RHYME OR REA­SON

THE O, MI­AMI PO­ETRY FES­TI­VAL BRINGS THE COM­MU­NITY TO­GETHER THROUGH LIT­ER­A­TURE AS IT RE­TURNS TO THE MAGIC CITY THIS MONTH.

Ocean Drive - - Front Runner - BY SHEL­LIE FRAI

Good luck mak­ing it through April with­out in­evitably speaking ount That’s be­cause O, Mi­ami Po­etry Fe ste ivu mal sfeoqu ni Scott Cun­ning ha au t me mi se set na­suut ring everyone in Mi­ami will come ac ro sp searro po id eu ms am orett wu to (or three) through­out the sixth an­nual lit­er­ary ex­trav­a­ganza, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foun­da­tion.

This year, you won’t be able to walk the streets, go to the beach, or stay at a ho­tel with­out reading a son­net. For the ho­tels, “I have four Mi­ami po­ets writ­ing lyri­cal ver­sions of the ‘Do Not Dis­turb’ and ‘Please Ser­vice the Room’ signs,” says Cun­ning­ham. “We wanted to do some­thing fun and very Mi­ami—the op­po­site of what you would ex­pect from a po­etry event.” On the streets, note­wor­thy po­ets will unite for a com­mu­nity gath­er­ing of bites and bal­lads at the Mi­ami Beach Band­shell on April 1. Bal­ladry con­tin­ues through the rest of the month thanks to a va­ri­ety of cel­e­bra­tions, in­ter­ac­tive events, and work­shops with the world’s lead­ing po­ets— from live read­ings to tips on how to write your own rhymes. On the beach, FIU’S Depart­ment of Ar­chi­tec­ture alumni Juan Gelez and Delia Rivera’s in­ge­nious giant Po­etry Roller re­turns, en­grav­ing po­ems into wet sand so you can lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively leave your mark on the Magic City. Says Cun­ning­ham, “We wanted to be am­bi­tious and pre­tend as if this is the big­gest and most im­por­tant thing that has ever hap­pened [in Mi­ami].” The O, Mi­ami Po­etry Fes­ti­val takes place April 1–30. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit omi­ami.org.

ƜƤƧƜƤƯƢƬƞ ƟƫƨƦ ƭƨʃ: O, Mi­ami and artist Jil­lian Mayer col­lab­o­rated on Cur­rent, a guided un­der­wa­ter med­i­ta­tion, at the Stan­dard Spa pool last year; Yo Love 305’s lyri­cal take on cam­paign lawn signs fea­tures ex­cerpts of po­ems by Larry Le­vis; Jack­son Memo­rial Hospi­tal’s “po­etry pre­scrip­tions.”

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