This year brought the return of in-person Zip Odes at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens.
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, we gathered together in one place to read poetry and celebrate all of the poets who shared their odes to home with us and the O, Miami Poetry Festival.
With the help of our[Your Poem Here] campaign, nearly 2,490 Zip Odes were submitted — more than double the amount of poems we received in 2022. (That year, we received 1,188.)
The majority — 2,120 poems — were from Miami-Dade County. 196 came from Broward. 52 Zip Odes were submitted from Palm Beach, exactly the same as 2022. 116 Zip Odes were out of town submissions, 40 of which came from other places in Florida.
Themes included ventanitas, visits to the beach, traffic and magic. At least 90 Zip Odes were submitted by Miami-Dade students.
More than 300 guests joined us to listen and enjoy our spotlight Zip Ode poets recite their five-line poems. Jessica Bakeman, WLRN's director of enterprise journalism, emceed the evening.
In addition to poetry, Melissa Gutierrez, who goes by @westofchester on Instagram, and Ingrid Schindall also joined us with their O, Miami Poetry Festival projects.
If case you need a reminder, A Zip Ode is an original form invented by O, Miami and WLRN, designed to transform your zip code into an occasion for place-based, lyrical celebration. Feel inspired to write one of your own?
Katie Lepri Cohen is WLRN's engagement editor. Her work involves distributing and amplifying WLRN's journalism on social media, managing WLRN's social accounts, writing and editing newsletters, and leading audience-listening efforts. Reach out via email at email@example.com.
Jessica Bakeman is Director of Enterprise Journalism at WLRN News, and she is the former senior news editor and education reporter. Her 2021 project "Class of COVID-19" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.