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[een-spee-cho] the best of Miami arts

Poet P. Scott Cunningham
and the O, Miami Poetry Festival

Poet P. Scott Cunninghamand the O, Miami Poetry Festival

 

 

Introduction to P. Scott Cunningham. 0:52 sec. Video editing: Nikita Yasmine Grant. Music:  Carmen Cicero. Photo & design:  Raymond Elman.

 

Editor’s Note:  This video interview is part of the Jill Braufman & Daniel Nir Inspicio Arts Education Series.

 

Scott Cunningham (b. 1978) is a poet, translator, essayist, and community organizer originally from Boca Raton, FL. He is the author of Ya Te Veo (University of Arkansas Press, 2018), selected by Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Series. His work has appeared in The Awl, Harvard Review, POETRY, A Public Space, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, Monocle, RHINO, The Guardian, PANK, Electric Literature, and others. His translations of Alejandra Pizarnik, César Vallejo, and Frank Báez have appeared in OmniglotsH.O.W. Journal, Waxwing, and The Miami Rail.

A graduate of Wesleyan University and the MFA Creative Writing program at Florida International University (FIU), he is the founder and director of O, Miami, a non-profit organization that celebrates Miami, FL through the lens of poetry, and the co-founder & executive editor of Jai-Alai Books, a regional publishing imprint. Named one of “20 Under 40 Emerging South Florida Leaders” by The Miami Herald and one of 51 “brilliant urbanites who are helping to build the cities of America’s future” by Fast Company, he has been a featured speaker at The Aspen Institute, Breakout, Creative Many, TedX, Creative Mornings Miami, Miami Book Fair, and the Decatur Book Festival.

He lives in Miami with his wife, Christina, and his daughter, Ada.

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 9 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

NURTURED: 1:23 min.

Where did you grow up and what was your earliest memory of art in any form?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:   1:43 min.

Do you remember when you started to feel passionate about writing?

 

NURTURED:  0:47 sec.

Was it your family’s idea to send you to a poetry camp?

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES:  1:57 min.

You grew up in Boca Raton, but you don’t seem like a Florida kid to me. Do you feel like a Florida kid?

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION:  1:48 min.

Where did you go to school and what did you learn that still informs you today?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 1:00 min.

Are you conscious of the impact of South Florida on your work?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY: 0:49 sec.

We could make Inspicio a channel for collaboration between poets and other types of artists.

 

CRITICAL THINKING:   1:20 min.

Do most poets try to connect poems to a central theme when they put together a book of poems? For example, Campbell McGrath’s book XX about the 20th century.

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  1:35 min.

Do you still feel the pull of the other forms of writing?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  0:47 sec.

Did you read Edward Hirsch’s epic poem about his son Gabriel, who died from a drug overdose?

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES: 1:33 min.

What kind of film work were you doing in San Francisco?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES:  9:01 min.

Tell us about the evolution of your writing career, starting with being a reporter at a newspaper in Colorado.

 

CRITICAL THINKING:  1:10 min.

Have you ever written lyrics to music?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:  2:06 min.

What are your thoughts about visual artists who create text and incorporate it in their work?

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION:  1:13 min.

What was the gestault of the FIU Creative Writing program?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE’S PERSPECTIVE:  2:20 min.

Do lay readers of poetry need to understand the concepts of poetry to fully appreciate a poem? Or is it enough to be moved by a poem?

 

SERENDIPITY:  4:09 min.

How did you get your original funding from the Knight Foundation for O, Miami? Did you apply for a Knight Challenge Grant?

 

COLLABORATION:  1:52 min.

How did you develop the larger concept of O, Miami?

 

CRITICAL THINKING:  2:59 min.

What are your thoughts about incorporating humor in art?

 

UNDERSTANDS NETWORKING:  1:26 min.

What are some of the Miami-based organizations that have funded or inspired your work at O, Miami? 

 

COLLABORATION:  2:42 min.

How did you meet Deborah Briggs and Jonathan Plutzik at The Betsy Hotel, and what role have they played in O, Miami?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART:  1:14 min.

So far you have been supported by granting institutions. Have you sought funding from individuals as well?

 

STRONG DRIVE FOR ACHIEVEMENT: 1:14 min.

Have you been able to participate in workshops that teach entrepreneurial and administrative skills?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART:  0:59 sec.

Do you mind if I ask you about the size of your budget?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  1:25 min.

Who are your influencers and role models?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION:  3:25 min.

You mentioned translating poetry. Are you bilingual?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 1:59 min.

These days visual art students are taught to develop underlying themes and concepts for their work, and I can usually tell when they are “faking it” or when they are speaking from experience and from the heart. Does the same thing hold true with poetry?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY:   1:18 min.

What’s the role of serendipity in poetry?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART:  1:14 min.

Do you have a definition of the audience you are trying to reach for O, Miami?