The fifth annual O, Miami Poetry Festival is under way. It happens throughout the month of April, with more than 35 events and 20 projects — an effort to deliver a poem to all 2.6 million-plus residents of Miami-Dade County.
“The goal of the festival is to provide ways for people to engage with poetry in places where they would not normally expect to,” said O, Miami founder and director P. Scott Cunningham. “Miamians should watch out for poems everywhere.”
“Everywhere” this year includes poetry (as well as prose, haikus, limericks, odes, etc.) displayed countywide at unique locations including on a rooftop, in a fortune cookie, as topiary on a lawn, under water, on a cafecito cup, at a fashion show, on prescription medicine bottles — and on the sands of Miami Beach.
The “Poet Roller” project was created by local artists/designers Juan Gelez, 28, and Delia Rivera, 29, of Joint Studio in Miami.
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They designed a special 24-by-36-inch wood roller, featuring metal components and a foam stencil to repeatedly etch the words “Mañana? Always Mañana” on a stretch of Miami Beach sand spanning from its starting point at South Pointe Park (1 Washington Ave.) to Lincoln Road. The words are the last line of the poem, Self-portrait as Still Life by late Miami poet Donald Justice.
“The repetition enforced by the rollers becomes its own visual poem and reinforces a sense of language’s impermanence, as waves and feet mar and erase the words,” Gelez said. He and Rivera selected the poem from among a list of 20 provided by O, Miami. “We thought this poem would resonate with a lot of people, especially the locals,” he added.
The project will launch on April 11, with an arbitrary schedule and location during the week. On April 16 and 23, it will take place from noon to 2 p.m.
O, Miami Poetry Festival was created in 2011 with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For a complete list of happenings — most are free and open to the public — visit www.omiami.org.
The eighth annual Marissa Nestor Tennis Tournament to benefit United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida takes place April 16 at Flamingo Park Tennis Center in Miami Beach.
Host for the event is Miami Beach psychiatrist Eva Ritvo (co-author of The Beauty Prescription and Marissa Nestor’s mom). Coordinator for the tournament is local tennis pro Daniel Capote, who helped to launch the event in 2008 and has donated his services annually ever since.
The tournament is named in honor of Marissa Nestor, a Miami Beach native who is living with cerebral palsy. Currently a student at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Marissa is also working as a volunteer for boldbeautyproject.com, a photo exhibit showcasing women living with various disabilities.
Tennis registration and breakfast begin at 10 a.m.; the tournament starts at 11 a.m. Cost to participate is $150 per doubles team; singles (to be matched with partner) pay $85. Those wishing an extra advantage can bring their own tennis professional to serve as their partner ($250). Luncheon/silent auction only is $50 (adults); $15 (children).
Daniel Serfer, chef/owner of Blue Collar and Mignonette restaurants, wants to help alleviate the pain of Tax Day this year by offering a beer (or two) on the house. In keeping with the theme of celebrating minor holidays (they offered a Leap Day deal on Feb. 29), the restaurants will declare April 18 “Taxes Schmaxes Day.” Customers will receive a “refund” for every other bottle (or draft) beer or glass of wine when they “declare” their orders to their waiter.
“Tax Day can bring on a lot of stress. We want to lighten things up a bit,” said Serfer, 35. “While we Floridians are saved from the dreaded state income tax, April 18 still hurts on the federal level, so we’re going drink-for-drink — the first one’s on you; your second drink is on us.”
Opened in 2012, Blue Collar is at 6730 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami’s MiMo district. April 18 hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (lunch) and 6-10 p.m. (dinner).
Mignonette, an oyster bar and seafood haven (opened in 2014), is housed in a former 1930s gas station at 210 NE 18th St. in Edgewater. April 18 hours are noon-3 p.m. (lunch) and 5:30-10 p.m. (dinner).
In addition to paying his taxes and running his two restaurants, Serfer (a Miami native) has been busy with his new daughter, Charlie, 4 months old and son, Henry, 2. He and wife Shoshana married in September 2013. The family moved to Sans Souci (from Aventura) about a year ago.
Beach Buzz, which appears every other Sunday, focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.