poetry

Tracy K. Smith knows many readers are intimidated by line breaks. She knows people don't like identifying consonance, assonance or alliteration.

But Smith — the newly announced 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry of the United States — wants to help America push past that anxiety.

"What do you hear? What do you feel? What does this remind you of?" she asks NPR. "These are all real and valid reactions to a poem."

Associated Press

Florida poet laureate Peter Meinke wrote a poem marking one year since a gunman opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others.

His poem is called "One Year Later" and you can listen to it here:

What are you reading? WLRN wants to know — and we'll share what we, and other people in the South Florida community, are reading every week in this space.

Tell us what you're reading by replying in the comments, or tweet us @WLRN with the hashtag #FridayReads

Cynthia Chinelly, poet and associate director of the Florida International University writing program

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

In the family visitor’s lounge, under paintings of Disney cartoon characters, two-dozen incarcerated men at Dade Correctional Institution take turns walking up to a microphone to recite poems they wrote while in prison.

The Sunroom: A Place For Young Miami Poets

May 3, 2017
Priscila Serrano / WLRN

Elementary students from three Liberty City schools spent the last two months meeting once a week to write poetry, and some of it has ended up in some unusual places. Like gas stations. And buses. 

“Poetry asks kids to come up with innovative ideas. It encourages them to think outside the box instead of asking them to zero in on a definition or answer to a test question,” said Laurel Nakanishi, teacher and coordinator of the program that added poetry to the kids’ curriculum.

Sometimes, even professionally compassionate people get tired.

Kristin Laurel, a flight nurse from Waconia, Minn., has worked in trauma units for over two decades. The daily exposure to distressing situations can sometimes result in compassion fatigue.

"Some calls get to you, no matter who you are," she says.

So Much Love! South Florida Food Inspires Almost 600 Edible Odes

Apr 25, 2017

Who says this is not a town of foodies? Poets of all ages answered WLRN and O,Miami's call and submitted 595 Edible Odes to the foods that make South Florida home. 

Gesi Schilling / O, Miami

If you Google the phrase “Miami inmates,” you’ll likely find stories about criminals and statistics about prisoners.

But a project called View-Through is trying to trick the Google search algorithm and introduce poems written by incarcerated South Floridians to those results.

Creating some form of art is commonly believed to help older people stay mentally and physically healthy. Scientific research hasn't quite caught up with that belief.

But that hasn't deterred the dozen or so older adults in Janet Hoult's poetry workshop. She refers to them all as "my poets." They meet weekly at the Culver City Senior Center in Culver City, Calif. Hoult is 80. Her eldest pupil, Ruth Berman, is 91.

It’s graduation time for some students, as classes wrap up for the holiday season. One such ceremony was held behind the razor wire and locked doors of Dade Correctional Institution in Homestead.

The graduation for the writing classes offered through Exchange for Change was held in the prison’s large recreation room, where murals of Disney characters look down on you. The gathering was a way to share and celebrate what the inmates accomplished over the past semester.

How do you get people to discuss diarrhea? Ask them to write poetry about it.

That's the idea behind Poo Haiku, a competition created by Defeat DD, a campaign dedicated to the eradication of diarrheal disease.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Gordon Oliver “Ollie” Wareham says all of his songs tell a story.

Essay

Dwyane Wade is leaving. After 13 years with the Miami Heat, Wade is leaving the only NBA team he has known. He’s leaving, like LeBron James did two years ago, to return home. In Wade’s case, he’s headed to the Chicago Bulls -- a team he grew up with as a kid in the southern suburbs of that city.

Chicago is a city I spent almost 15 years in before moving to South Florida. Like Wade, I know both places well. They are both special places for those of us lucky to have lived and love them both.

  Miami is the Magic City.

Lynnette Cantos

At the beginning of each performance, Speakfridays host and founder Robert Lee starts  by reciting to newcomers and regulars alike the night’s catchphrase:

“Can I speak?,” Lee shouts. And the audience responds  with a resounding, “Yes you can.”  Started in 2006, Speakfridays has been a staple of Miami’s underground art and culture scene for the last 10 years. Originally located in a warehouse in the Bird Road Arts district, the show moved to Wynwood last year in search of  larger accommodations.

What is it

About this place

With

Sound and stories…

So salty.

That’s our ZipOde, a poetic ode to our zip code here at the studios in Miami: 33132.

Your zip determines the number of words in each line of the poem. So, for us, that’s three words, then three words, one word, three and two.

With our partner O, Miami poetry festival, we asked you to memorialize your own federally appointed numerical designation by writing ZipOdes.

More than 1,100 poems came in and they were a lot of fun to read.

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