The State of the Arts: Mangrove, Miami, and the Literary Beyond

One of the most exciting parts about working on Mangrove is that we are still so young and green. Getting together with the editors and the staff to talk about our plans and goals for the journal, I can’t help but get the tingling sense that what we’re doing now goes beyond now, and that what we’re trying to do as undergrads at UM goes beyond the university and our time here. Taking on the responsibility for the success of such a fledgling publication and project, nestled between the cracks of an institution so focused on business, science, and the art of making money, is definitely daunting. The alternative community at UM is small to be sure, and the literary community even smaller. Outside of school, the city of Miami mostly just bobs along the outskirts of the literary world. But if you look closely, there’s actually a life raft getting tossed about on our tiny waves, and on it a humble group dedicated to the survival and growth of the arts in this sunny city of ours.

As we prepare to open up submissions nationally, one of my missions as Associate Editor this year is to get Mangrove on the boat, to nudge us out into the waters and take a more active role in helping cultivate and promote a real literary arts community from within UM, out into the city of Miami, and beyond.

For my first post, I just want to briefly spotlight a few things that have been going on in the scene at UM and around Miami that I’m proud of and think are great and worth sharing with the world. We may be young, and we may be small, but we have lots of potential and the good weather on our side 🙂


The Creative Writing program at UM began its third year of USpeak with a special back-to-school event at Books & Books Coral Gables, featuring local poetry collective Hialeah Haikus.

USpeak is a series of five literary events at the Oasis Deli in the Whitten University Center of the Coral Gables Campus. Each evening features a local writer from the University of Miami or greater Miami literary community followed by an open mic session.

The next USpeak event featuring Emma Trelles happens Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 pm at the Oasis Deli in the UC at UM.

September 07 at 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Books & Books, Miami Beach
Polyglot Writers: A Reading Series of Writing Across Languages explores the fluidity of words as they define and redesign the narratives of writers who come from multiple languages, cultures and traditions. This year, in addition to our formal readings, we have partnered with our friends at Books & Books and are hosting salons featuring polyglot writers and scholars from the University of Miami. Join us as we engage in a series of fine desserts, after dinner drinks, and conversations that focus on the play of language in all its forms. “

More info here.

++ Look out for Mangrove interviews with Cristina and John in the coming weeks.


Founded in 2008, THE UNIVERSITY OF WYNWOOD curates events and projects that advance contemporary literature in Miami, Florida.

In April 2011, University of Wynwood held a month-long poetry festival with lots of great events. Check out footage from a couple Mangrove attended:

Matt Gajewksi, a UM alumni, performs his “movie-tell” of Lionel Richie’s “Hello” at Poets of the Unreeled: Outdoor Movietelling, April 24, 2011 at the Dorsch Gallery in Wynwood as part of the 2011 O, Miami Poetry Festival.

O, Miami Poetry Festival, Friday, April 29, 2011 at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center on Miami Beach. Tony Hoagland read with Campbell McGrath and Dave Landsberger.

Lester’s, at 2519 NW Second Ave., across from Wynwood Kitchen & Bar and Wynwood Walls, is a new coffeehouse, bar, laptop lounge and reading room meshed in a double-wide space. Read more.

That’s all from me for now! Stayed tuned for new Mangrove blogs weekly…



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