Art

O, Miami: A Month of Verse In Our Paradise of the Perverse

For those who pay any attention, who take care to look a bit further than the glossy pamphlet veneer, there's a great deal more to what makes Miami the Magic City than strung-out nights under neon on South Beach, and half-naked candy kids marching down Biscayne like a horde of zombies. This town is beautiful and blunt and brutal, it's surreal and sublime and stupid, it's decadent and depraved and ceaselessly, wonderfully different.

The more you think about how inspiring it can be, in all its chaos and magnificence and degeneracy, it makes one wonder why Miamians hasn't got more of a penchant for poetry when there's so much here to put to pen.

Fortunately, for one month of the year, Miami is saturated with verse upon the arrival of the O, Miami Poetry Festival. Since 2011, the month of April has been made into a citywide celebration of all things poetic, with an array of events ranging from readings and recitations by brilliant writers, to parades celebrating the life and death of poetry and the poets who've practiced it. This time around, the docket of events and projects makes it pretty apparent that 2014 will be the festival's most interesting year yet.

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Travis Cohen is a writer for Miami New Times and covers subjects ranging from arts and architecture to marijuana and monkeys with herpes. He graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's degree in English in 2012 and began working with New Times shortly thereafter. He was born and raised in Miami.