Poetry Projects - 2019 O, Miami Poetry Festival

The following are the poetry-in-public-places projects taking place during O, Miami Poetry Festival 2019. Projects are listed in alphabetical order.

Created by Arta Perezic & Steven Kocher
Where: Social Media / When: March 25th - Until @champagnepapi Recites a Poem

An average Instagram post by Drake (aka @champanepapi and Miami philanthropist) attracts up to 2 million likes, a number that is higher than the population of the City of Miami. Our goal is to get Drake to post a pic of his favorite poem and tag @omiamifestival and #DearestDrake in order to create a moment of visibility for poetry.

We’re asking YOU to post a poem to your Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #DearestDrake and a shoutout to @omiamifestival and @champagnepapi. Use your own or find one on the O, Miami website.

By building a critical mass, #DearestDrake hopes to catch Drake’s attention and encourage him to respond in-kind by posting his favorite poem, bringing more poetry to social media platforms, and creating a playful and collectively human way to share insightful words, inspiring ideas, and heartfelt images that are a deviation from social media’s sometimes self-aggrandizing and consumerist-driven qualities.

Check out A Poet
Presented in Partnership with The Miami-Dade Public Library System

Where: Miami-Dade Public Libraries / When: 4/2, 4/8, 4/9, 4/10, 4/18 & 4/25

You’ve gone to the library and checked out a book. Now, in April, you can go to the library and “check out a poet.”

At select Miami-Dade Public Libraries on specific days, you can “check out a poet” and learn more about this fascinating and often misunderstood type of human. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with real-life poets, hear their work, and ask them any questions you might have for them, like….

  • What inspires you?

  • What topics do you like to write about?

  • What's love got to do with it???

Poets will be available for check-out during specific dates and times at Miami-Dade Public library branches as well as the Bookmobile and Technobus stops. Patrons will receive receipts in order to borrow our poets and engage in a photo-op afterwards. For a full list of times and locations, go to the O,Miami events page.

Chiquita Poemas
Created by Melody Santiago Cummings

Where: Grocery Stores Throughout Miami Dade / When: Throughout the Month of April

Help us make your local produce aisle more poetic this April by participating in “fruit sticker bombing.”

We’ve made thousands of original fruit stickers with poems on them and will be distributing them throughout Miami in April. Keep an eye out in your local produce sections for these “chiquita poemas.” We also invite you to stick Heaney on a honeydew, Keats on a kiwi, and Simic on a sapote by picking up a sticker sheet of your own! Sheets will be available at O, Miami events while supplies last.

Declamando Y Deambulando Con Frida
Created by Monica Sanchez

Where: Amanecer Adult Day Care / When: April 25th

"Declamando y deambulando con Frida" is a collaborative, interactive performance between Monica Sanchez and Christine Arce inspired by Frida Kahlo's 1939 painting, "The Two Fridas.”

Through costume and song, a poetic ensemble based on Frida Kahlo and Angelina Beloff invites viewers into a literary exchange redefining both figures outside of their relationship with the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. Referencing a moment where the emancipation of women broke traditional models, these two personages offer alternate models for female autonomy.

The performance includes readings from Kahlo's poetry in addition to excerpts from  "Querido Diego, Te Abraza Quiela" by Elena Poniatowska, a reimagining of the unreciprocated letters sent by Beloff to Rivera while in exile in Paris.

Exquisite Flip Phone, aka Telephone Lines
A Game, Zine and Event Presented in Partnership with
Sun and Sons

What is “Telephone Lines?” Glad you asked. It’s similar to the old game of telephone, but with a twist. The game starts with a short poem. The short poem is then sent to an artist, who interprets the poem visually and then passes it on to a second writer. The second writer interprets the visual as a short poem again, and so on. They go back and forth through eight rounds of this, and then publish the results as a zine. Once a poet receives the email with the art, they have 24 hours to submit your response. All poets are selected by Sun and Sons and a live version of the game can be experienced on April 22nd.

Jellyfish Jam
Created by Allegra Preuss

Where:  The Lotus House, Morningside K-8, Jackson Hospital / Various Dates Throughout The Month of April

The Jellyfish Jam is an experience in exhausting our bodies and unclogging our creative pores. During poetry month 2019, O, Miami and The Jellyfish Jam are partnering up to share the power of dancing, writing, and connection.

Led by choreographer Allegra Preuss, each jam starts with poetry-inspired yoga to get comfortable and warm, and transitions into dancing like nobody's watching. You don't have to be a poet, dancer, or writer to enjoy this experience.

Message Of Hope
Created by Valerie Vargas

Where: Camillus House / When: Throughout the Month of April

“A Message of Hope” is an initiative to bring poetry into Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities in Miami during the month of April.

Led by poet Valerie Vargas, the workshop explores various elements of poetry in order to channel those insights into original work by the residents. This intimate workshop will be held for an 1-2 hours once a week during the month of April at the facility. Each class will aim at strengthening and preparing poetry or short fiction that will be recorded in a chapbook at the end of the workshop, at the discretion of its author. 

My Name Is Now
Created by Elia Khalaf
Where: Multiple locations (including HistoryMiami) / When: April

Choosing your own name is a vital process while trans folks transition to their true gender. The act of self-naming becomes a significant one-word manifesto marking rebirth, representing a cultural background or departure from it, while an added surname can spell independence and/or family acceptance. Thereafter, dead-naming, or referring to a person by their previous and imposed birth name, is considered oppressive.

“My Name Is Now” explores the poetry of naming from a trans and gender non-conforming perspective, in a series of  generative workshops and activations. The written poems will be showcased as signage on the divisive restroom doors of Miami, the city’s inconspicuous sites of identity. Contributors can also share their name-story online through an accessible and virtual safe space.

Neurodiverse Workshops
Created by Donald Welch and Raquel Quinones

Where: Brucie Ball Educational Center / When April 8th-10th

Working together as a teaching artist and bilingual speech therapist Donald Welch and Raquel Quinones are hosting poetry workshops for neurodiverse students at Brucie Ball Educational Center. These workshops are spaces for students to practice self-expression and self-advocacy while meeting the needs of their individualized education programs.

Using Welch's Sensorimotor Poetry Workshop model that’s specifically designed to meet the sensory needs of neurodiverse youth, the pair works with students in one-hour sessions over the course of one week. These sessions culminate in the publication of a small, self-published book of poetry that the students can share with their school and community.  As part of this week long program, Welch and Quinones are hosting a training for the staff of the school. The goal of this training will be to both make the school aware of their project and to offer teachers the resources to run poetry workshops and a similar publication project on their own.

New Life
Presented in Partnership with Jackson Health System and Topos Graphics

As part of a multi-year partnership with Jackson Health System, O, Miami and Topos Graphics are proud to present, New Life, a celebration of life through poetry. Beginning in April, poems written by 3rd and 4th-grade Sunroom students on the topic of moms, family, and hopefulness will be displayed throughout Jackson's maternity hospitals. Families welcoming new babies will engage with poems in waiting lounges and patient rooms. Unexpected messages that reflect on kindness, love, and strength will greet patients when they look in their ensuite bathroom mirrors. New parents will also receive an original, poetry baby booklet featuring colorful poems rejoicing the beauty of life. 

Opa-Locka Light District
Created by OLCDC and O, Miami & Presented in Partnership with the Poetry Coalition
Where: Downtown Opa-Locka / When: Throughout the Month of April

The Opa-Locka Community Development Center and O, Miami present “The Opa-Locka Light District,” a project to illuminate unlit sidewalks during the month of April with short poems. Through community workshops held in Opa Locka in March, we are collecting poems on the theme of “What is it, then, between us: Poetry & Democracy,” a national initiative by the Poetry Coalition that is funded by Ford Foundation. Then, in April, we will project those poems onto civic surfaces in Opa Locka.


Para Llevar O Para Tomar Aquí?
Created By Gabriel Sosa

As Miamians, we know that pastelitos and coladas are ubiquitous at hair salons, birthday parties, workplaces and breakfast tables throughout Miami-Dade. Inherently, coladas and pastelitos are social experiences. To enhance that camaraderie we are celebrating the question “Para Llevar O Para Tomar Aquí?” as a sentimental talking point amongst patrons. By turning the simple inquiry into a repeating pattern on wax paper, we highlight different emotions that a patron might feel when they purchase the beloved pastries at their local bakery.

Created by O, Miami & Gramps Bar
Where: Gramps / When: April

The most famous and sought-after writing residency returns this April, as O, Miami once again teams up with Gramps Bar in Wynwood to offer “Poet-in-Decadence.” Each Poet-in-Decadence residency is given one week in the month of April. The poet is given the last seat at the bar at Gramps, and for every poem s/he writes on a cocktail napkin and hands to the bartender, the poet receives one beer.

2019 Participating Poets: Cesar Segovia, Adenike O. Akinbisehin, Autumn Miller, Freesia Mckee and Rae Willburn

Poetry At Public Hearing
Created by Commissioner Ken Russel’s District 2

When: April 11th & 25th

Poets Mario Ariza and Adam Schachner recite poetry during the public comments portion of The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners' Meetings in April.

Poetry Parking Tickets
Created by Christina Frigo

“Poetry Parking Tickets” are made to look like Miami-Dade County parking tickets, but instead of a citation, each ticket contains a poem. Project creator Christina Frigo wants to turn the experience of getting ticketed into a positive one, so she chooses poems, designs and prints the parking tickets, and distributes them on windshields across Miami. Frigo first did this project in 2013 and has chosen a new set of poems for 2019. Poetry Parking Tickets will be distributed in various locations in Miami throughout April. Tickets will also be available at select O, Miami events—take one and ticket a friend! If you find one in the wild, post on social media with #omiami and #poetryparkingticket.

Room of One’s Own: A Teeny Tiny Poetry Residency
Presented in Partnership with Wolfsonian-FIU
Where: Wolfsonian-FIU / When: April 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 & 25 / Time: 10am-12pm

Cozy up to a poet! Cozy up to two! Throughout the month of April, two mornings a week, stroll in front of The Wolfsonian to find one of eight poets at work in our Bridge Tender House-turned-tiny writing studio. While they agonize over every word and line break, you can interact, read along, and witness their creative process. Then, join us for a poetry reading of the writers' final works on Friday, April 26, 7–8:30pm

2019 Participating Poets: Atena Sherry, Cherry Pickman, Carmella Guiol, Caridad Moro, Nick Vagnoni, Micah Johnson, Valerie Vargas, Adam Schachner, Yaddyra Peralta

Rise Up Nail$
Created by Rosemarie Romero
Where: Miami Beach Botanical Gardens / When: April 12th

A pop-up nail salon installation and performance where Rosemarie aka Porn Nails gives manicures with fragments of poems & quotes from civil rights leaders, feminist poets, and queer scholars to empower POC, Women, and the LGBTQ community.

Songs For Poets Songwriting Workshop
Presented in Partnership with Public Works Records

Where: Life House Hotels / When: April 14th

“Songs For Poets” pairs poets with songwriters in order to create new music from the words of poems. Songwriters and Poets have been hand selected to participate in this experimental workshop on April 14th.

The class gives an overview of basic songwriting principles/theories, facilitate the collaborative process, and then pairs poets and songwriters to begin creating. The workshop culminates in a live performance of the new songs at an O, Miami event on April 30 for family, friends, and the community at large.

Who’s The Fool? How To Patch A Leaky Roof
Created by Michelle Lisa Polissaint and Najja Moon

With "Who's The Fool?: How To Patch A Leaky Roof" artists Najja Moon and Michelle Lisa Polissaint focus on one aspect of the gentrification machine in our community, the proliferation of only one kind of free umbrella. The creep of gentrification is a global issue, not at all unique to Miami or Little Haiti, but we’ve chosen to focus on this detail as it is something we confront on a day-to-day basis, the drip of a larger storm.

"Who's The Fool?: How To Patch A Leaky Roof" is not just a commentary on this issue, it is a line in the sand or like placing a flag on the moon. The project is a proclamation of the identity of our community and a monument to those who are fighting to keep it here. These Little Haiti umbrellas are a gift to households in our community and an invitation to our neighbors to join us in combating this much larger issue.

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“You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming” (Pablo Neruda)
Created by Amancio Paradela

Where: Expressive Arts Festival / When: March 16th

In this active meditation, participants reflect on poems of healing curated by poet Melanie Almeder and poems of hope and joy created by O, Miami's Sunroom students, while they assemble poetry-infused flower crowns and boutonnieres. Participants discuss the poems, share their personal journeys, and assemble their paper-craft adornments to create their own wearable poetic artwork. This workshop is led by O, Miami’s Melody S. Cummings and paper artist Amancio Paradela for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s inaugural Lobdell Expressive Arts Festival.

Zip Odes
Presented in partnership with WLRN

When: March 18th-April 19th

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.