Look down when you fly in and out of Miami

Added on by Scott Cunningham.

Artist Randy Burman came to us a couple of years ago with the question, "What if you looked down from the window seat of an airplane and saw a poem?"

His vision is now a reality.

"Poems to the Sky" painted two poems into rooftops in Miami during April 2016: one on the roof of MANA Wynwood, and one on the roof of a parking garage at Florida International University.

Each poem has letters that are roughly 14 feet high and can easily be seen from incoming and departing planes at Miami International Airport. (Hint: the MANA location is most frequently seen from the right side of a plane taking off toward the Atlantic, while the FIU poem can be seen from the right side of planes arriving from the west.)

The MANA poem was written by Nieema Marshall, a 3rd grade student at Orchard Villa Elementary School, while the FIU poem was written by 4th grader Tywon Williams (also at Orchard Villa). The poems were created as part of The Sunroom, an O, Miami program that places poets-in-residence in various institutions around the city. 

Both poems were generously supported by The Children's Trust. The poem at FIU was adopted by students at FIU's Honors College, who did much of the work of painting the poem and even did the drone photography. The poem at MANA Wynwood was generously supported by MANA. Each poem was a highly collaborative effort.

What I personally love about the project is that it gives a publishing platform (and a rather large one at that) to two Miamians who are not "writers" or "poets" in a professional sense. O, Miami believes that a city's literature is only as good as how accurately it reflects the people who live there, and this project is about saying to visitors and locals alike, "There is creativity everywhere here."

-P. Scott