The mission of O, Miami is a simple one: for the month of April, every person visiting or living in Miami-Dade County should encounter a poem. A festival as public and accessible as O, Miami embodies the belief that poetry is for the benefit of everyone. Poetry is everywhere—imprinted in the sand, in barber shops, on sidewalks, on the other end of a mysterious phone line, even on animal waste bags in dog parks.
O, Miami is more than a showcase of Miami’s literary culture, but an example of all the ways in which poetry can be a part of the everyday. In the foreword to Jai-Alai Books’ Eight Miami Poets, P. Scott Cunningham observes that having a community of young poets is a testimony to the health of a city; it indicates affordable rental properties, accessible public transportation, and a diverse populace.
As April comes to a close, we look forward to some of O, Miami’s more ceremonial events. O, Love Burn, a collaboration with the Burning Man community, begins as a writing workshop and ends in a burning of the poems, a cathartic act meant to symbolize transformation and impermanence.
It is a delight to support O, Miami in this endeavor, and to be amongst public poetry this April.