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Yaddyra Peralta preserves South Florida culture — and coffee — with her poetry

A woman reads from a piece of paper behind a microphone in front of a sign that reads O, Miami.
Chantal Lawrie
O, Miami
Yaddyra Peralta is a poet and educator in Miami and the current recipient of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Poetry Award, presented by O, Miami and The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center.

Yaddyra Peralta’s poetry takes us places.

From the island of Roatán in her native Honduras, where she writes everything is the color of sea salt. To Carol City, where she first wrote poetry as a child. And to Shenandoah, where she finds stray cats everywhere looking for light.

She knows the power of poetry to take us to new places. And to stand up for the places that are important to us.

That’s why she’s the current winner of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award by O, MiamiandThe Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center. The honor is given to poets who are natural preservationists and advocates for South Florida’s ecosystems.

By writing about her home, Yaddyra is protecting it.

Yaddyra tried to leave Miami for college, but she couldn’t quit it. She learned in New York City that the stories she wanted to tell were in South Florida. She got her Master of Fine Arts at Florida International University. She also helped budding writers find their voices, working with elementary school students and adults taking creative writing classes at night.

She wants to show others where poetry can take them. On the Aug. 21 episode of Sundial, she joined us to talk about finding her voice in Miami.

On Sundial's previous episode Evan Snow, an arts leader and creative entrepreneur in Broward County, joined us to talk about how his work celebrates the arts community and the challenges of earning a living as an artist in South Florida.

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.

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.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.