O, Miami builds community through literature. We produce the month-long O, Miami Poetry Festival. We teach poetry to underserved populations throughout the year, and we publish literary books of special interest to Miamians through our small press, Jai-Alai Books.
“Poems to the Sky” painted two poems on the rooftops of buildings inside the flight paths of departing and arriving planes from Miami International Airport. The project was created by artist Randy Burman as part of the 2016 O, Miami Poetry Festival. Both poems were written by students in O, Miami Sunroom educational workshops in Liberty City: Nieema Marshall (3rd grade) and Tywon Williams (4th grade), both from Orchard Villa Elementary. Each day, approximately 650 planes pass over the poems.
"The Poetry Roller," created for O, Miami Poetry Festival 2016, is an original invention that writes shorts poems into wet sand. It was made by Juan Gelez and Delia Rivera of Joint Studio and used on South Beach throughout the month of April 2016. The poem excerpt is from Miami-born poet Donald Justice's poem, "Self-Portrait as Still Life" and reads, "Mañana? Always Mañana."
Student at Orchard Villa reading a poem during one of our Sun Room poetry workshops at Orchard Villa Elementary in Liberty City.
Award-winning poet Jamaal May reads on the 7,000 square foot wall of the New World Symphony Building as part of our annual Poetry Wall-Cast.
Artist/poet Steve "ESPO" Powers stands next to the original mural he created for O, Miami 2015 at The Carlton Hotel on Miami Beach.
Actor Ivan Lopez portrays Jose Marti and rides down Calle Ocho on a white horse reading poems and handing out white roses at O, Miami 2014.
O, Miami Poetry Festival
The goal of our annual festival is for every single person in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem during the month of April. Mixing innovative events with poetry-in-public-places projects, O, Miami turns Miami-Dade into a canvas for literary expression and subverts commonly-held notions of what is a poem and who is a poet.
The Sunroom pays poets to teach workshops in communities where writing instruction is not guaranteed or expected, focusing on schools in at-risk neighborhoods, detention centers, and hospitals.
Jai-Alai Books is a publishing imprint with the goal of creating a regional literary identity for Miami. We publish, on average, three books a year in a variety of genres, from plant field guides to poetry-in-translation.
U-WYN Visiting Writer Series
Begun in 2009, the U-WYN Visiting Writer Series brings some of the most dynamic and important voices in literature to Miami in order to create meaningful interactions with Miami writers and readers.