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West Palm Beach’s first poet laureate expresses activism through her art

Dalhia Perryman is the city of West Palm Beach's first poet laureate. She wrote the official poem for the city "A City Set on a Hill."
Street Art Revolution
Dalhia Perryman is the city of West Palm Beach's first poet laureate. She wrote the official poem for the city "A City Set on a Hill."

For the South Florida poet Dalhia Perryman, artistic expression goes far beyond her poetry.

Earlier this year, Dalhia was named the first poet laureate for West Palm Beach. The mayor asked her to write a poem to encapsulate the city’s hopes. She wondered, what would utopia look like for her community?

But poetry is just one way Dalhia uses her art to change the world around her.

Dalhia is a gifted muralist. She’s part of an art collective called Street Art Revolution. She helped create a mural highlighting unsung heroes and icons of the civil rights movement in downtown West Palm Beach.

Dalhia also uses her skill of performance and storytelling to speak out against gun violence.

She’s worked with survivors of shootings. She’s lost people close to her to guns. So she speaks around the state and around the country for organizations like Sandy Hook Promise to advocate for laws and programs to end gun violence.

On the Aug. 10 episode of Sundial, Perryman joined us to talk about using art to make the world around her better.

On Sundial's previous episode, Lazaro Mendez joined us to talk about growing up in South Florida, the creation of "Miami booty music" and why he’s known as “the pimp with the limp.”

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.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.
Helen Acevedo, a freelance producer, is a grad student at Florida International University studying Spanish-language journalism, a bilingual program focused on telling the stories of diverse communities.