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How to celebrate National Poetry Month in Miami without leaving your house

O, Miami Online Poetry Festival 2020
Photograph: Courtesy O, Miami Poetry Festival

“Everything we do is meant to highlight some interior aspect of Miami and what it is,” says P. Scott Cunningham, founder and director of O, Miami, a nonprofit that celebrates our town through the lens of poetry. That’s the whole idea behind the name: “It’s a love letter to the city,” says Cunningham.

The annual poetry festival, which began in 2011, sprinkles the magic of the written word around the city like fairy dust all month long in the form of highly inventive art installations, readings and workshops. The goal of O, Miami is for every single person in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem in April. “But what I’ve learned is that there’s already poetry out there,” Cunningham says. “The city is so poetic and people are engaged in more ways than I ever anticipated.”

In an effort to keep the spirit of poetry alive while we carry on with life in lockdown, the O, Miami team has reconfigured its April programming to live mostly online. Below is a sampling of what Miamians can expect throughout the month of April. For updates and information on how to participate in O, Miami Online 2020, follow @omiamifestival or visit omiami.com.

O, Miami Online Poetry Festival 2020 fruit stickers

Illustration: Courtesy O, Miami Poetry Festival

Poetry fruit stickers

O, Miami partnered with local farmers’ markets Urban Oasis Project and Little River Co-op to place poetry stickers on fresh fruits and veggies. The short ‘n’ sweet poems were by penned by elementary and middle school children participating in O, Miami’s Sun Room poetry project in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. (More on how to shop the fresh produce from your couch here.)

Procasti-baking

Since this whole self-quarantine business began, bored people everywhere are taking social media oversharing to bold new heights. Case in point: these Miami chefs who launched their own Instagram cooking shows—not that we’re complaining! Cooking and baking are skills everyone should be brushing up on while staying home. In light of this, O, Miami is asking Miamians to submit their favorite baked goods recipe in the form of a poem.

Show us your crib

Festival organizers are tapping real-life poets to “show us their crib,” à la the famous 1990s MTV show in which celebs take viewers on intimate tours of their lavish homes. Poets will create short videos in which they’ll reveal the juiciest bit of every Cribs episode: “where the magic happens.” Yes, we are talking about their writing space. Tune in to get some inspiration for your own creative spaces at home.

 

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