Miami's Inaugural LitCrawl Happens Friday

Pub crawls have become somewhat of a thing in the Magic City, and now annual poetry festival O, Miami introduces this city's first LitCrawl.

San Francisco spawned the first LitCrawl in 2006 by adding literary events to an evening of bar-hopping. Soon, other cities, including London, New York, Chicago, Austin, and Los Angeles, joined.

Miami's inaugural LitCrawl takes place this Friday, and is touted as a "choose your own adventure" evening of liquor and literature taking place in South Beach.

Unlike pub crawls that follow a scheduled tour of several bars, literature lovers begin the evening at 6 p.m. at the Betsy South Beach's B Bar, where they are given maps and schedules for the evening's events and are invited to "choose their own path."

Noted author Russell Banks (The Sweet Hereafter, Affliction) and award-winning poet Chase Twichell will perform readings at the Betsy, enabling lit lovers to get lush as they map out the rest of their evening.

There are seven events to choose from, with the last event beginning at 10 p.m. at Kill Your Idol. Here's a small selection of the venues offering liquor with a side of literature:

"Chaiku in the Alley" begins at 7 p.m. and takes place at Next @19th. Participating writers will perform three haiku that touch on their Jewish identity. The event celebrates all types of Jewish identity, including non-Jews married to Jews, Jews of color, and LGBT Jews.

"Popping the Pimple: Sharing Our Awkward Teenage Writing" is presented by the Mangrove Literary Journal and begins at 7:30 p.m. at Books & Books on Lincoln Road. Editors, readers, and University of Miami professors will read poems, stories, and diary entries from their adolescence. LitCrawlers are invited to share their own teen-angst lit once the scheduled authors are done performing.

Lip Service's Literary Olympics, "true stories read aloud," takes place at 8 p.m. at the Carlton. The Literary Olympics are open to the public, and Miami residents are invited to share a personal story. A panel of judges will award first-, second-, and third-place awards. We hope "award" means free booze.

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