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O, Miami is currently accepting proposals on a rolling basis for projects to occur during the next O, Miami Poetry Festival in April 2023.

Please Read All The Way Through These Guidelines.

They are filled with tips and suggestions for success, especially the FAQ.

The Festival

The mission of O, Miami is for every person in Greater Miami to encounter a poem during the month of April. O, Miami was founded in 2011. Since then, we’ve produced over 400 projects designed to bring poetry to new audiences in Miami-Dade County. The festival has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, Dwell, Huffington Post, Miami Herald, The Paris Review, and many others.

What To Propose

  • A poetry-in-public places project that respects physical distancing
  • An online gathering or workshop that creates a short-lived engagement that somehow incorporates poetry, however tangentially
  • A letter-writing or letter-exchange project
  • An outdoor gathering or workshop for a limited number of people that respects physical distancing and requires masks
  • An indoor gathering or workshop that could be rescheduled for outdoors or online

What Not To Propose

  • A micropublishing or zine project
  • A digital micropublishing project
  • A "standard" poetry reading that does not address a specific population in Miami

Objectives

Every festival project does at least one of the following:

  • Implements a novel/joyful method for creating encounters between Miami’s population and the art of poetry
  • Gathers/Addresses a particular Miami audience using poetry
  • Empowers a group of Miamians to share and interact with poetry

Guidelines

The project must:

  • Conform to the festival’s mission
  • Have a target audience in Miami-Dade County (even if it has a potentially larger audience via a digital medium)

Timetable

  • November 1, 2022 is the final day to submit for the 2023 O, Miami Poetry Festival. All proposals must be received by 11:59pm EST. Submissions received after that point will be held for consideration for the 2024 O, Miami Poetry Festival.

FAQ

What is your selection criteria?

  • Adherence to O, Miami's mission of reaching new audiences for poetry in Miami
  • Creative Merit
  • Feasibility (Does the potential impact to the mission match the budget?)
  • Impact (i.e., How effectively does this project create community? Where and how does it create that community?)
  • Safety (Can this idea be carried out during a global pandemic, if there is another wave in 2023?)

Is it OK to propose mixing poetry with other artistic genres?

Yes! Many of our most successful projects and events have combined poetry with dance, art, film, cuisine, music, etc.

I’d like to propose a poetry reading. Is that ok?

Largely speaking, O, Miami is not a presenting organization. Because our mission is for every single person in Miami to encounter a poem, our festival is organized differently from most other festivals. You may of course propose a reading, but it is very unlikely that it would be selected.

What about English, Spanish, Creole, etc.?

We love projects that occur in non-English languages or that employ multiple languages. It is particularly important to us that if a project is designed for a particular population that the project operates in the language(s) used by that population.

Can I propose an event or project I’ve already done before, or am currently doing?

Generally speaking, we support original ideas, but we are open to adapting existing projects to the festival. However, you need to give us a compelling reason why this iteration is different..

Can I propose more than one idea?

Yes. Propose as many ideas as you like; however, each one will require a separate submission.

How much does the budget factor into your decision-making?

Feasibility is a part of our consideration. Your primary objective should be to create a budget that realistically reflects the scope of your project. We understand some worthwhile projects just can’t be done cheaply. What we don’t want to see is a budget that doesn’t reflect the scope of its project. The majority of our projects cost less than a thousand dollars. While we do produce projects that cost over $10,000, these are usually with established visual artists.

Can you give me examples of previous projects and events you consider successful?

Yes, here's a selected list. For more documentation of events and projects, watch the videos on our website and check out the photos on our Facebook page.

  • Poems on rooftops so airplanes can see them
  • Poems on umbrellas randomly distributed to a particular neighborhood
  • Poems in prescription bottles at Jackson Memorial Hospital
  • Fake street signs with original poems on them
  • Poems translated into Braille and mailed to Miamians
  • An original poetry-and-art zine about Seinfeld’s George Costanza
  • A workshop combining poetry with comic books
  • A recreation of the Situationist practice of the dérive in a Miami neighborhood
  • Limited edition chapbook created by youths at a juvenile detention center
  • Poems displayed on banners throughout downtown Coconut Grove
  • A dinner that combined courses of Indian food with 3rd Century Sanskrit poems
  • Poems on drink coasters distributed to bars
  • A community-wide call to residents to write poems about their zip codes

Do I have to live in Miami to propose a project?

No, but it does help in terms of understanding who is the best audience.

I’m not familiar with Submittable. Can I submit some other way, like by snail mail?

No, sorry. Having all the submissions in one digital place is essential to our process of selection.

About Us

O, Miami builds community through literature. Using a process we call “civic publishing,” O, Miami gathers poems from local communities and broadcasts those poems back to the public through original art projects. Our annual poetry festival, which has the goal of every single person in Miami encountering a poem during the month of April, is principally supported by the John and James L. Knight Foundation. To learn more, visit www.omiami.org.

About Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

O, Miami