When: April month long events
Where : Various locations
Poetry Projects – 2014 O, Miami Poetry Festival
The goal of O, Miami is for every single person in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem during the month of April. To achieve this goal, O, Miami produces and commissions projects that bring poetry to new audiences.
ANONYMOUS LETTERS – Much has been reported recently on the death of handwriting, in terms of hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, as a link between handwriting and learning ability, and even creativity. For instance, handwriting has been proving as a better tool for imprinting words to memory than typing. In “Anonymous Letters”, Miami artist Christina Pettersson will create a space where visitors can choose a poem from a book, copy it by hand onto stationary, and then mail it to an unknown person in Miami, chosen randomly out of the white pages. “I hope to re-introduce the beauty of knowing lines of poetry by rote, as people once did,” Pettersson says. “ And what unexpected pleasure to receive such a letter in the mail, lovingly conceived and written, certain to be remembered.” The project will be housed at Primary Projects (151 NE 7th St, Miami, FL 33132), April 18 – June 20, 2014.
BEATS MAKING LAB MIAMI – Beat Making Lab is an electronic music studio small enough to fit in a backpack. It started as an innovative course on music production and entrepreneurship taught in the Music Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, founded in 2011 by producer/DJ Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) and Dr. Mark Katz (author of Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip Hop DJ), and now BML collaborates with communities all around the world: donating laptops, microphones and software to community centers and conducting two-week residencies with talented youth. O, Miami has partnered with the Overtown Music Project to bring BML to Miami for a two-week residency in April 2014. BML will conduct a workshop with Miami-area students, the goal of which is to create cultural exchange, innovative collaboration, and social/entrepreneurial impact. Beat Making Lab does not require students to be able to read standard music notation, or play a traditional instrument. The participants learn the techniques of beat making through composition, sampling, and songwriting on the most powerful instrument of the 21st century: a laptop. The results are computer-based electronic dance music and hip-hop songs. This approach and pedagogy radically broadens the population that can be served through modern music education. Co-sponsor: The Betsy-South Beach.
BITE INTO POETRY – This project, developed by Elizabeth Jacobson and her daughter, Willa Kaufman, goes forth with the idea in mind that the making of poetry and the creation of something delicious to eat are both acts of joy and expression. Elizabeth and Willa, along with other poetry students from the University of Miami, will be setting up tables on the university’s campus and engaging the university students to write poems prompted by lines from Pablo Neruda’s The Book Of Questions. Poems generated by this activity will then be printed on slips of paper, “Poetry Bites”, or on stickers, “Poetry Sticks To You”, and distributed during the month of April by local bakeries and cafes.
DEPARTMENT OF POETRY WORKS (DPW) – Created by graphic designer Randy Burman in collaboration with a number of local poets, the Department of Poetry Works is a temporary bureaucratic entity in Miami-Dade County with the task of repairing, maintaining, and updating public instances of poetry. Throughout April, Department of Poetry Works employees will be dispersed throughout all twenty-one areas of the county, searching for poems that have been neglected and/or hidden by overgrowth, development, expansion, or declension. When they find such poems, DPW employees will return the poem to its original state, or, if the poem is broken beyond repair, rewrite it into the Miami landscape.
EDGEWATER POETRY & ATHLETICS CLUB – The Edgewater Poetry & Athletics Club is a community space created by O, Miami thanks to support from The Related Group. During the month of April, O, Miami is transforming 461 NE 31st St., a former drug addiction recovery center, into a hub for activity that aims to solve the mind-body problem. The E.P.A.C. will host poetry readings, panels, workshops, and lectures, in addition to activities like yoga, water aerobics, and basketball. When the house is open, visitors are welcome to visit the space and use it as a temporary place to meditate, compose, and read. Booksleggers Mobile Library has provided the house with a used book store and reading shelf. All events are free and open to the public and listed on the events page. For more on the intervention by at the house by Guatemalan collective BIP (Buró de Intervenciones Públicas), scroll down to the description of “Living with Poetry.”
FIRE DREAMS – This project takes as its premise that when we walk through cities, our bodies enter the dreams of other people who’ve walked there. New media artist Matt Roberts and poet Terri Witek map the city by floating various “dreamers” over interesting metropolitan spaces. City wanderers then follow this walkable dream map via an augmented reality phone app. Along the way, they are offered chances to see a dream, hear a dream, and text a dream of their own. These become part of the living dream map of the city. How to participate: go here for instructions for accessing the dreams of others and creating your own 7-word dreams, OR download a jpg of the instructions.
<"HERE"> – is a public art piece located on Miami-based websites. During the month of April 2014, an original line of verse by poet Joshua Mehigan will be coded into the website of participating organizations. No special attention will be called to the line of verse, nor will the project be announced on the participating websites themselves. The line comes from Mehigan’s poem “Here” from his forthcoming collection, Accepting the Disaster (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) and will be embedded with a hyperlink to the full text of the poem. All Miami-based websites are eligible to participate by placing the line and its hyperlink inside their website by April 1, 2014 and removing it by May 1, 2014. Interested organizations should contact O, Miami for the coding.
HOME: BEYOND GEOGRAPHY – is a participatory writing project created by interdisciplinary artists Juana Meneses and Leila A. Leder Kremer. The project explores the identity of our port city, mapping Miami’s residents’ personal histories. During the month of April 2014, Juana and Leila will visit—armed with pens, paper and maps —different Miami neighborhoods. An opening line, prompted to the neighbors, will elicit written responses around themes of identity, home and mobility. This writing will be collected, copied and distributed to residents during subsequent visits to other districts. The result: a poetry exchange between Miami residents. A selection of the poems collected, and a map showing the participating neighborhoods, will be compiled into a zine to be available for free at the conclusion of the project. For more, visit the project site.
GRAMPS “POET-IN-DECADENCE” – Gramps Bar in Wynwood hosts a different kind of writer-in-residence program for O, Miami 2014: The Gramps Poet-in-Decadence Writer’s Residence. Each “residency” is one night during the month of April 2014. Miami-area poets may apply by sending O, Miami a short poem about booze and three preferences for an evening in April. Each “Poet-in-Decadence” will be given the last stool at the end of Gramps Bar for one night. For each poem written on a cocktail napkin and handed to a bartender, the poet will receive one beer. At the end of the month, Gramps will create a zine of the cocktail napkin poems.
THE LAST RIDE OF JOSE MARTI – “The Last Ride of José Martí” is an homage to the continued significance of the life and work of Cuban poet and revolutionary José Martí. Actor Ivan Lopez—dressed as Martí—will ride down Calle Ocho on the back of a white horse and distribute roses outfitted with Martí poems. Martí will make a quick stop at Versailles for a cafecito, then travel down the heart of Calle Ocho on horseback, and finally give a reading beneath a tree. For updates on the dates and times of Martí’s last ride, follow O, Miami on Twitter and Instagram (@omiamifestival).
LATHER & LYRIC – Everyone needs to use public bathrooms, and most public bathrooms have posters or stickers encouraging hand washing. “Lather and Lyric” plays off of this scenario with bathroom mirror stickers instructing patrons to wash their hands for the duration of time it takes to read whatever poem is on the sticker. At approximately 60-70 words, or two 4-line stanzas, each poems meets the CDC-recommended hand-washing duration of 20 seconds. The visual design of the stickers are governmental and official, as if the poems were distributed to restaurants and bars by the CDC itself. We’re betting on less disease and more poetry. This project was created by Bill Kearney.
LIVING WITH POETRY – Organized within the frame of the O, Miami Poetry Festival, Living with Poetry draws inspiration from Nicanor Parra’s antipoesia and anti-poems in order to create an experience that draws from visual, literary, and spoken poetry. For this project Guatemalan-based duo BIP (Bureau of Public Interventions) will be working with, in, and around O, Miami’s Edgewater Poetry and Athletics Club collaborating with neighbors, local poets, and the artist Federico Herrero. BIP’s mediation of the festival’s “homebase” not only serves as a reflection on how notions of the visual and the literal intersect, but also on how conceptions of public and private space are formulated. BIP is a collaborative project by Stefan Benchoam and Christian Ochaita that originated as a direct response to the lack of public spaces and infrastructures for recreation and socializing in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Their projects encourage the use of public spaces through playful elements and unusual occurrences, and are developed through their collaboration with other artists, collectives and people in general. Living with Poetry is co-curated by Roxana Fabius, Patricia M. Hernandez, and Natalia Zuluaga.
MIAMI PROPER / A FUNERAL PROCESSION FOR JUAN GELMAN – Jordan Marty will perform and document the transmission of a previously recorded reading throughout the streets of Miami, Florida. Utilizing an FM transmitter made mobile via the artist’s vehicle, Marty will embark on a course beyond the physical footprint of the Edgewater Poetry & Athletic Club (461 N.E. 31st Street, Miami, FL 33137). In solidarity with the artist’s solo trip, the reading to be broadcast will feature the poetry of Juan Gelman, the early work of which includes the translation of a fictional American cowboy’s laments in The Poems of Sidney West. The aim of this project is to extend the reach of O, Miami, disseminating poetry – albeit fleetingly – to those within the community who are unaware of the festival itself.
MONUMENTAL PAPER CHAIN – Just as El Anatsui uses discarded materials found in abundance in his community, the Bass Museum of Art will set up tables stocked with recycled paper throughout Miami-Dade County from April through July. Participants are asked to write messages of peace and inspiration on individual paper links which are then used to construct Monumental Paper Chain. Everyone is encouraged to participate. Design to inspired communities and make use of recycled paper, the project will ignite a community conversation about waste and provide a tangible point of connection for Miamians.
O, WOLFSONIAN DAY – On Friday April 25 from 12-9pm you are invited to tour the Wolfsonian Museum in South Beach for free! Pay for your museum admission with a poem! Explore the museum’s unique collection of objects and art and be inspired––we want to read your haikus, limericks, and sonnets about pieces on display in the Wolfsonian. Join us as we read and write poems about the collection, learn about design history, and discover one of our city’s rich cultural treasures. Museum tours will occur three times throughout the day, at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm. Created by Annik Adey-Babinski.
PEOPLE POETRY – Mining the vastness of Twitter to create poetic alchemy. The project starts by reviewing Twitter with the search term “Miami,” taking one posted picture and a series of tweets, and then arranging those tweets (with a special touch) into a poem. Standard computer software is enough: 1) place the poem on the picture with Power Point; 2) create the image with Microsoft Paint; 3) hashtag it #omiami with credits for every feed that contributed; and 4) reach the masses. The project is open to anyone—contact creator Quinn Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org and get a feel for the work @quinnsmith2.
PINNING THE LINE – Created by Beatricia Sagar and ArtCenter/South Florida, “Pinning the Line” is a gallery event that invites poets and artists who use words in their work to take part in a living installation. You are invited to push pin a poem or visual art work that has poetry or words no larger than 15 x 15 to the walls of the RIchard Shack Gallery (800 Lincoln Road), April 23-27, 2014. it will change visually day by day through the week as the work gets pinned. The act of pinning to the walls of a gallery is a celebration of the act of creation but also a violation of the formality of the way art work is typically hung in a gallery. The work will be pinned in a straight line starting on the first day with just one poem which will hang alone to exhibit a contrast to the emptiness of the gallery space. Then it will continue with random pinning running along a line (imaginary) around all of the gallery walls.
POETRY SPOKE CARDS – A spoke card is a printed card suspended in the spokes of a bicycle wheel, historically to identify the cyclist’s participation in a street race. This unlikely platform has since been used to display small works from art to political endorsements. Award-winning designer Gabriele Wilson will work with poets Brett Fletcher Lauer and Elsbeth Pancrazi to create spoke cards printed with poetry, which will be distributed for free at O, Miami events and local bike shops, and through participating cycling groups. The cards will be a badge to identify poetry lovers, and an eye-catching and unexpected encounter with poetry.
ROAD SAGE – Consistently ranked among the top 15 most congested cities in the country, Miami is a place where people are used to sitting in traffic. “Road Sage” is an O, Miami project designed to give those people something to read while they are stuck in their cars. Keep an eye out for poetry while you’re driving around town this April. (If we told you exactly where the poems were, it would ruin the fun.)
SELFIES POETRY BOOTH – Created by artist and programmer Willie Avendano, the Selfies Poetry Booth is an original, D.I.Y. mobile photo booth that takes pictures with a poetic twist. Each visitor will answer a series of simple questions before the photo is taken, and, based on your answers, the booth will calculate several lines of verse that are compatible with your personality. Each subject gets to take home his or her “self-itry portrait.” The booth will “pop-up” unnannounced at select O, Miami events throughout April.
SCRATCH-OFF POEMS – Co-created by artist Agustina Woodgate and poet Mary Ruefle, Scratch-Off Poems is two different scratch-off lottery tickets that use original poems by Mary Ruefle. During April, five thousand of the tickets will be distributed around Miami-Dade County. Use a penny or your fingernail to unveil the words of an original poem by Ruefle; if the words in the poem match the words at the top of the ticket, you could win a prize. (Either way, you win a poem.) 1 out of 100 tickets is a winner. To collect your prize, come to the O, Miami final party at Gramp’s.
SOAPBOX POETRY 2014 – O, Miami host hotel The Betsy-South Beach invites you to gather Mondays (April 7, 14, 21, 28) in April at 5 PM ‘on the front stoop’ to hear poems read by members of our community in homage to National Poetry Month. “Soapbox Poetry” pays homage to London’s Hyde Park Speaker’s Corner. Every Sunday morning since the right of free assembly was recognized in 1872 people gather at the Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park to partake in a unique forum for free speech. Betsy Soapbox Poetry participants agree to be photographed and recorded.
“THIS IS JUST TO SAY” – Passers-by during the midday pause at a college campus are invited to read The Red Wheelbarrow / This is just to say by William Carlos Williams. Here the poem is given the gift of each reader’s pitch, inflection, rhythm… The tapestry of accents is not less ravishing than the bold colors shown, or maybe is it fabled Miamian-white? The words of the poem delicately tossed by the Puerto Rican American author are worn tight to the body. In this downtown Miami, graceful posers, reluctant performers, and unexpected talents unveil, one after the other. Around them: promising glances, uneasy smiles and hopefully, an apple rolling on the pavement. These sounds and images are the best bet for this poem, in this day. Created by Elena Errazuriz.
#THISISWHERE – O, Miami has teamed up with WLRN to document the places in South Florida that are meaningful to you. Enter the #ThisIsWhere Poetry Contest by telling us about a South Florida place that’s important to you. Picture that place: it could be where you drank your first cafecito, where you learned how to drive, or where you got some life-changing news – the more specific the better. Take a picture of it in your head. Can you see it? Good. Now write a short poem about that place that includes the phrase “this is where.” Your poem should be set anywhere between the Palm Beaches and the Keys, and you should be able to read it out loud, start to finish, in about 30 seconds. Submit it via wlrn.org or on Instagram and Twitter tagged with #ThisIsWhere. 10 poems will be posted each Friday in April at WLRN.org. A panel of published poets will pick the finalists from that group. Finalists will be announced on April 23 and will be invited to read their poems at an event on April 30. Five winners from that group will be announced at that event. Four will be chosen by the judges, and one will be awarded a “People’s Choice” award. The winners will have their poems published in The Miami Herald.