Poetry festival kickoff

O, Miami kickoff caught in downpour, Miami style



The unofficial theme to this year’s O, Miami poetry festival is “That’s so Miami.”

Fitting, then, that the kickoff event Monday at El Palacios los Jugos almost got washed away in one of those vexing, vicious squalls for which South Florida is famous.

“It was very Miami for it to be pouring,” admits P. Scott Cunningham, one of O, Miami’s founders and the president of the arts organization the University of Wynwood.

“We had a guy in the parking lot with a portable generator pumping water out of the parking lot. It was actually kind of perfect.”

The sun came out, though, and Cunningham was able to perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony without having to tread water. O, Miami volunteers passed out tote bags, and creative-minded visitors were able to sit down at manual typewriters — even if they barely remembered how to operate such ancient machinery — and express themselves poetically.

No typing skills? Volunteers were happy to take dictation.

O, Miami, sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, continues throughout April, National Poetry month.

Next up is an open mic night at The Betsy-South Beach on Thursday and a dance performance Saturday at Bas Fisher Invitational.

For a full schedule of events — and there are many of them — visit www.omiami.org

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