Richard Blanco, Edwidge Danticat among writers participating in O, Miami poetry festival


An unconventional literary festival aims to bring poetry to everyone in Miami-Dade County during the month of April.

The second “O, Miami” festival opens Monday with a picnic. April is also National Poetry Month.

The festival led by P. Scott Cunningham mixes traditional poetry readings with public art projects and collaborations with former Merce Cunningham dancers and New World Symphony musicians.

Organizers hope to sneak some verses into unexpected places, too. When the biennial festival was first held in 2011, poetry appeared inside county buses, between plants at a botanical garden, pinned into clothing and streaming behind small planes flying over South Beach.

The poetry readings aren’t restricted to bookstores. Poets from South Florida’s diverse communities, including Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, will read in hotel bars, art galleries, a rock club and other cultural hubs.

Among the festival’s highlights is an April 28 reading featuring Richard Blanco, who read his poem “One Today” at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration, and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.

That day also features the festival’s silliest event: a “Poetry is Dead” parade in Miami Beach, where members of the public will be encouraged to dress as their favorite dead poets. The South Beach parade route will include performances by local students and arts groups.

People are encouraged to write poems, too. The festival’s South Florida media sponsors will be reading on-air and publishing on a blog submitted poems that include the line “That’s so Miami.”

For the original report go to–Miami-Poetry

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