Wine & Words Gets Booted From American Legion (Updated)

Remember the show Quantum Leap? Probably not. In the show, there's this

physicist, Sam, who becomes lost in time following a time-travel experiment. A new Miami spoken word night, Words & Wine, is like a whole season of this show (in a good way), starting with the venue, the American Legion Hall.

This place is kick-ass authentic 1950s Florida. It's loaded in Googie

style architecture, complete with pictures of old veterans on the

walls. Then there's the 1960s San Francisco bohemianism vibe. It's like

Haight & Biscayne. A cross-road where Joplin, Garcia, and Hendrix

may have dropped some acid, jamming to dawn, while just down the street,

in North Beach, freewheeling Ginsberg and Bob Dylan and Ken Kesey

plotted literary dreams in a back ally outside City Lights Book store.

Words & Wine has that vibe but...Before you know it, you leap into the


You're drinking Swagger-aid. The place is funky. Cut yourself and

bleed George Clinton. Leap again into 1990s grunge and hip-hop. Some

dudes are painting graffiti murals outside. It's a Tribe Called Words & Wine.

But the trippiest part of the whole experiment is

that you are undoubtedly in the now, in Miami. The air is filled with

come on, bros; I love you, maynes. And has been, all night.     

There's a wide range of people at Words and Wine, all ages, genders, sexual

preferences, cultures, ethnicities. Some come from money, some don't.

Some grew up here, others didn't. But there's a real feeling of

cohesion, acceptance and family. Words and Wine is the voice of the


Nikki Rodriguez is the creator of Words & Wine. She has a natural talent for bringing people together. "I started by

organizing simple drum circles, calling all the musicians I knew, buying

some beers and being happy together under the moon, by the ocean, at a

park, or in a tiny studio I once lived in. Within this lived the poetry I

always wrote."

Words & Wine began in the house (yes, the living room) of organizer

and poet Rodriguez. The event ballooned and now sheand the gang

moved uptown. Some may argue that the vibe is too young and

getting out-of-hand fast. In fact, the Herald recently published a report

alleging the shutting down of American Legion events due to noise

complaints, but Words & Wiine insists that the complaints have nothing to do

with them or their gathering.

"Words & Wine is going through a lot of changes due to how

many people are

attending," Rodriguez says. "We are moving with the flow of it and

accepting change as a

beautiful positive thing. We may even have to move eventually but we

are alright with that because what we stand for is being able to be

anywhere together as the familia, or as new comers, and still have that

words and wine expressive feel."

Words & Wine is getting bigger. In fact, it's blown-up. They now have a dubstep room. They serve food. And there's a cover, two bucks. But, at the end of the day, this event is still simple. It's about words, and it's about wine.

"Words and Wine is just a quick reminder

that poetry is everywhere and in everything," Rodriguez explains. "Like a drop of water

falling from a leaf, a child playing on the swings, a grandmother

kissing your cheek. Poetry is not dead.

Poetry is very much alive and well. Come join us and become part of

this beauty."
Words & Wine takes place every Wednesday, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m at Harvey' Seeds (6445 NE 7th Ave., Miami). Follow Words and Wine on Facebook.

Editor's Note: Words & Wine may not be held at Harvey Seeds. Based on new regulation at the venue, the location is TBA. Keep tabs on a possible relocation on their Facebook page.


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