USpeak: Open Verse and Story Performance Series


‌The Creative Writing program begins its third year of USpeak, 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. This year, USpeak partners with our friends at Books & Books to host our “Back to School Bash” featuring the Infamous Literary Death March Champions, the one and only Hialeah Haikus on the Books & Books patio.  Audience members are also invited to step up and share their poems, stories, and music at the Open Mic. USpeak is recorded and available to listeners on iTunes, and is sponsored, in part, by the U. of Miami's Creative Writing Program, English Department, and Auxiliary Services.  Light refreshments will be served.

All podcasts are engineered and produced by UM Alumni, Matt Gajewski

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 USpeak Calendar of Events

August 26th
Back to School Bash with Hialeah Haikus


8:30 PM Doors Open
9pm Program Begins

Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134

 Listen Now

Traditionally, haiku refer to one of the seasons and convey a sense of change, but these Haikus (yes, with an "s" at the end) celebrate Miami culture as the authors know it, seventeen syllables at a time. As the Miami Herald puts it, "That's not the slick image of South Beach from television, but the Cuban-American culture that pulses in the suburbs of Kendall, at the spring formal at Belen Jesuit prep school or in the agua, fango y factoria of Hialeah."

​Now in it's third printing, Hialeah Haikus continue to boldly go where no poems have gone before, or at least not since they were there the last time. A short while ago, Alejandro Nodarse and Elena Santayana, the Foryoucansee Collective's resident dynamic duo, won Miami's first ever Literary Death Match with a haiku-based performance that kept the culture of Miami and Hialeah squarely in its cross hairs. Most recently, the pair was witnessed raucously celebrating as Hialeah Hailuks won the 2011 Miami New Times "Best Of" Award for best book of poetry.

Size matters, and since brevity is the soul of wit, the haiku is the soul of Hialeah.

October 13th
Poet Emma Trelles


7:30 PM Doors Open
8pm Program Begins

Oasis Deli at the Whitten University Center

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Emma Trelles is the author of Tropicalia (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011), winner of the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Little Spells (GOSS183, 2008). She has been a featured author at the O, Miami Poetry Festival and the Palabra Pura Series at the Guild Literary Complex in Chicago. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has received a Green Eyeshade Award for art criticism. A regular contributor to the Best American Poetry blog, her work has appeared in the 2010 Best of the Net Anthology, The Rumpus, Verse Daily, Gulf Stream, 3:AM Magazine, Poets and Artists, MiPOesias, the Miami Herald, Newsday, the Palm Beach ArtsPaper, and Organica. For more, visit

January 14th
Special Event: Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation Faculty Reading

7:30 PM Doors Open
8pm Program Begins

 Listen Now — Open Mic
 Listen Now — Featured Authors

March 8th
Short Story Writer Patricia Engel

 patricia-engel7:30 PM Doors Open
8pm Program Begins

Oasis Deli at the Whitten University Center

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Patricia Engel's first book, Vida, was named a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Foundation Fiction Award and the Young Lions Fiction Award, a New York Times Notable Book of 2010 and Editors' Choice, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Latina Magazine, and Barnes & Noble, longlisted for The Story Prize, and winner of a Florida Book Award. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic, A Public Space, Boston Review, and Guernica, among other publications, and received awards including the Boston Review Fiction Prize, fellowships and residencies from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Key West Literary Seminar, Norman Mailer's Writer's Colony, the Hedgebrook Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Born to Colombian parents and raised in New Jersey, Patricia earned her undergraduate degree in French and Art History at New York University and her MFA at Florida International University.

April 19th
Mangrove Literary Journal Launch

7:30 PM Doors Open
8pm Program Begins

Oasis Deli at the Whitten University Center

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Mangrove is the University of Miami's literary journal, publishing quality fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art from current undergraduate students and recent alumni from a variety of majors and schools. Mangrove is edited and designed by an undergraduate staff and is sponsored by the Department of English and advised and managed by its MFA students and faculty.

The journal publishes an online edition in the fall and a print edition in the spring. Among the wide variety of work it features, Mangrove showcases the winners of the annual literary and art contests sponsored by the English Department and Creative Writing program. This year, Mangrove has opened its pages to invite a stable of national undergraduate creative writers to submit their work. Join us for this special launch.

Mangrove was established as an undergraduate journal in 2008, after a group of students approached a creative writing professor about starting a literary journal. The journal relies on the many roots developed through coursework and independent exploration to celebrate the myriad of creativity that branch into the distinct modes published by the journal.

April 26th
MFA Graduation Reading

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 Past USpeak

  USpeak 2010 — Photos, Schedule and Details 

 uspeak-2010  USpeak 2009 — Photos, Schedule and Details