There was once a time in Miami in which about all you could do for excitement was hit the beach, party with undulating sweaty throngs at Calle Ocho, hit Miami Jai-alai or hang with the inebriated rabid fans at a Hurricanes or Dolphins game. “Miami Vice” changed all that and put the magic city back on the map. The city’s cultural activities have blossomed. One of the fastest-growing indulgences takes place at a variety of venues that present poetry and spoken word readings. With National Poetry Month coming up in April, be sure to check out these locations for current and future events.
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
1300 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, Florida, 33132
Event date, times and admission fees vary, see website
Nestled between rippling green waters, whispering palms and gleaming condo towers around Biscayne Bay, this unparalleled venue is the beacon of the arts and the heartbeat of Miami’s cultural scene. For the second consecutive year the center will be hosting “O, Miami”, a countywide cultural event that strives to introduce a poem into the lives of everyone in Dade County through a variety of events, workshops, performances, cultures and languages.
Related: Best Local Songwriters In Miami
Actor’s Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
280 Miracle Mile
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
Box office hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
Beautifully restored and alive with new memories slipping from the lips of performers in a wondrous variety of productions, this Art Deco style theater is a must-see for tourists and residents alike. Run by the Actor’s Playhouse, it presents a full slate of theatre productions from classic and musical Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre to “Spoken Word” literary readings, mysteries, thrillers and a variety of children’s productions.
The Betsy Hotel, South Beach
1440 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, Florida, 33139
Beckoning like a jewel shimmering from an international treasure chest with a façade that harkens back to F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Betsy is at once improbably historic and incredibly Art Deco. The venue regularly hosts poetry readings in a variety of events that are as diverse as the South Beach crowd. In addition to book launches and readings by world renowned authors, The Betsy South Beach’s Philanthropy, Arts and Culture Program will be celebrating National Poetry Month in April.
The Bohemia Room-A Spoken Word Experience and Urban Soulcial Grand Central
697 North Miami Avenue / LOFT
Miami, Florida 33136
Price: $10 admission; price can vary according to features and theme nights.
Hours: Wednesdays, 8:00 p.m. til?
The Bohemia Room takes the hip flavor of a poetry night and fuses it with music and comedy, turning every themed Wednesday night into a real good time and infinitely memorable experience. The bold yet delicate brain-child of CEO, Hostess, Promoter and Socialite Ingrid B, roll with poetry, soul and the celebration of hip-hop that combine for a delicious and distinct urban flava.
Themed nights include “The Conversation Piece” (countdown to election night 2012); “Stilettos & Prose” (Ladies Night); “Cunnilinguistics” (adult-themed); and “It’s A Man’s World” (the Men take over the mic for the night).
Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
Price: Usually free. Call ahead or subscribe to newsletter for specific dates and times.
Hours: Mon to Sun. -9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The flagship Coral Gables store of this cozy yet vibrant literary hub is to the business of the printed word in Miami what Broadway is to New York City. Okay, so that might be over-stating it, but you get the idea. Not only is it the mother-lode for literature in Miami, but the store also boasts a variety of monthly events, including a diverse array of activities for young and old and ethnicities as diverse as Miami itself.
Poetry and spoken word gatherings take place regularly, and includes children’s readings and partnerships with local museums like Miami Art Museum and the Miami Children’s Museum, to name but a few.
Glenn Osrin is a journalist and seasoned consumer products sales professional living in Miami, Florida. A new vegan, his most recent assignment is writing about the benefits of a plant-based diet and lifestyle while learning about the Miami vegan community. His work can be found at Examiner.com.