Scott Cunningham newspaper photo
O, Miami

Florida could soon appoint a cultural ambassador of sorts to help spread the word—about words. A bill creating a state poet laureate position seems poised to soon meet the governor’s pen.

The O, Miami Poetry Festival is going on now. The month-long fest is back for its fourth year. Executive Director and founder, 35-year-old poet Scott Cunningham, says the goal for this year’s fest is the same as always: “We try to deliver a poem to every single person in Miami-Dade County.”

Ed Skellings
Florida Institute of Technology

Florida would have a poet laureate appointed by the governor, if a bill passes the Legislature. The measure passed committees in the House and Senate this week.

Florida had a poet laureate, Ed Skellings, who was appointed for life. But he died last year, and Joe Cavanaugh, president of the Florida State Poets Association, is in Tallahassee this week, pushing for an overhaul of the poet laureate appointment process. The idea is for the governor to appoint a poet every four years. That person would spend time in schools.