O, Miami Lineup Looks Pretty Enticing

Miami may be known more for its celebrations of fashion and big splashy expensive parties that are sort of about art, but in April, a number of excellent writers will be flocking to the Sunshine State for the biennial O, Miami Poetry Festival. The festival combines traditional readings with more interactive events and activities with the goal of getting all of the 2-million-plus residents of Miami-Dade County to encounter or experience a poem. Past participants have included the likes of former Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Kool Moe Dee, Tony Hoagland and James Franco because of course he’d be there, with banners, local businesses and more playing home to new verses.

The lineup, too, is pretty excellent for a literary festival without being too overwhelming. Visiting poets include Richard Blanco, who you may remember from President Obama’s second inauguration, heavy-hitting Chicago writer Achy Obejas, funny Internet person Megan Amram and Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore. Chase Twitchell, Natalie Diaz, Jean Portante, Frank Baez, Eduardo C. Corral, Victor Rodrîguez Núñez, Tom Healy, Stacey Waite and DéLana R.A. Dameron round out the visitors’ lineup for now. The organizers will be hosting an informational session for people who want to be involved with the festival today—check out the website for details.

Here’s a video of Agustina Woodgate from the last O, Miami, taking us through her process of “poetry bombing,” sewing poems into the tags of clothing items and other unexpected places. Hey, if it gets more people reading and appreciating words, then it’s not a bad idea.

Megan Amram, Retta and Weird Al Try to Sell You Birth-Control Yogurt

Making fun of the way the advertising industry depicts and targets women is pretty much low-hanging fruit at this point. Sending up the tired clichés and tropes of advertising to women has been done—everyone from SNL to Mitchell and Webb to Sarah Haskins to Amazon Bic For Her pen reviews have excelled at it. But that doesn’t make it any less awesome when funny, talented people lampoon typical lady commercials for lady things for ladies, and do it well. In this case, in a video for Yahoo!’s Sketchy series, Megan Amram and a cast of familiar and intentionally multicultural faces hawk a yogurt-birth control hybrid in "Dannon Birth Control on the Bottom." 

The commercial features Amram, Retta (Parks & Recreation), Rosa Salazar (Parenthood, American Horror Story) and more skewering the typical commercial scene of women of many backgrounds chatting gleefully about girly things like yogurt and birth control. "My racially-diverse friends and I used to hang out all the time, laughing and talking about probiotic yogurt," Retta explains mid-spoonful. 

The whole thing is almost hauntingly on-point, from the giggly forced commercial one-liners to the cut-scenes of the women getting foot massages and doing yoga. Balancing out the heavy satirical nature is a delightful sprinkling of weirdness, including Amram’s intense yogurt-eating faces and lines like "Thanks to Dannon, now I’m regular in terms of my regular period and my butt-period." "Weird Al" Yankovic makes an appearance as The Token Guy, leaving us with some uncomfortable facial expressions after he’s told he can’t have any yogurt. Watch.