To celebrate National Poetry Month, O’Miami and WLRN invite you to memorialize the place you lay your head by submitting an Ode to your Zip!

♪ I’ve Got Odes! I’ve Got Oooooodes… In Different Area Codes! ♫

How, you ask? Write a five line poem in which “the form and subject is dictated by your federally-designated postal zone.” Each number in your zip code is one line. The number of words in that line is determined by the number. For example, if you’re writing about 33139, the poem would look like this:

3          One hundred years

3          old this year

1          also

3          the average time

9          it takes to escape it during the boat show.

Write as many as you’d like before submission deadline (April 21) and submit them here! Your poem could be read on WLRN, posted on Tumblr, or be elected a finalist, in which case you’ll get a chance to read it on April 29th at Vizcaya. Five winners will even be selected by Presidential Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco.

On April 1st, O, Miami will kick off the festivities with a poetic boat ride up the Miami River. The festival ends on April 30th with a teen poetry and music competition. In between, O, Miami looks to celebrate contemporary poetry and transform Greater Miami into a canvas for the literary arts.

This year, they’ll “foray into Little Haiti, the far reaches of Kendall and out onto Biscayne Bay, the poetry festival — now in its fourth year — is working even harder to complete its mission: to help everyone in Miami encounter a poem in April.”

Director P. Scott Cunningham says, “O, Miami tests the limits of what’s possible when circulating poems among a community. Miamians should watch out for poetry on buildings, on the river, in the mail, and even in the bathroom.”

…as always, O, Miami revels in the offbeat. Writing workshops by land (Miami Beach and Kendall) and by sea (Biscayne Bay). A poetry texting workshop. A dog-friendly version of Bookleggers’ mobile book exchange called Dogleggers, at which your pet can score a bandana with an Emily Dickinson verse on it. An open-mic night on the important subject of chocolate. A musical/dance/poetry performance based on Muhammad Ali’s years in Miami. Shows by the Chicago-based Manual Cinema, which blends shadow puppetry and the works of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca (one of Cunningham’s most anticipated events). Murinals, which are exactly what you think they are: urinals enlivened by artwork (sadly, a male-only project — or maybe, considering the restroom habits of many guys, that’s not so sad, after all).

Miami Herald

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