Celebrate National Poetry Month at The Betsy
HONORING HYAM PLUTZIK CENTENNIAL AND DEBUT OF NEW WRITER’S ROOM WITH FOUR RESIDENT POETS
In April 2012, The Betsy South Beach will debut its brand new Writer’s Room in honor of National Poetry Month, partnering with University of Wynwood to present a month of poetic engagement with Miami Dade County. The University of Wynwood, under the direction of local poet P. Scott Cunningham, has invited four emerging poets to be the first residents at the Writer’s Room in April. The poets—Melissa Broder, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Malachi Black, and Ariana Reines—represent a diverse cross-section of American poetry. Each poet will spend 5-8 days in the Writer’s Room, using the sanctuary to create and revise new work, and will present a public reading and engage with the Miami-Dade community.
Also in April, The Betsy commemorates the Hyam Plutzik Centennial, a year-long celebration of the late poet’s works. Plutzik was the father of Betsy Chairman Jonathan Plutzik and his legacy permeates the hotel, from nightly poems on pillows to poetry bookmarks. A slate of special events, residencies, activities and readings by poets ranging from students to former poet laureate Billy Collins will take place throughout the month as The Betsy engages guests with the power of words.
On Sunday, April 1 the month kicks off with a special event with honored guest Billy Collins, who comes to Miami thanks to support from Miami Dade County and the Knight Foundation. Collins has published eight collections of poetry and was the United States Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003 and the New York State Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006. Also that evening, A Wall of Words, The Betsy’s 2nd Broadsides exhibit will open in the hotel’s Underground Gallery, and the first poet takes residence in the Writer’s Room. Every Wednesday evening at 8:15 p.m., during the month of April 2012, the poets in residence will present a free public reading. Resident schedule follows:
Melissa Broder: Sunday, April 1–Sunday, April 8 Reading on Wednesday, April 4. Broder is the author of two collections of poems, When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother, and most recently MEAT HEART. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in publications including Guernica, Redivider, The Missouri Review online, Court Green, Drunken Boat, Barrelhouse, The Awl, and others. She edits La Petite Zine. By day she is a publicity manager at Penguin.
Reginald Dwayne Betts: Wednesday, April 11–Sunday, April 15 Reading on Wednesday, April 11. Betts is the author of the memoir, A Question of Freedom(Avery/Penguin 2009) and a collection of poetry, Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James Books, 2010). The winner of a 2010 NAACP Image Award, Betts has been a fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies. As a national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice, he writes and lectures about the impact of mass incarceration on American society and is currently completing The Circumference of a Prison, a work of nonfiction about the criminal justice system.
Malachi Black: Tuesday, April 17–Sunday, April 22 Reading on Wednesday, April 18. Black’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Boston Review, Harvard Review, Blackbird, Gulf Coast, Columbia, Pleiades, and elsewhere. The recipient of a 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, he has also received recent fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Texas at Austin’s Michener Center for Writers, and the University of Utah, where he is a Vice Presidential Fellow.
Ariana Reines: Monday, April 23–Monday, April 30 Reading on Wednesday, April 25. Reines is the author of three poetry collections, The Cow (Alberta Prize, FenceBooks: 2006), Coeur de Lion (Mal-O-Mar: 2007; FenceBooks: 2011),MERCURY (FenceBooks: 2011), and the play TELEPHONE, winner of two Obie awards. In 2009 she became the youngest ever Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in Poetry at University of California Berkeley.
Other events scheduled throughout the month of April include a variety of interactive events including reading with the poets of Arts & Minds High School, Coconut Grove. Fittingly, the month will close as it opened, with an event featuring readings from nationally acclaimed poets — Ecco Press publisher/editor-in-chief and poet Daniel Halpern, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and Knight Fellow Campbell McGrath, and University of Wynwood director P. Scott Cunningham. For updated information follow Betsy on Facebook and Twitter or check the website at www.thebetsyhotel.com.
About The Betsy
The Betsy South Beach is a boutique hotel located on world renowned Ocean Drive that embraces culture, arts and philanthropy through a wide range of events with ongoing events that reflect the owners’ presented under the auspices of The Betsy South Beach’s Philanthropy, Arts and Culture Program, with a very . special focus on poetry and literatureEach room at the hotel has a small library of poetry and other books, and a poetry bookmark is placed on each guest’s pillow every night. Over the past three years, the hotel has become a catalyst for energized discourse, innovative thinking, and charity, and has worked with over 200 nonprofit partners in the region. The Betsy South Beach is located at 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Telephone: 305-760-6902.
About University of Wynwood
Founded in 2008, the UNIVERSITY OF WYNWOOD curates events and projects that advance contemporary literature in Miami, Florida. A registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in the state of Florida, UW produces the biennial poetry festival “O, Miami”, an on-going visiting poet series, a literary magazine, and other projects designed to build community through literature. For more, visit http://www.universityofwynwood.org.
About the Hyam Plutzik Centennial
The years 2011-12 mark the centennial of the birth of American poet Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962) and the 50th year of the Plutzik Poetry Series at the University of Rochester (where Plutzik taught literature for 19 years), the longest running series of its kind in the U.S. To commemorate these anniversaries, Wesleyan University has issued a new edition of his poetry collection, Apples from Shinar, which it originally published in 1959. The Hyam Plutzik Centennial Committee is coordinating activities in the United States and abroad, notably in locations where Plutzik lived and worked, including New York City, Connecticut, Rochester, and the United Kingdom. Several poetry events marking April as National Poetry Month will take place at The Betsy Hotel in South Beach which is owned by Plutzik’s son, Jonathan.