If you live in Miami and don’t read or listen to a poem this month, you should be concerned. That’s because the O’Miami Poetry Festival is celebrating National Poetry Month by ensuring everyone in Miami-Dade County stumbles upon a poem during the month of April.
Since its founding in 2011, the month-long festival carries the impressive task of delivering poetry to each of the county’s 2.6 million residents. And this April, the festival is bigger than ever with over 50 events and projects that will see poetry being displayed in places such as hotels, public transport, and even gas stations.
Here are some of the most unique ways the festival is helping every single person in Miami experience poetry this month:
- Poo-etry: Created by Miami-Dade Parks, this project exposes dog owners to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda by displaying the poet’s verses on pet waste bags distributed in public parks across Miami-Dade.
- Check-out Poems: This project, supported by The Children’s Trust, brings short poems to checkout lanes at select Sabor Tropical The poems are written by students from O’ Miami’s Sunroom program in English, Spanish, and Creole.
- Poetry, Please: Guests staying in Miami Beach hotels will find that typical “Privacy, Please” door handle signs have been replaced with signs containing short poems by local writers.
- Poems by the Gallon: Make your fill-up experience a little more enjoyable this April by visiting a Tom Thumb gas station in South Florida, where you will find poems being displayed on the nozzles of gas pumps.
- Easy Tickets: Every single-rider Easy Ticket used for Metro Rail and Bus rides will have a poem in three languages: English, Creole, and Spanish.
Other projects include poetry on road signs and city buses, and ViewThrough—a project that seeks to promote poetry written by students in Miami’s detention facilities.
The festival will also be hosting a variety of events in different venues across South Florida, such as Lies Boys II Men Told Me—a night of poetry inspired by early 90’s R&B, and Culture Night at The Kampong—a unique immersion into Japanese culture and literature.
Many events are open to participation from local writers and are currently accepting submissions from those who wish to have their poetry exhibited in public.
O’Miami is on through the end of April at various locations. For more info, including a complete list of events, projects, and submission deadlines, visit http://www.omiami.org/.
By Alonso Montano