O, Miami Poetry Festival

The mission of the annual O, Miami Poetry Festival is for every single person in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem. Each festival begins on April 1 and runs until April 30. During that month, O, Miami works side-by-side with Miamians to bring poetry to the forefront of civic life, co-producing, on average, 41 events and 23 projects. We have partnered since 2015 to design the festival’s sought after, free tote bag, in addition to having spearheaded design for many key projects, some of which are highlighted below.

Annual Tote Bag

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2016 tote bag design, featuring an excerpt from “How to Greet the Spring” by Cherry Pickman; photograph by Gesi Schilling

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2017 tote bag design, featuring an excerpt from Bertolt Brecht

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2019 tote bag design, featuring an excerpt from “hecatomb.” by Mia S. Willis; photograph by Gesi Schilling of poet Paige Lewis

Wheels and Words

O, Miami Poetry Festival and the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works partnered in 2017 to design a county bus wrap. Inspired by O, Miami’s Sunroom educational program, which provides instruction to Poinciana Park and Orchard Villa elementary schools, our concept was to transform the county bus into a yellow school bus, filling its surface with excerpts from The Sunroom’s 3rd and 4th grade student poetry. Our adding text bits such as “Don't just stanza there” and “Open Book,” which splits between the exit doors, added to the effect. From what we understand, this bus is still in circulation today.

Public bus design, including an unveiling event headlined by Miami Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho; photographs by Jessica Kassin

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Sunroom educational program 3rd grader, Faith, standing in front of her excerpt “Bravery is a soft fur coat;” photograph by Jessica Kassin

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Bus unveiling event; photograph by Jessica Kassin

Transit Ticket

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Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works transit ticket design, illustrating a poem by Sarah Trudgeon: “Looking different ways, different faces; moving together to our separate places.” Photograph by Gesi Schilling

Planetary Poems

During the month of April 2018, visitors to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science planetarium could look up and see animated poems written and narrated by United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. We activated the planetarium’s 8K projection, surround sound and vast dome screen to take the viewer on a starry odyssey in advance of their ticketed screenings. The work was in partnership with O, Miami Poetry Festival, Frost Science, and the Library of Congress.

Poetry and audio by Tracy K. Smith; “hand” design and animation

Audience and speaker highlights from the work’s unveiling event at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science; photographs by Charlotte Kesl

Poetry and audio by Tracy K. Smith; “dove” design and animation

Poetry and audio by Tracy K. Smith; “eye” design and animation

Poetry and audio by Tracy K. Smith; “wave” design and animation

Poetry and audio by Tracy K. Smith; “dog” design and animation