Poetry Projects - 2016 O, Miami Poetry Festival

The following are the poetry-in-public-places projects that were part of O, Miami Poetry Festival 2016. Projects are listed in alphabetical order.

Aesop Coconut Grove
Created by Aesop, with M.J. Fièvre

Aesop Coconut Grove is pleased to host an installation representing the meters of poet M.J. Fièvre’s ‘On Charles Avenue.’ Suspended sheets of pencils are sensitively arranged to form five panels - defining the poem’s five stanzas into distinct fields of depth. These panels establish undulating contours and dramatic intersections, illustrating the poem’s rhythmic movement, and the cadence of significant verse. Visitors are kindly invited to the Coconut Grove store from Friday, April 15 to Saturday, April 30 to experience the installation. 

Ajiaco: A Food Zine
Created by JV Portela, Amanda Finuccio, and Books Are Nice

Ajiaco is a zine of food poetry that can’t decide if it’s a recipe book or a poetry collection. Edited by JV Portela, the zine is a series of loose-bound recipe-cards, each containing poems by a different South Florida-based writer and an original recipe created by Amanda Finuccio. Corresponding to one of the four courses of a traditional full-course meal, each recipe is a direct, if whimsical, response to the poems it accompanies. Every recipe, in turn, is ‘translated’ into an original photograph that illustrates the culinary process and/or the product. The result is an ajiaco of intermingling forms, disciplines and registers—poems becoming recipes becoming photographs—that is reflective of the many languages, histories and cultures that make up Miami. The zine will be sold at O, Miami events throughout April for $1 out of two sticker vending machines repurposed by Books Are Nice. Ajiaco is a collaboration between JV Portela, Amanda Finuccio, and Books Are Nice.

Bedside Meter
Created by Quinn Smith with Jackson Health Systems

Bedside Meter is a project that brings a special moment to patients who are recovering from a long-term injury. A team of poets, led by Quinn Smith, visits patients at Jackson Memorial who are in long-term rehab. The poets sit with the patients and ask them about a moment in their lives that they would like to have turned into poetry. The poets then take their words and fashion them into an original poem. At the end, the patient is given the poem to keep. As a part of the process, we ask the patients if we can publish the poems, with their names as authors, but this decision is ultimately with the patient, not the poet. The Bedside Meter poets are visiting patients throughout April and into May.

Cafecito Haiku
Created by Yo ❤ 305 + O, Miami + Hialeah Haikus

Let’s celebrate what makes Miami unique. Yo ❤ 305 + O, Miami bring Hialeah Haikus back to the people–– Cafecito style. You’ve read the hilarious genius that is Hialeah Haikus. Now read it on the side of your cafecito cups during the month of April. Enjoy your cortadito with a side of poetry on us throughout April.

Current // Underwater: A virtual-reality guided meditation
Created by Jillian Mayer

Artist Jillian Mayer presents an interactive, guided meditation and underwater site-specific sound piece at sunset in the pool at the Standard Spa with a group of 25 participants. Each participant is equipped with a robe, blacked-out goggles, a snorkel, and a noodle float. The group is quietly lead into the pool and instructed to take distance from other members in the group. On an audio cue, they are instructed to lower their heads into the water with their faces fully submerged. With their ears submerged, the participants will be greeted by an audio recording that plays on an underwater speaker system. A 13 minute musical/meditational composition leads the group on a series of mental prompts, conceptual mediations and light movements.

Elegy to Poetry/Le Cabinet de Poésie
Created by Mario Bencomo and mia Galleries
The Eye Has to Travel Gallery, Miami International Airport, North Terminal, Second Floor, near Gate D29

The Eye Has to Travel, a new mia Galleries exhibition venue at Miami International Airport, inaugurates its first show with the work of Cuban-American artist Mario Bencomo. Elegy to Poetry/Le Cabinet de Poésie is a polyglot series of drawings and handmade books inspired by the work of poets from diverse cultures and writing in different languages. Each drawing’s titles are odes to specific poems as wide apart as Federico Garcia Lorca (Spanish) to Walt Whitman (American) to Constatine Cavafy (Greek). The works have a richly layered, dense graphic quality in which the words and the natural forms synthesize as a unified whole. Bencomo’s purpose is not for the poems to be fully legible, nor to diminish their importance by painting over them, but to pay homage to the poetry by integrating the handwritten poems into the overall composition. The superimposed drawings, which almost look like symbols, are inspired by botanical prints, an interest that originated in childhood. In its celebration of a variety of cultures, Elegy to Poesie/Le Cabinet de Poésie mirrors the diversity and vibrancy of South Florida residents and visitors.

Flip the Script
Co-created by O, Miami and Rudi Goblen

Flip the Script is an outdoor text and dance performance created by Miami artist Rudi Goblen for the 2016 O, Miami Poetry Festival. The performance lyricizes the now-common practice of “sign-flipping” on road sides to produce place-based advertisements. Using “poetry signs” designed by O, Miami, Rudi Goblen and a team of dancers will transform Downtown Miami public places into pop-up text and dance performances. Downtown locations and times will be chosen to maximize the potential audience of pedestrian, vehicular, and public transportation traffic. As the geographic and authoritative center of Miami-Dade County, Downtown Miami is critical to our yearly mission of reaching everyone with a poem. Downtown Miami’s weekday population of residents, businesspeople, and tourists affords us the opportunity to reach a diverse range of Miamians. In return, we would like to bring one of our most exciting projects to Downtown. We believe that Flip the Script will contribute to Downtown Miami’s identity as a cultural destination for locals and tourists and that the buzz it will create will generate an economic and quality of life impact for local businesses.

Fortune Cookie Poems
Created by Benjy Caplan & O, Miami, Sponsored by Delivery Dudes

Miami-Dade residents have long had to choose: Chinese food or surprise poetry. Well, no more. This April, custom fortune cookies printed with “Miami-fied” lines from Frank O’Hara’s famous poem “Lines for the Fortune Cookies” will be mixed in with Chinese restaurants’ own cookies and with delivery orders placed with the Delivery Dudes service (Midtown location). The communal experience of friends or family going around a table to share fortunes becomes lyrical...and local.

Hialeah Poetry Factory
Created by @HialeahPublicLibraries

Discover poetry in unexpected places at the Hialeah Public Libraries. Write and hide poems in the stacks for others to find and enjoy. Daily bilingual poetry readings throughout the month that you can sign up for and participate in, building up to “Open Mic Night” at John F. Kennedy Library on April 28th at 6:00 pm, featuring live poetry, atmosphere, and lots of fun.

Larry on the Lawn: Lyrical Signs for Political Times
Created by Yo ❤ 305 and O, Miami

A political election year means a storm of rectangular signs strewn across South Florida lawns, each one advocating for its candidate. To inject some poetry into this prosaic landscape, Yo ❤ 305 and O, Miami have combined to create, “Larry on the Lawn,” a series of original campaign lawn signs featuring excerpts from the work of deceased American poet, Larry Levis. Levis, born in Fresno to a family of grape farmers, died of a heart-attack in 1996 (age 49) as a relatively unknown American master. The series of lawn signs, generously hosted by business and home-owners in Miami-Dade County, introduces Levis’s beauty and genius to citizens who, expecting the familiar, encounter strange and somewhat detached messages with no simple agenda or demand. During this election season, as the American political system attempts to put us all into very specific boxes, “Larry on the Lawn” reminds us that we are all more complex than a series of penciled-in bubbles. (Want to host a lawn sign? Contact us.)

O, Andrew!
Created by Saint Andrews School

During the month of April, students at Saint Andrews School in Boca Raton create their own mini-O, Miami. During a site visit in February, students pitched O, Miami-style poetry projects to activate on their campus. Projects were then selected by Hillary Feerick-Hillenbrand, Chair of the Upper School English Department, and put into action by the students themselves. The festival culminates in a poetry reading and celebration at the end of the month. 

Poem for a Haircut
Created by Sonya Clark

When you memorize a poem, the poet’s art becomes a part of you. When you speak it aloud, it resonates through your body and connects to others. It seems a fair exchange then: the art of a poet for the art of a barber, and you, Miami, the vessel for them both. For one day, April 15, Miamians can recite Calvin Hernton’s The Distant Drum at select area salons and receive a free haircut in exchange. Participants are also asked, if and when someone asks about their haircut, to recite the poem again, as well as to post their haircut on social media with the text of the poem and the hashtag, #poemforahaircut.

Created by Mario Cruz

Poem-o-matic is a friendly "bot-in-a-box" that prints out a keepsake poem just for you when you press its button. We hope you'll snap an insta of your poem and share it with your social network to spread @omiamifestival around the world. Poem-o-matic is a project by Mario Cruz, with negligible spiritual support from Cristina Solana and Rebekah Monson, and was built on a RaspberryPi computer and made at Moonlighter Makerspace, where fine Miami nerds come together to make cool things.

Poems to the Sky
Created by Randy Burman with Miami-area 3rd and 4th Graders

Passenger with window seats on flights in and out of Miami International Airport in April 2016 are treated to a new kind of reading experience: Poems to the Sky. Created and executed by artist Randy Burman, Poems to the Sky takes shorts poems written by 3rd and 4th grade students at Poincina Park and Orchard Villa elementary schools and turns them into gigantic, skyward murals on the rooftops of Miami buildings situated in one of MIA’s several flight paths. As passengers look down at Miami in contemplation of its size and sprawl, they encounter a specific voice from Miami itself speaking back to them in welcome or farewell. Finally, documented with drone video and photography, the images of the poems on their rooftops are brought back to the schools where they were created. This project created with support from The Children's Trust.

Created by O, Miami and Gramp's Bar

"The writing residency of zero hesitancy" returns for a third year. Sign up to be one of thirty "Poets-in-Decadence" during O, Miami 2016. Each night in April, one poet is given the last seat at the bar at Gramps in Wynwood. For every poem written on a cocktail napkin and turned into the bartender, the poet receives one free drink. Poets must be 21+ with valid identification. Gramps reserves the right to refuse service to any poet not drinking responsibly. All Poets-in-Decadence are required to take public transit, use a ride share service or taxi, or get a ride from a friend.

Poetic Gestures
Created by Janet Evans & Arts4Learning (A4L) in celebration of their 15th Anniversary; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs (DoCA), in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of All Kids Included – Accessible Arts Experiences for Kids (AKI); and O, Miami in celebration of their 5th Anniversary

In Miami, poetry can be shared in many languages: English, Spanish, Creole, Russian, and Chinese, to name a few. However, one language is often overlooked: American Sign Language (ASL), a language of gestures for people who are hearing impaired. Poetic Gestures shares the beauty of this language with the general public and celebrates the anniversaries of its participating organizations. Sponsored in part by “All Kids Included - Accessible Arts Experiences for Kids” (AKI), which creates inclusive arts and cultural programs so that kids of all abilities and their families can participate fully in the arts. AKI is an initiative of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, and in part through grant funding provided by The Children’s Trust.

Poetry Prescriptions
Co-created with Jackson Health Systems

Not all ills are corporal in nature. During the month of April, poetry professionals at Jackson Health Systems Pharmacy are issuing a different kind of prescription: pill bottles containing contemporary poems in English, Spanish, and Creole. After being “diagnosed,” pharmacy volunteers give each interested visitor to the pharmacy a “poetry prescription” that contains one poem in the language of the patient’s choosing. Poems in English were curated and chosen by award-winning poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi, while the Spanish and Creole poems were written specifically for this project by Miami poets Yosie Crespo and M.J. Fievre, respectively. Poetry prescriptions will be given out all April, or until supplies run out.  

Poetry Sandwich
Created by Joel Linkewer

In an epic mashup between poetry and the culinary arts, Poetry Sandwich creates a new and delicious way of experiencing poetry: by eating it! Using a series of selected excerpts of poems, unique “editions” of various sandwiches are hand-branded with their own "poetic impression." Available at certain O, Miami events and other venues throughout the month of April, Poetry Sandwich seeks to create the tastiest poetic experience yet.

Poetry Today
Created by Sandra March

Poetry Today is a daily newspaper, delivered only to West Kendall and featuring original poems from 20 different Miami neighborhoods. Delivered on weekdays in April 2016, Poetry Today reverses the usual flow of culture in Miami, exporting poems from Miami’s center out to the perimeter by dropping the four-page paper in the driveways of everyday citizens in West Kendall. Each issue profiles one neighborhood, with a “poetry centerfold” and a profile of the neighborhood’s facts and flora, and all of it packaged by the incredible artistry of Sandra March. Papers are also available at select O, Miami events.

Pop Up Poetry Protests
Created by Marc Saviano & God Bless Generica

It’s about time someone took a stand against poetry. The Pop-Up Poetry Protests are a series of faux anti-poetry street performances displaying haiku and short poetic pieces on traditional protest "picket line" signage designed and created by artist Marc Saviano and God Bless Generica. The protest performances occur on public sidewalks of Miami outside official O, Miami festival events, other Miami cultural events, and random spontaneous occasions and locations throughout the city. If you’re interested in being a protestor, contact us.

Created by Momma Tried

RADIO, MIAMI is a project that broadcasts poetry across the Greater Miami area during April 2016. Using 15 and 30 second advertising slots on Power 96, Zeta 92.3, Shake 108, The Shark 104.3, Lite FM 101.5, and WVUM, RADIO, MIAMI airs short poems in the style of the broadcasting station, “sneaking” the poems into the fabric of Miami’s radio culture and introducing interludes of unanticipated delight, romance, and humor into regularly scheduled programming. In order to maximize the accessibility of the poetry, RADIO, MIAMI utilizes a free service that Miamians already use on a daily basis and seeks to appeal to a diverse range of audiences: baby boomer, 35+, student/young adult, and hispanic/latino populations. Tune into the stations and listen for the poems all of April.

Rhythm & Arts Poetry Production (RAPP)
Created by Shameka “Poetry” Thomas & the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation

Opa Locka native and University of Miami poet Shameka “Poetry” Thomas leads a group of Opa Locka youth poets through an intensive, twelve-week class that culminates in a public reading and mini-festival in their collective hometown. The Rhythm & Arts Poetry Production (RAPP) is a pilot poet-in-residence project with Shameka “Poetry” Thomas, North Dade Middle School “Expressive Art” students, O, Miami, and the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation. The on-going workshop guides the students through the creation of original poetry, spoken word, and literary works up to the performance of those works for the general public, as part of O, Miami’s annual poetry festival in April.    

Rolling by the Beach on a Sunny Evening
Created by Juan Gelez and Delia Rivera

Using a special roller created specifically for this project, architecture and design students carve lines of poems into the sand on Miami beaches. The repetition enforced by the rollers becomes its own visual poem and reinforces a sense of language’s impermanence, as waves and feet marr and erase the words.

Topiary Poems: Perfect Nothing in Miami
Created by Perfect Nothing & Bas Fisher Invitational

In collaboration with Bas Fisher Invitational and O, Miami, The Perfect Nothing Catalog presents Topiary Poems. Tucked into different Miami-Dade parks and neighborhoods, Topiary Poems is a project that combines visual arts, nature and poetry by making poems in the form of topiary sculptures. Plants are manicured by Perfect Nothing’s Frank Traynor to spell out short poems in a modified style borrowed from resort and commercial topiary signage. In conjunction with the creation of the sculptures, The Perfect Nothing Catalog provides a series of free workshops to teach appreciation for nature, collaboration and creative sourcing of materials. Workshops include aloe poem carvings, art zines made with pressings sourced from nature, gyotaku fish rubbings made into prints, poetry readings over chlorophyll seltzer water, and ocean dips. Founded by Miami-born artist, curator and collector, Frank Traynor, The Perfect Nothing Catalog works to find, create and give exposure to unexpected beauty, overlooked joy, and lost treasure. PNC has produced immersive art environments and experiences through disparate mediums, always with the same message: "YES."