O, Miami: A County-Wide Celebration of Contemporary Poetry

Apr 1 through 30, 2011.

altIs it possible to get all 2.5 million people in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem in just thirty days? Who would even try? University of Wynwood is proud to announce the most ambitious project in its three-year history: O, Miami, a county-wide celebration of contemporary poetry.

O, Miami is a month-long effort to get every single person in Miami-Dade County – all 2.5 million of them – to encounter a poem. Designed and produced by University of Wynwood, O, Miami is made possible through generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Beginning April 1st and ending April 30th, Miami-Dade County will be flooded by over 30 events and 23 projects that bring poetry to a new audience. Over fifty poets from around the world will participate, in addition to 30 partner organizations and a vast array of cultural curators.

Events include poetry readings by United States Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin, the actor James Franco, Tony Hoagland, and Iraq War Veteran Brian Turner. Poet Anne Carson collaborating with choreographers Rashaun Mitchell and Jonah Bokaer from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company

-The Anthology of Rap – Yale University Press’s definitive text on hip-hop lyrics – presents an evening of rap and poetry

-Dual language readings by Forrest Gander, Victor Rodriguez Nunez, and Raúl Zurita

-Eating Our Words, a night of food and poetry inside of Key Biscayne’s Bill Bagg State Park

-Abe’s Penny Live, a month-long exhibition of Miami photographers designed to incite new work by local poets (with original “writing spaces” designed by New World School of the Arts students)

Projects included are:

-“Herald Bloom”, a poetic spokesperson for The Miami Herald who will be writing original verse versions of the day’s news published on miamiherald.com and on Twitter @heraldbloom

-Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion program on Miami-Dade County buses, featuring a poem by Charles Simic in English beside brand-new translations of that poem in Spanish and Creole

-A “Poetic Guide” to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, created by local Miami poets and installed inside the Gardens throughout the month of April

-“One Poem, One Community”: a poetry postcard created by Florida Center for the Literary Arts and featuring a poem in English and Spanish by W.S. Merwin that will be distributed throughout Miami-Dade County

-“Now Taste This!” Poetry in Miami area restaurants curated by Jen Karetnik

-“How Pedestrian” Random Miamians will be stopped on the street and asked to read a contemporary poem; then the videos will be posted to omiami.org

-Poetry banners in Everglades National Park

-Poems in Miami-Dade County schools and prisons

O, Miami begins on the morning of April 1 with a dedication ceremony and special announcement at the Ziff Ballet Opera House courtyard at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and culminates in a four-day celebration titled “Final Lines” at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center on Miami Beach.

“Final Lines” begins on Wednesday, April 27th with a bilingual reading by Forrest Gander and Victor Rodriguez-Nunez. Thursday, April 28th features the poetry of James Franco and Tony Hoagland, moderated by Campbell McGrath, and also includes a late night event hosted by Literary Death Match that will feature New Yorker editor Ben Greenman and Miami author Patricia Engel. On Friday, April 29th, the main hall at New World Center welcomes Yale University Press’s “The Anthology of Rap”, followed by a late night performance at Purdy Lounge by Andrew Whiteman from Broken Social Scene and Andrew Yeomanson, aka DJ Le SPAM of the SPAM All-Stars. “Final Lines” culminates on Saturday the 30th with poets Brian Tuner, Raúl Zurita, Jill McDonough in the afternoon and W.S. Merwin and Carla Faesler in the evening.

Additional information – including a schedule, sponsors, partners, and participants – can be found at www.omiami.org. For more information about University of Wynwood, visit www.universityofwynwood.org.

O, Miami

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