poetry

Poet, writer and musician Joy Harjo — a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation — often draws on Native American stories, languages and myths. But she says that she's not self-consciously trying to bring that material into her work. If anything, it's the other way around.

Photos courtesy Arlo Haskell. Graphic by WLRN's Sundial.

Key West, a longtime home for poets from Elizabeth Bishop to Richard Wilbur, has selected Florida Keys native Arlo Haskell as the Conch Republic’s new poet laureate.

“We certainly have more than our fair share of poets, living and dead right here on this little rock,” he said in his remarks at a city commission meeting Tuesday. “As poet laureate, I’m going to try to build a genuine Conch Republic of Letters.”

Haskell will serve in the honorary role for two years. Though he has no official duties, he said he wants to make the island city’s poetry “a little easier to see.”

Bus Tropical
Katie Lepri / WLRN

Robert Rutherford is behind the wheel at least five days a week, which means that inspiration for a story can hit him at any bus stop.  

The Wilton Manors native is a driver for Broward County Transit and also the author of a blog that documents what he sees in his drives across the county. 

The blog is called Bus Tropical. It's a play-on-words for a subtropical climate (bus spelled backwards is sub).  

Terrisa Mark

An O, Miami poetry festival event this weekend aims to bring attention to immigration. 

Saturday's event, called "The beach is a border," invites participants to walk on the shore wearing 'poetry flip flops' that leave imprints of poems in Spanish, English and Creole on the sand. 

 

Sammy Mack / WLRN

April is national poetry month and the O, Miami poetry festival wants to reach every resident of Dade County with a poem—including a group of South Florida students with severe disabilities.

WLRN went to one of the O, Miami-sponsored poetry workshops at the Brucie Ball Educational Center and has this audio postcard from the young poets:

"I'm hoping to give them an entryway into the genre and into self-expression and eventually self advocacy," says Donald Welch, who helped run the workshop for the kids at Brucie Ball.

O, Miami Instagram

It’s National Poetry month and O, Miami has a series of events planned around the county to celebrate the art form.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

In the late 19th century, Key West was home to a large community of Cuban exiles. Poet and revolutionary leader José Martí visited the island several times to unite exile factions. On Monday, Marti made a return visit of sorts.

Much-loved poet Mary Oliver died Thursday of lymphoma, at her home in Florida. She was 83. Oliver won many awards for her poems, which often explore the link between nature and the spiritual world; she also won a legion of loyal readers who found both solace and joy in her work.

Donald Hall, a former poet laureate of the United States whose writing explored everything from nature to mortality to the toss of a baseball, has died at the age of 89.

Hall died on Saturday at his family farm, known as Eagle Pond, in the small town of Wilmot, N.H. His death was announced by his literary agent, Wendy Strothman.

Hall was a prolific author who began writing when he was just 12 years old. Over the course of a career that spanned more than seven decades, he wrote over 40 books, about half of which were works of poetry.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN News

South Florida is known for welcoming those fleeing economic and political strife in their homeland. Cubans, Venezuelans and Haitians arrive to an already established community with a shared language and culture.

 

But what about those refugees that come to South Florida from other parts of the world less represented in our area, like Syria?

 

Rowan Moore Gerety

Outside of his dreams, Juan Esquival hadn’t held his children since 1999. “Freedom,” said Elliot Ross, doing time for a string of robberies before his 22nd birthday, “is for my kids not to make the same mistake I did in life.” After 18 years in prisons across Florida, as he tuned up, guitarist Ronald “Bam” Threet said he knew exactly how much time he had left on the inside: eight months, four hours and 35 minutes. 

Gesi Schilling / O, Miami Poetry Festival

Food is such a part of how we relate to where we're from, where we live, our heritage and our discoveries along the way. Earlier this year, we asked you to send us your Edible Odes, poems about the food in your life, for our annual project with the O, Miami Poetry Festival.  (Portion size: 4o words or fewer.)

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

John Ashbery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet known for his surrealist, confounding works, has died at age 90.

The poet died of natural causes in his Hudson, N.Y., home early Sunday, confirms Farrar, Straus & Giroux, the publicist for a new Ashbery biography.

Tracy K. Smith knows many readers are intimidated by line breaks. She knows people don't like identifying consonance, assonance or alliteration.

But Smith — the newly announced 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry of the United States — wants to help America push past that anxiety.

"What do you hear? What do you feel? What does this remind you of?" she asks NPR. "These are all real and valid reactions to a poem."

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