poetry

Read The Runners-Up (College)

Mar 18, 2013
Sadie Kurzban

In April, we invited unpublished writers to submit their work as part of our Write South Florida contest. There were three categories in the contest: Amateur, College, and Children.  These are the runners-up from the contest in the College category.

Mommy the Commie and Me

by Sadie Kurzban

Richard Fendelman

Hundreds of Miami-Dade middle and high school students listened to “Two Pianos” by Morton Gould. Afterwards, they wrote poems inspired by the music.  It was part of a contest called the Piano Slam.  The point is to inspire young people, using classical music, to create their own forms of artistic expression.

Lindsay Lonano: Kids Winner

Mar 18, 2013

Lindsay Lonano was the winner in the Kids category of Under the Sun‘s unpublished writers competition.

Lindsay Lonano

The Swamp

The green swamp

Bursts open with abundant life.

A slowly moving log appears

Upon the still surface.

Unsuspecting little bird

Unaware a predator lurks.

Munch! Fast moving predator

Eyes atop his head, delighted!

Alas! Not full yet

He slides upon a rabbit.

Prey, gone in a flash

Where did it go. Woe!

Meet Poet Campbell McGrath

Mar 18, 2013
Dan Grech

When you see a book titled Florida Poems, you might imagine titles and verses about bright sunshine and sand-swept beaches, with a picturesque Key West sunset thrown in.  You know, kind of like the poetry version of those generic landscape paintings that hang in every Florida seaside motel? (With the exception of paintings by the Florida Highwaymen, but that’s another story for another time.)

Young Poets

Mar 18, 2013
Nick Vagnoni

Host Alicia Zuckerman was intensely curious about how young poets graduating with Masters of Fine Arts degrees expect to make money.  Since the average poetry journal pays just $20 for a poem, it’s not exactly a way to make a living.   Sure, writing by candlelight because you can’t pay FPL has a certain romance to it, but what happens when you run out of matches?  So how do poets expect to pay their bills?

richard-blanco.com

When Richard Blanco got the call that he'd been chosen to write a poem for President Obama's second inauguration, at first he thought it was a prank. He still has no idea how he ended up on the President's radar.

"I would dream actually that the President has actually read my work and was so moved by it," says Blanco, laughing, "that he said, 'I want this guy to read a poem at the inaugural.'"

John Bailly

A painter who lives in Miami and teaches at Florida International University has collaborated with inaugural poet Richard Blanco to create paintings based on his poetry.

Their project, Place of Mind, will be exhibited in February in a New York gallery. The pieces were originally exhibited in 2007 at the main branch of the Miami-Dade Public Library.

Limericks Inspired By Florida's Muddy Politics

Jan 29, 2013
Public Domain Pictures

Politics can be quite the poetic muse - especially statehouse politics, it turns out.

We recently challenged members of the Public Insight Network to write about politics in the Sunshine State - in a limerick.* 

C. DiMattei

Poets are melancholy and morose, right?

“I’m so happy,” says a beaming 23-year-old Marci Calabretta of Hallandale Beach.

People who write poetry can’t relate to others, correct?

“I love people.  I adore people,” says 23-year-old Jose Villar of South Miami.

Most poetic souls are lonely and live in dusty attic rooms in ancient houses.

“I live in one of those over-55 ‘active’ communities,” laughs 64-year-old Adele Alexandre of Coconut Creek.

Photo by Michael Upright

Richard Blanco is home now, back in Miami after a six-year journey that launched the award-winning poet and FIU double-graduate into what was supposed to be the “real America.”

“The great prodigal return,” he calls it, the irony evident in his voice – not only about the places he’s been, but about the place he’s come back to. The journey has shaped much of Blanco’s recent poetry, and his evolving sense of identity as a writer, as the son of Cuban immigrants and as an American.

Palm Beach Poetry Festival

From the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to Old School Square in Delray Beach, poetry class is in session.

Today, 44-year-old Richard Blanco, the Miami-raised son of Cuban immigrants, becomes the fifth poet ever to take part in a President's inaugural ceremony.  Blanco is scheduled to read an original poem after President Obama is sworn in for his second term.

Meanwhile, poetry fans are converging upon Delray Beach for the 9th Annual Palm Beach County Poetry Festival, which runs through Saturday.

Nico Tucci

Today, Miami poet Richard Blanco will recite the poem he has composed for President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony.

When Richard Blanco takes the stage Monday at President Barack Obama's second inauguration, the poetry community of South Florida will be paying especially close attention.

Blanco was born to Cuban parents in Spain. The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Miami when Blanco was a toddler. He trained to be a civil engineer but a class at Florida International University later launched his poetry career.

Blanco's poetry is full of images from a childhood in South Florida and a Cuban-American household. 

alextorrenegra / flickr

Here at WLRN, we're big fans of interactive storytelling

Nico Tucci

The announcement that a Miami-raised son of Cuban immigrants has been chosen as the inaugural poet for President Obama's swearing-in ceremony is causing a stir throughout South Florida.  And nowhere more than in our region's literary community.

In 1993, a young civil engineer named Richard Blanco wanted to try his hand at writing poetry.  So he took a class at Florida International University, led by English Professor Campbell McGrath.

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