Op-Ed

Find poetry in unexpected places during O, Miami festival

Is it possible to get all 2.5 million Miami-Dade County residents to encounter a poem in just 30 days? O, Miami is back, and through its 35 events and 25 projects during April, it will certainly try.

The O, Miami Poetry Festival is a month-long effort to help every single person in Miami-Dade encounter a poem.

With the support of the Knight Foundation, here are a few ways that the community can stumble upon a poem this month:

▪ Metrorail Easy Tickets: Every single-rider Metrorail Easy Ticket purchased in April will have a poem in three languages (while supplies last).

▪ Buses: O, Miami wrapped a Miami-Dade Transit bus with 11 short poems written by Miami third- and fourth-graders

▪ Doggy refuse bags: “Poo-etry” is a partnership with Miami-Dade Parks to put a poem on the free dog poo bags distributed in select public parks.

▪ Snapchat: O, Miami has appointed a “Snapchat poetry curator” to crowd-source poems using the popular and ephemeral social-media platform.

▪ Gas pumps: Visit Tom Thumb gas stations from Monroe to Palm Beach counties for poems on the nozzle handles.

▪ WLRN: O, Miami partners with South Florida’s NPR station to collect short odes to food.

▪ Google’s Search Bar: Artist Julia Weist takes the short poems of South Florida inmates and inserts them into Google search. Just search the term “Miami inmate” during April.

▪ Supermarket checkout lanes: Poems by Miami students usher your groceries down to the cashier. Bored in line? Look down and read.

▪ Hotel door handle signs: The typical “Privacy Please” door handle signs in Miami Beach hotels have been replaced with poetic versions written by Miami poets.

For more information, visit omiami.org

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