UPDATE: Five poems have been selected as nominees for the Best Ode to Miami. Based on audience votes the winner will get a staycation at the Betsy Hotel. Vote for your favorite by clicking here.
The winner will be announced at a poetry reading on Sunday, April 28 at 4:30 p.m. at the Betsy Hotel South Beach. Poets are also invoted to read their That’s So Miami poems as well.
O, Miami is going to find you. Whether you are trying to enjoy a quiet drink at the Betsy Hotel’s bar, ordering a vegan falafel at Oasis Deli at UM or looking to buy some vintage vinyl at Sweat Records (it’s still a thing), throughout the month of April, someone is likely to be standing in front of a microphone reading a poem while you do those things. But that is the whole point of O, Miami – to bring poetry to as many venues as possible throughout Miami to get people excited about the written (and spoken) word.
The biennial poetry celebration is back to commemorate April as National Poetry Month in full literary regalia, complete with readings by bestselling authors (Edwidge Danticat, April 19), appearances by Inaugural Poets (Richard Blanco, April 28) and performance pieces that somehow blend dance and poetry (TASTE, April 6). The fun even culminates in a King Mango Strut-style event called the Poetry is Dead parade where literary fanboys and fangirls can get decked out comic-con-style as their favorite dead poet.
The event features almost daily poetry readings at venues all around Miami and Miami Beach plus tours, concerts and workshops for Miamians to polish their inner poet. South Floridians can even submit poems that will be posted on an ongoing blog, but they must have the line “That’s so Miami” in the text somewhere. Organized by founder of the faux University of Wynwood, P. Scott Cunningham, the mission of the O, Miami is to “change Miami’s attitude toward poetry.”
You can also get into the act by submitting your poem – in English or Spanish – about Miami (or reading all of the submissions) at this Tumblr site.