WLRN + O, Miami poetry contest

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we asked you to write a poem about a place in South Florida that means something to you, and include the phrase "this is where."

We read nearly 600 poems throughout this contest and featured some on air. Then you voted for your favorite, and our panel of judges (made up of published poets) selected theirs.

Five contest winners were announced on April 30 at Miami Club Rum.
See the winners here.

 

Elaine Chen / WLRN

We announced our contest winners at the #ThisIsWhere finale at Miami Club Rum on Wednesday, April 30. This is where we share them with you.

Read the winning poems below and watch three of our winners recite their poems above. Then stick around for an extra poem about one of South Floridians' favorite experiences.

Vote For Your Favorite #ThisIsWhere Poem!

Apr 24, 2014

We've reached the finals of our #ThisIsWhere poetry contest!
Click on the logo above to see the popular-vote finalists, and vote below.

Mark Hedden

This is where the end of the #ThisIsWhere poetry submissions snuck up on us. For weeks we've been awash in a sea of words, poetic descriptions of everything from sunrises to lizards to — in this week's selection — a blessed urinal. And now we've suddenly found ourselves at the far shore, maybe a little wiser, but definitely more compelled to think of things in extended metaphors.

#ThisIsWhere: Poems About The Unobvious Thing

Apr 15, 2014
@alwaysbrig / Instagram

 

Each week at #ThisIsWhere we try to avoid having a theme. But they just keep happening anyway. 

It's oddly organic. With no larger agenda in mind, you pick out what you think are the ten best poems from the recent submissions. You read them over, and suddenly, like storm clouds parting, there it is: a theme.

Last week it was Miami Traffic Poetry.

This week it is the Unobvious Thing.

Sometimes the Unobvious Thing makes itself clear midway through a poem. (See Scott Fiore's "The Wall" or Stelios Serdenes "The Hatching".)

#ThisIsWhere: The Week Of Traffic And Tattoos

Apr 8, 2014
Mark Hedden

 

It is rare to see a new literary genre appear out of the ether. But that seems to have happened this week with what we're going to call Miami Traffic Jam Poetry.

During our second week of the #ThisIsWhere project, we have poems about tattoos, Chinese restaurants, pelicans, learning Haitian Creole, and the refugee experience. But three of the best poems were about the joys and perils (mostly perils) of the multi-laned blacktop experience. 
 

Interstate 95 inspires more than just four-letter words, it turns out.

Twenty five years ago, poet A.R. Ammons and his wife were driving home from a visit with family in South Miami. Somewhere north of Dade County -- on I-95 -- Ammons looked out his window and there it was: one of South Florida’s infamous mountains of trash.

Garbage: A Poem was born.

garbage has to be the poem of our time because
garbage is spiritual, believable enough

Margaretta K. Mitchell

The poet Robert Hass headlines the O, Miami Poetry Festival at the New World Center on South Beach tomorrow night (Saturday, April 5). Anyone can watch on the Wallcast from the park just outside the building.

#ThisIsWhere We Share Our First 10 Favorite Poems

Apr 1, 2014
@aliciazuck / Instagram

To honor National Poetry Month, WLRN and the O, Miami poetry festival bring you the "This Is Where" poetry project.