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Snapshots of the Swamp: Miami Book Fair's Pop-Up Lounge Welcomes Buika (Photos)

The voice of Buika is a melodious blend of Africa, Spain, and the Mediterranean, with an amazing quaver more powerful than the

Plava Laguna

from the excellent action flick

The Fifth Element

.

Hailing from the island of Majorca, near Ibiza, she now calls Miami Beach home. And she has a new book of poetry out called "A Los Que Amaron a Mujeres Difíciles y Acabaron Por Soltarse" (To Those Who Love Difficult Women and End Up Letting Go)."

Last night she read and performed from the book at The Swamp, a pop up performing arts venue at the Miami Book Fair International.

Vanessa Blakes Lee, author of Trainshots, said "It feels fantastic to be here. It's a dream come true to read at the Miami Book Fair as an author."

She and fellow author Lindsay Hunter, who was reading from her first novel Ugly Girls, discovered they had something in common.

"We just met here at The Swamp," she said, "And we discovered I had worked with her brother for years at a restaurant in Orlando. I probably served her table so many times, and now we meet here as authors!"

Detroit Public TV is one of the media entities live streaming events...probably has nothing to do with the 30 feet of snow on the ground where they're from.

The Swamp is located in a parking lot on the southeast corner of NE 2nd Ave at 3rd Street. The fence around it features graphic tapestries made from six-word poems contributed by locals to WLRN.

The Swamp is also full of expensive cars with local art on them, like this running wolf on a BMW by Jay West.

There is a bookstore tent called Swampy's featuring what is a mass majority of work by Miami writers or that is about the local community.

Muhammad Ali's fight doc had a couple of books out.

So did Space Invader and Adler Guerrier.

And everybody in "Badass" edited by Andrea Askowitz.

Stephanie Fernandez works at Books & Books and Miami Book Fair. She is hoping to run into John Waters. "I love his films and I think he's a rare treasure," she said.

And there are LEBO art and t-shirts too.

When Buika hit the stage, the crowd was ready for action.

Buika spoke, and sang, and rhymed about being crazy, feeling love, and the nature of relationships, all in Spanish.

The cajón player added powerful bass and snare rhythms by thumping a box with his palms, hand edge, and finger tips. The audience was awestruck and clapped vociferously at the end of each poem.

Jorbana and Nana from London by way of Equatorial Guinea and Ghana enjoyed the show as well. "We found out about it online," said Nana.

There was a long but patient line for the book signing stretching from one side of the hall to the other. Maria Luisa and Luchy said, "Her poems are about how crazy we all are. The performance was amazing."

"We saw her in concert at the Arsht Center" said Ene Rodriguez.

More Swamp activities and events continue through Sunday. Visit miamibookfair.com for the full schedule

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