Happy Pride, Miami! As you deck yourself out in rainbow colors and head out on the town this week, don't forget to look for hidden poetry in unexpected places around the city, because the month-long O, Miami Poetry Festival also kicks off Monday. As part of the festival, hit up the fifth Miami Zine Fair in Little Haiti on Saturday. Then, celebrate Pride with performances by some of Miami's best drag queens at Concrete Beach's Miami's a Drag event that night.
Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week:
Since its inception in 2011, O, Miami Poetry Festival has had a simple goal: to get everyone in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem. This year will be no exception. Throughout the month, there will be events galore, including a zine fair (April 6), a poetry pajama party (April 12), and the Miami Beach Culture Crawl (April 24). Things kick off Monday — O, Miami Proclamation Day — with Miami Commissioner Ken Russell at 11:30 a.m. at Books & Books at the Arsht Center. Monday, April 1, through Tuesday, April 30, at various locations; omiami.org. Most events are free.
On January 30, Miami's New World Symphony surprised unsuspecting Miami Beach bystanders with a tribute to the Beatles' famous rooftop concert, which the orchestra performed atop the 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage. It was so well-received that NWS' string quartet is planning a couple of encores. The first will take place this Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Lincoln Road, with another performance planned for Tuesday, April 23. Musical selections will touch on the worlds of classical, jazz, and pop, so the ensemble is retaining the element of surprise. 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the 1100 block of Lincoln Road, Miami Beach; nws.edu. Admission is free.
Swampspace's "Autochthonous" exhibit celebrates two ideas seemingly at odds: the blurring of identity and the uniqueness of every person. The multifaceted exhibition features work by the likes of Marcus Blake, Charo Oquet, Houston Cypress, and Reiner Gamboa. Special guest Anne Marie Miller will display beaded creations from Indigenous Celebration, a Brazilian nonprofit empowering local communities. Opening reception 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 5, at Swampspace Gallery, 3940 N. Miami Ave., Miami; swampspace.blogspot.com. The exhibit runs through April 19. Admission is free.
The ocean gets a lot of love in South Florida. But we have awesome rivers too. The 23rd-annual Miami Riverday celebrates the Miami River via free riverboat rides, kids' activities, tours, and environmental education. The event is the brainchild of the Miami River Commission, a watchdog that helps keep the river and surrounding areas in tip-top shape. You can enjoy some tunes at this event too, with performances by Spam Allstars and Luis Bofill & Band. 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Lummus Park, 250 NW N. River Dr., Miami; miamirivercommission.org. Admission is free.
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This Saturday, the Miami Zine Fair will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Since its 2014 inception, the fair has grown with each year, resulting in heaps upon heaps of unique magazines and fanzines for all who visit. At its core, the Zine Fair shows a number of independent publishers and small presses some love, and you should too. Interested peeps should monitor the event's Facebook page for the latest slate of attendees and performers. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, at Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Ter., Miami; littlehaiticulturalcenter.com. Admission is free.
It's National Poetry Month, and there are plenty of awesome poetry happenings to enjoy. Here's one of the best: The celebrated poet Campbell McGrath is hitting Books & Books for a chat about his latest book. Nouns & Verbs just hit shelves and features a survey of the poet's work stemming back 35 years, as well as some newbies. Be among the first to hear insights on the work from the man himself. 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; booksandbooks.com. Admission is free.
This Pride Week will be quite a drag — in the best way possible. Reading Queer and Concrete Beach Brewery have teamed up for the poetry and drag show Miami's a Drag. The evening kicks off with a poetry session by local queer poets and then zooms into a Double Stubble drag show. Hosting the show are the always-fabulous DJs Hottpants and Mystic Bill. Expect performances by Candi Dixx, Dang-Ho Yu Sickning, Kat Wilderness, and others. The Hummingbird Table will provide grub for what will be an overwhelmingly delicious evening. 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Concrete Beach Brewery, 325 NW 24th St., Miami; readingqueer.com. Admission is free; donations are accepted.
Inspired by the likes of Cheap Trick, the Muffs, and Joan Jett, Brooklyn's Big Eyes have been rockin' for ten years strong. In the heart of a tour taking the band to New Orleans, Texas, and up and down the East Coast, the group will stop at Las Rosas this weekend. The visit is timely — Big Eyes' latest delectable LP, Streets of the Lost, dropped this week. 9 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at Las Rosas Bar, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.