By Shellie Frai | March 31, 2017 | Culture
The O, Miami Poetry Festival brings the community together through literature as it returns to the Magic City this month.
O, Miami and artist Jillian Mayer collaborated on Current, a guided underwater meditation, at the Standard Spa pool last year.
Good luck making it through April without inevitably speaking out in poetic prose. That’s because O, Miami Poetry Festival founder P. Scott Cunningham is ensuring everyone in Miami will come across a poem or two (or three) throughout the sixth annual literary extravaganza, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
This year, you won’t be able to walk the streets, go to the beach, or stay at a hotel without reading a sonnet. For the hotels, “I have four Miami poets writing lyrical versions of the ‘Do Not Disturb’ and ‘Please Service the Room’ signs,” says Cunningham. “We wanted to do something fun and very Miami—the opposite of what you would expect from a poetry event.” On the streets, noteworthy poets will unite for a community gathering of bites and ballads at the Miami Beach Bandshell on April 1. Balladry continues through the rest of the month thanks to a variety of celebrations, interactive events, and workshops with the world’s leading poets—from live readings to tips on how to write your own rhymes. On the beach, FIU’s Department of Architecture alumni Juan Gelez and Delia Rivera’s ingenious giant Poetry Roller returns, engraving poems into wet sand so you can literally and figuratively leave your mark on the Magic City. Says Cunningham, “We wanted to be ambitious and pretend as if this is the biggest and most important thing that has ever happened [in Miami].” The O, Miami Poetry Festival takes place April 1–30. For more information, visit omiami.org.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GESI SCHILLING
May 1, 2017