Miami, you have exceeded our expectations.
When we asked for poetry, you delivered in droves. And we didn't even offer an open bar.
The concept behind WLRN and O, Miami Poetry Festival's month-long project, "That's So Miami," was simple enough: Write us a poem that starts or ends with "That's So Miami."
Our end of the deal was to take all the submissions and publish them on our Tumblr page, put some of the best works on drive time radio and ultimately publish a book compiling the best of the best.
After receiving over 1400 submissions, and over 1300 tagged and relevant photos on Instagram, it is safe to say that we have a good start to this longer term project. Poems flooded in by the boatload on a variety of subjects: odes to the city, traffic ballads, Spanglish hybrids and delicious saliva-inducing verses.
From first timers to professionals, these odes to the place we call home pay homage to the diversity and resilience that set us apart from the rest. In a place often plagued by stereotype, we know that we are indeed all of these things but we shall not let them define us entirely.
Underlying all of these poems is a self-deprecating sense of humor that acknowledges our flaws and absurdities while managing to maintain a strong sense of dignity.
Let the travel guides and parachuting writers have their own imperfect take on us. They will never capture the depth of character we embody. They will never understand what it feels like to know that you might as well be living on an island-- a safe place utterly disconnected from the rest of the world. They will never fully understand the fact that we are more than South Beach.
No. This is poetry for the initiated. This is the people's guide to Miami.
And we would like to thank all of you for participating in this grand effort.
Take a quick glimpse at the video below for some of the best moments and poems from the last month. ENJOY, and keep writing!