From our prior literary projects, we know South Florida has a lot of aspiring bards. So in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Miami Book Fair International, we asked you to help us tweet-compose a poem.
Richard Blanco -- a Miami-raised poet who wrote the presidential inaugural poem this year -- started us off with the first line: "Why the stars? Well, just look up, look"
Just east of the I-95 in Wynwood, on Northwest 24th Street, you'll notice a new, bright-orange mural is in the works. It's not a famed, European street artist's Art Basel-commissioned piece. It's Wynwood Brewing Company's way of welcoming Basel throngs to Miami's first brewery.
When Sherman Alexie comes to Miami Book Fair International, he enjoys the visuals.
“It’s like putting a bunch of geeky English professors in Bermuda shorts,” Alexie says. “I like the notion of all that energy surrounding books.”
Alexie is the author of award-winning novels, poetry and short-story collections about Indian characters living on and off modern-day reservations. His protagonists frequently share a deep, obsessive love of books and basketball.
That’s what Miriam Auerbach was thinking about 10 years ago while watching a television marathon of the iconic detective films starring Clint Eastwood.
“Suddenly I had a vision of Dirty Harry as a woman. So she was born,” says Auerbach.
Three years later, Auerbach published “Dirty Harriet,” the first in a series of satirical mystery novels. The protagonist is Harriet Horowitz, a gun-toting, Harley-riding former Boca Raton socialite who becomes a crime-fighter.
This week, President Obama bestowed the nation's highest civilian honor on 16 celebrated Americans, one of them a Cuban-American widely considered one of the world's greatest living jazz artists.
The cover of Arturo Sandoval's 1991 album "Flight to Freedom" features a photo of the musician wearing a smart suit and a radiant smile, his right hand gripping his trumpet, his left curled into a triumphant fist. Just one year before the release of that album, Sandoval was living in Cuba under the Castro regime.
I don’t remember being told Woodrow Wilson was my great-great-grandfather. It was a fact I grew up with. A picture of my newborn grandfather, the last child ever born in the White House, being gazed at by mighty Woodrow, hung in the staircase of my parents’ home.
Beside it was a Wilson campaign poster from which he looked through his iconic pince-nez glasses and over his long, angular nose at me. But the person I was named after was, in many ways, a mystery.
There was, perhaps, a notion 30 years ago that any reading done by anyone in Miami mainly consisted of a paperback on a beach, some suntan oil and very little else. But a small group of people felt differently.
So when the Miami-Dade County Public Library system wanted to celebrate its newest building, the idea of a book fair was born. "Books By The Bay," it was first called, conceived in 1984 as a few displays of books, tablecloths flapping in the breeze at Bayfront Park.
The book fair is my Ultra. That’s how I explain to concerned friends my almost-maniacal enthusiasm for our city’s belletristic blowout -- a party currently in full swing, having started Sunday with the inaugural ceremony and talk from cliffhanger superstar Dan Brown.
But in its 30th year, Miami Book Fair International's hundreds of thousands of attendees, more than 400 authors, and 200 national and international street-fair exhibitors make it impossible to see everything.
Scott Mitchell Putesky grew from '90s green-haired goth rocker to clean-shaven musician, but he recently let his mustache grow. It's a symbol of his fight against stage-four colon cancer.
“It represents my personal crusade," he says, two months into his six-month chemo treatment. "Cancer: Take my hair. Take my mustache. I challenge you. I still have my hair and mustache. So I’m winning.”
The Miami Book Fair International, celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, will not only host a ton of books both new and used, major and underground – there’s also extensive programming that will likely cause bibliophiles to salivate.
Throughout the week of the fair, a slew of notable authors (more than 400) will be speaking about their work, and panels will be held on a wide range of literary subjects.