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From Richmond Heights to the Everglades, Arsimmer McCoy brings Miami's movement and music into her poetry

Arsimmer McCoy is a poet, educator and interdisciplinary artist from Miami.
Passion Ward
Arsimmer McCoy is a poet, educator and interdisciplinary artist from Miami.

I’ll bet you didn’t know the Everglades has an artist in residence.

The artist Arsimmer McCoy spent a month there. She used her solitary time in the swamp to make art.

She explored the ties between Black and Indigenous people in the Glades. And she turned that experience into poetry, and into photography. She even hosted a dinner there between Indigenous and Black elders.

McCoy looks for these connections across South Florida, where she was born and raised.

She wrote poetry about Friday night football in Richmond Heights, where she grew up. She captured the sounds of the clashing shoulder pads and the scent of barbecue. You can find it in the book Waterproof, a collection of "micro-elegies to Miami places.”

She’s building a museum in Carol City — out of her grandmother’s old house.

The poet Arsimmer McCoy with her mother, Arsimmer Wilder McCoy (middle) and her daughter, Arsimmer Yaheli McCoy-Smith (left).
Courtesy of Arsimmer McCoy

And she’s performing at an O, Miami event this Saturday at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

On the April 26 episode of Sundial, McCoy tells us how she uses art to bridge South Florida communities.

On Sundial’s previous episode, Caridad Moro-Gronlier told us how Miami is a character in her poetry collection Tortillera, where she reclaims the homophobic slur she heard growing up in the Cuban-American community.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Stay in touch with us by emailing us at sundial@wlrnnews.org.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.