One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change Hits Miami on Saturday

One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change is a worldwide poetry gathering -- basically the largest organized poetry event in history. Sound like a grandiose statement? It is.

This Saturday, there will be 650 events in 95 countries, including 13 events in South Florida alone. Expect a poetic dialogue promoting environmental, social, and political change. If you're expecting glitz and glamor, think twice.

Unfortunately, there will not be Knight Foundation meat parties, cruises in Ferrari's, celebrity readings where the speaker arrives four hours late, and misses the reading altogether, or recycled poems dropped from helicopters onto groups of teen hipsters. That's all for another local poetry festival.

One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change is definitely grassroots. It rings

of poetic activism, aiming to prove the pen is mightier than the sword.

The event, with 5,000 attendees on its Facebook page, is using social

media to promote change in a manner not unlike the occurrences of the

Arab Spring.

Co-organizers Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion

are Miami transplants living in Northern California. Both are capable

poets, with an unrelenting ear towards social change. They have been

planning this occasion all year.

Rothenberg has high hopes for the inaugural event, saying "The realistic

expectation is that change has already taken place because we are now

seeing an unprecedented solidarity in the global poetry community."


Miami, a motley of events are planned including a central reading at

the grass median on Lincoln Road and Meridian on Saturday from 10:30

a.m. to 4:30 p.m., as well as numerous readings at local colleges. 

Later that night, there will be a Rumi Concert, featuring Coleman Barks,

poet and translator of Rumi; David Darling, Grammy-winning cellist;

percussionist Glen Velez; and Zuleikha, internationally acclaimed

storydancer, at Gusman Theater.

"The first order of change is for

poets, writers, artists, anybody, to actually get together to create

and perform, educate and demonstrate, simultaneously, with other

communities around the world," explains Rothenberg.

"This will change how we see our local community and the global

community," he continues. "We have all become incredibly alienated in

recent years. We hardly know our neighbors down the street let alone our

creative allies who live and share our concerns in other countries. We

need to feel this kind of global solidarity. It will be empowering."   


following Saturday's events, all documentation on the

website will be preserved by Stanford University, which has recognized

100 Thousand Poets for Change as an historical event, the largest poetry

reading in history.

Do you want to be a part of history? For a complete list of the events in the Miami area visit the website here.

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J.J. Colagrande
Contact: J.J. Colagrande