Poetry Projects - 2018 O, Miami Poetry Festival

The following are the poetry-in-public-places projects taking place during O, Miami Poetry Festival 2018. Projects are listed in alphabetical order. For time-based events in April, go to Events.

A Room of One’s Own
Project by The Wolfsonian-FIU
A miniature writer’s residency, held inside The Wolfsonian’s Bridgetender House. At specific times in April, a poet will take up temporary “residence” in the Bridgetender House in order to work inside of the hustle and bustle of Washington Avenue.

Be In Miami
Project by Roger Reeves & Antibalas
Afrofunk band Antibalas combines forces with poet Roger Reeves and students from Edison Senior High School to create two new compositions based on Miami. These compositions will be debuted for the public on April 29.

Cash Flow
Project by Ashley Moncrieft
Cash Flow capitalizes on the natural flow of currency to surprise Miami residents and tourists with poetry. Twelve different short poems are stamped onto dollar bills and then circulated in a corresponding neighborhood. We invite you, when finding one of the bills, to post it on social media with the hashtag #CashFlowMiami so we can track how far and how fast the bills travel. Cash-centric, high-traffic businesses serve as distribution hubs for the pre-stamped bills in Miami Beach, Little Havana, Overtown, Little Haiti, West Kendall, Homestead, MIMO, Hialeah, Westchester, South Miami, Coconut Grove, and Wynwood. On April 15th, during Miami Zine Fair, Cash Flow is hosting a pop-up currency exchange where attendees can ‘purchase’ stamped bills of their own to distribute.

Check Out a Poet
Project by Amanda Valdespino and Miami-Dade Public Libraries
Based upon the concept of a human library, “Check Out a Poet” makes poets available to the public in one-on-one sessions at Miami-area libraries and community centers throughout April. At specific times and locations (see “Events”), you can “check out” a poet for a fifteen-minute session. Have the poet read to you, talk to you, etc. A perfect opportunity to get to know another human.

Fight Me With Words
Project by Bernadette Despujols

We can fight with weapons, we can fight with strength, we can fight with words. "Fight me with Words" is an interactive poetic pillow fight. A pillow fight is a mock physical conflict using pillows as weapon. In this case each pillow has a word or phrase. Participants are invited to fight and create their own messages or find the pillow with the word or phrase that better represents them for this fight. The idea is to turn words into objects for direct contact, materializing the spoken word in weapons for combat.

Grounds for More Than Caffeine
Project by Poetry Society of America and Blue Bottle Coffee Company
An original vinyl window treatment featuring Miami poetry on the windows of Blue Bottle’s Design District store, in addition to a free postcard available inside.

Hialeah Scavenger Hunt
Project by Miami-Dade College Hialeah
MDC Hialeah students discover poetry during O, Miami! Every weekday and Saturday in the month of April, we hide a book of poetry somewhere on the MDC Hialeah campus. A clue is posted on O, Miami's and MDC’s social media accounts to lead students to the location. The person who finds the book keeps it. A bookmark in each volume would ask its discoverer to post a selfie and a poetry excerpt on Instagram, tagging it with #mdcpoetry, #omiami, and #hialeahscavengerhunt. In addition, MDC Hialeah Campus will host a free student poetry reading on April 4th.

How Short Can a Poem Be
Project by Carmen Pelaez

One time, some well-meaning but not very thoughtful person made a pencil that said, “TOO COOL TO DO DRUGS” along the side and distributed it to thousands of schoolchildren, who, after sharpening it, discovered that it also said, “COOL TO DO DRUGS” and “TO DO DRUGS” and “DO DRUGS” and “DRUGS.” 

Irish Spring
Project by Maureen Kennelly

Through a partnership with Poetry Ireland and Culture Ireland, O, Miami presents three of Ireland’s best contemporary poets: Tara Bergin, Paul Perry, and Julie Morrissy. To see more info and to RSVP for the reading, go here!

Project by Saint Flashlight
Over the years, O, Miami has misplaced or lost a bunch of poems. New York-based artistic duo Saint Flashlight is helping us re-find them by putting up “LOST POEM” flyers around Miami. If you encounter one of the flyers, feel free to take a tab, call the number, and experience one of the lost seven poems. (English, Spanish, and Creole.)

Miami Haiku Fortune Tellers
Project by Juana Menses
New World School of the Arts students, led by artist Juana Menses, present 90s-era paper fortune tellers re-engineered to tell the future of Miami.

O, Dalé Zine for Kids
Project by Dalé Zine
A series of crafty and poetic workshops for kids, held at Shake-a-Leg in Coconut Grove. Each workshop incorporates poetry into a different “made” product that the participants take home with them.

Ocean in Your Ear
Project by Ricardo Chuecos & Cristian Duran
The myth that one can hear the ocean inside of a seashell is finally coming true. During O, Miami 2018, people will stumble upon a beautiful seashell. When they pick it up and put it to their ear, they’ll hear a poet's voice. The effect of hearing the ocean in a seashell is a combination of factors: the distortion of airflow, ambient noise in the environment, and the sounds of one’s own body. Sounds like how a poem is made doesn’t it? Tiny speakers embedded in the seashells broadcast Ocean reading his own poems. Get lost and float into a different space with Ocean in Your Ear.

Ocean Stanza
Project by The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center on Key Biscayne, with Caroline Cabrera
Starting in February 2018, visitors to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Nature Center are invited to reflect on their time in nature by writing poetry about local flora and fauna. Every day, over 200 Miami-Dade public school students and visitors are writing poems at the center based on an original lesson plan by poet Caroline Cabrera that is inspired by the park’s Seagrass Adventure. The goal of the project is to broaden the audience of poetry readers by connecting our city to the nature that surrounds us. A special “literary exploration” event, led by Cabrera, takes place on Friday, April 6th, from 10 am to 1pm. The project culminates on Sunday, April 29th at The North Beach Bandshell, where the first annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas Poetry Prize will be awarded.

Palindromes for Passengers
Project by César Segovia

Heads up, commuters! Poet César Segovia is riding the MetroMover all month long, writing original palindromes in English and Spanish on the spot and handing them out.

#AnneInApril - People Pay for the Privilege of Reading Anne Sexton
Project by Evan Marcus
Last year, Miami resident Evan Marcus discovered the poetry of Anne Sexton and became obsessed with the idea that the world would be a better place if everyone read her poems, too. Anne Sexton's (1928-1974) poems center on her experiences as woman in midcentury America dealing with issues ranging from addiction to motherhood. Now, he’s asking YOU to record yourself reading a Sexton poem and upload the video to Instagram with the hashtag #PaymANNEnt. The catch is that, to do so, you also have to donate $5 to Lotus House Women’s Shelter in Miami. Here’s the link to donate. Tag @omiamifestival too while you’re at it.

Petaling Peace
Project by The Combat Hippies
Petaling Peace is a collaborative project between O, Miami and The Combat Hippies, an ensemble of military veteran performing artists. Handmade paper flowers inscribed with poems of peace and love have been created by local paper artist Amancio Paradela, military veterans, and community members. The project culminates with a flower distribution by veterans at busy intersections in Doral. This project provides an opportunity for veterans to engage the community through poetry and art. In an effort to defy stereotypes, this symbolic gesture is intended to create an opportunity to combat the stigmas facing veterans as well as offer a moment of respite for one of the most stressful issues facing the people of Miami: rush hour traffic.

Planetary Poems
Created by Topos Graphics and Jorge Perez-Gallego
Every day in April, visitors to the Frost Science planetarium will look up and see an animated poem by current United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. The poem animations are presented through a partnership between Frost Science, the Library of Congress, Topos Graphics Design Studio, and O, Miami.

Poem-o-matic and Optimus Rhyme
Created by Mario the Maker

Back and fully-updated the Poem-o-matic appears at select O, Miami events, dispensing poems at the touch of a button. This year, Poem-o-matic will also be joined by Optimus Rhyme, a robot that reads poems in his distinctive and sonorous robot voice. (Also at the touch of a button.) Both technological marvels appear courtesy of their creator, Mario Cruz, aka Mario the Maker. Shout out to Moonlighter Maker Space

Poems at the Pump
Project by Tom Thumb

For the second year in a row, visitors to South Florida Tom Thumb locations will encounter short poems on the handle of their gas pump. Written by various South Floridians and designed by Noah Levy, the poem handles give short but thoughtful reading material to drivers from Hialeah all the way down to the keys. This project was imagined and originated by artist Sandra March. Thank you Sandra and Tom Thumb!

Project by Gramps Bar

Year Four of everyone’s favorite writer’s residency. The rules are simple: sign up. There’s one spot per day in April at Gramps in Wynwood. That night’s Poet-in-Decadence exchanges original poems for free beers*. 21+ over only and lots of other fine print. *Three drink limit per poet. 

Porch Songs
Project by Martha Otis
How do we engage our neighbors in meaningful ways? That’s the question behind “Porch Songs,” a community initiative in the Miami neighborhood of Shenandoah. During April, poet Martha Otis is turning her porch into an occasion for gathering through songs, poems, food, and drink.

Sow: Poetry
Project by Ashley Quinn, Amy Arce and Melanie Gapany
Throughout the month of April, Sow: Poetry takes on the task of creating "plantable poetry" to be "sowed" throughout the streets of Miami, mixing literature with flora and fauna. The goal is to plant poems in every zip code of Miami-Dade County. A map of the plantings will be provided so that visitors can see the poetry live on through the plants that grow from them. In addition to these plantings, workshops teaching participants how to make their own plantable poetry will "pop-up" at select events throughout the O, Miami Poetry Festival.

That’s Not My /NEIM/
Project by Elia Khalaf

A series of workshops and interventions to reclaim invisible, misrecognized, and “difficult” surnames from the clutches of Starbucks cups and Coke bottles through the invention of a Miami-specific syllabic alphabet. For workshop times and locations, see “Events.”

This Dreaming This Living
Project by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Led by visiting poet Melanie Almeder, the Sylvester community, their friends, and family members participated in a two-day engagement that included a writing workshop and a henna tattoo session. Participants wrote poems addressing their bodies, and then had words that sprang from the workshop tattooed in henna on their bodies. The experience was part of “Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry and the Body,” a nationwide initiative created by the Poetry Coalition.

T-RIB-ial Pursuit
Project by O, Miami + Flanigan's Seafood Bar & Grill

You know those Trivial Pursuit cards you find on the tables of Flanigan's all over South Florida? The ones sticky with years of delicious rib sauce? O, Miami has partnered with Flanigan's to make two new trivia cards to be featured at eight Miami Flanigan's locations during April. Each card features a combination of poetry + Miami questions. We hope it brings a little bit of joy to families as they dine at one of Miami's most iconic restaurants. 

ULTRA OCHO - A Videogame About Dominoes on 8th Street
Project by Samuel Lopez de Victoria
Artist and videogame designer Samuel Lopez de Victoria creates O, Miami's first videogame. What’s the game about? Think The Legend of Zelda meets the Domino Park on Calle Ocho.

Zip Odes
Project by WLRN
The world-famous poetic form is back! Throughout April, submit your own “odes to your zip code” at wlrn.org for a chance at public radio glory. Use the numbers in your zip code as your form in an ode that glorifies (or satirizes) the place you live. For examples, rules, and submissions, visit our friends at WLRN.