When I was in Miami, Florida, in April, I talked to P. Scott Cunningham, poet and executive director of O, Miami, during one of his busiest moments: the start of his month-long poetry festival. For the month of April, P. Scott Cunningham puts on a festival that aims to make sure every resident of Miami comes in contact with a poem. Not only was this one of the busiest moments for Cunningham, he was also knocked out during a basketball game the day before. Luckily, he was able to sit down and talk to The Working Poet Radio Show from his home. Listen to Cunningham discuss the mission of O, Miami, what poetry means to him as an individual, and the ways he hopes to change how people encounter poetry.
P. Scott Cunningham (b. 1978) is a poet and translator from Miami, FL. He is the author of Chapbook of Poems for Morton Feldman (Floating Wolf, 2010) and was a finalist for the National Chapbook Fellowship from the Poetry Society of America in 2013. His work has appeared in Harvard Review, The Awl, The Rumpus, Maggy, Court Green, McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes, PANK, Pool: A Journal of Poetry, La Otra (Mexico), H.O.W. Journal, OH NO, Momma Tried, Sou'wester, Redivider, Northville Review, and others. He is the Co-founder and Executive Director of O, Miami, a poetry organization in Miami, FL that explores new relationships between literature and people. In 2011, Fast Company named him as one of 51 “Brilliant Urbanites” that are changing America.
O, Miami (formerly “University of Wynwood”) is a Knight Foundation-funded organization that expands and advances literary culture in Greater Miami, FL. Their largest event is the annual poetry festival, also named “O, Miami.” The mission of the festival is for every single person in Miami-Dade County to encounter a poem during the month of April. Since its founding in 2011, the festival has hosted performances by Anne Carson, Raúl Zurita, W.S. Merwin, Patti Smith, Richard Blanco, Tracy K. Smith, Thurston Moore, Kevin Young, and many others. For general information, visit our O, Miami festival page.