Poetry Is Dead Parade: O, Miami Invites Dead Poets to Walk the Earth

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Poetry and parade are not a pair of terms you often find nestled close together in the same sentence. So how do the organizers of the O, Miami Poetry Festival intend to pull off the thrilling conclusion to their month long, city-wide cultural festival with such a seemingly ill-fitted coupling? By adding a third word to the equation that jibes a bit better with the common man's notion people walking in the streets en masse.

And what is that word, you ask? Zombies, of course.

Come 2 PM on April 28, Miamians will converge at the Betsy South Beach for what organizers have described as a "funeral procession in reverse," marching through Lummus Park decked out as their favorite dead poets, and enjoying poetic performances along the parade route.

"The parade is really the highlight of the festival for me," said P. Scott Cunningham, director of the University of Wynwood, a non-profit organization that serves as one of the main driving forces behind the O, Miami Poetry Festival.

According to Cunningham, the parade won't be short of entertainment and local talent. "The Grand Marshall is going to be Cuci Amador of Afrobeta. DASH, Young Arts, and Miami Arts Charter students will be performing, along with The White Rose theater group. Emerge Miami will be doing live magnetic poetry on bicycles, and the Vice City Rollers, Miami's preeminent roller derby team, will be 'riding' en masse," stated Cunningham.

While the University of Wynwood may be the one of the most prescient bodies organizing the festival, they aren't pulling this off without a few more quality hands on deck, including creative consultant Emma Galler, as well as The Rally Agency, a Miami-based production team that's worked on numerous Art Basel projects since its establishment in 2011.

"The theme of the parade comes from the misconception that 'poetry is dead,' so the parade is a literal reply to that," Cunningham noted. "Some of the poets that will be momentarily 're-animated' inside of Lummus Park include Jose Martí, William Shakespeare, Adrienne Rich, and Walt Whitman. Each group has interpreted the idea of re-animation in a different way."

"And," he added, "there will be a coffin."

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The Betsy Hotel

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

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