P. Scott Cunningham

Victim by birth: “In every conversation with a new person, I have to admit I’m from Boca Raton,” says Cunningham, who views his hometown as a leg up. “It’s impossible for me to take myself too seriously, my one gripe with poets.” Poet who didn’t know it: Like most stories, Cunningham’s began with love. Falling for a poet, he turned bard to impress her. The genre grew addictive, leading to his attendance of FIU’s graduate creative-writing program, and then editing the Cent Journal Series and founding University of Wynwood to host readings and lectures. Its tongue-incheek name, Cunningham admits, comes from more than just his desire to oversee a faux university. “Using ‘Wynwood’ seemed funny because it’s a cultural buzzword coveted by developers and gallery owners to lend a sort of cachet to their projects.” The write stuff: Other than clacking away on one of 10 typewriters he owns— his instrument of choice since it forces him to move slower and concentrate—his creative flow requires some serious nap time. “In the film Bright Star about John Keats, a character requests not to be interrupted while he’s napping because he’s actually meditating. My wife, Alex, got me a vintage Chesterfield sofa, where I spend many afternoons ‘meditating’ in hopes of writing better poetry.”
—Rebecca Kleinman

Poem everyone should read at least once:
“Fred Had Watched a Lot of Kung Fu Episodes” by Tony Hoagland
Looking forward to: Thanks to the Knight Foundation, O, Miami, the city’s first poetry festival, coming in 2011
Favorite literary term: Hypercatalexis
Miami hangout: Any place with cheap alcohol and no velvet ropes
Poetry’s survival odds: Poems are sized for smartphones, and there’s an iPhone app for journals!

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