information and a complete schedule visit omiami.org.