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O, Miami Poetry Festival
Photograph: Courtesy O, Miami

O, Miami floods the city with poetry this month—not limited to your vaccine bandages

The monthlong festival celebrates our town through the written word reimagined as fun experiences and visual works.

By
Virginia Gil
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Miami celebrates National Poetry Month in a big way with O, Miami—a citywide affair that sees the written word turned into large-scale installations, Instagrammable activations and gumball machines dispensing rhymes, among other imaginative interpretations.

The annual festival, which began in 2011, endeavors to expose every single person in Miami-Dade to poetry, and this post-lockdown version won’t be any different. Last year, the event went strictly digital with 2021 seeing a hybrid of in-person events and virtual happenings, such as the kid-favorite Pajama Party at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. There’s also an opportunity to trade a poem for a free haircut or oik change, a José Martí impersonator riding on horseback while he reads the Cuban poet’s Versos Sencillos and so much more.

Below is a sampling of all the poetry coming at you throughout the month of April. For updates and information on how to participate in O, Miami 2021, follow @omiamifestival or visit omiami.com.

Something to Chew On
Presented in partnership with Exchange for Change

Better for you than gum, Something to Chew On places classic gumball machines filled with poems written by incarcerated individuals in South Florida. All verses were penned during workshops held by Exchange for Change, an organization that teaches writing classes in prisons. Find these machines scattered around town, including one at Time Out Market Miami.

O, Miami Poetry Festival
Photograph: Courtesy O, Miami

Curitas
Project by O, Miami, Sponsored by Jackson Health Systems

Show up all of your Instagram followers posting about their vaccines with proof that doubles as poetry. Curitas, the Spanish word for a bandage, brings short poems to the arms of vaccinated Miami residents. Available in three different designs, the bandages are available at select Jackson Health Systems facilities while supplies last.

O, Miami Poetry Festival
Photograph: Courtesy O, Miami

Multilingual Miami Memories

Created by Haitian-American local Lisz Florival, the participatory piece asks folks to share memories of their mom-and-pop restaurants, specifically those thriving after lockdown. Florival hopes the finished project inspires people to stop in and dine at one of these small restaurants that only exist in Miami.

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