The Betsy South Beach, the beautifully renovated boutique hotel on Ocean Drive whose leadership team is devoted to cultivating the sights and sounds of philanthropy, art, music and literature, takes its role as hotel sponsor for O, Miami very seriously. The month-long countywide celebration, which kicked off on Friday, April 1, aims to get every single person in Miami-Dade County – all 2.5 million of them – to encounter a poem. The Betsy, in addition to serving as the host hotel for many of the nationally renowned poets taking part in the festival, has created and is supporting a slate of poetic programming in tandem with it, culminating with the Second Annual Poetry Dinner at The Betsy Hotel on Saturday, April 30. Listing of events follows; unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

On Saturday April 30, 2011 immediately following a reading at The New World Center featuring United States Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin and poet Carla Faesler, The Betsy will present an interactive poetry dinner at which Mr. Merwin will be the honored guest. The event begins at approximately 8:30 p.m., and will include a cocktail reception and dinner prepared by the team at award-winning chef Laurent Tourondel’s BLT Steak at the Betsy. Tickets include entry to the poetry event at New World Center prior to the dinner, a book by an O, Miami Poet, valet parking, and are priced at $150 per person. For each ticket sold, an O, Miami poet will be invited to attend as a special guest. For more information please contact Jean@thebetsyhotel.com

Other events include NOW TASTE THIS and the Poetry Mosaic on Wednesday April 13 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. NOW TASTE THIS, a curated poetry event taking place in restaurants throughout Miami all month along, will present poets Jen Karetnick and Nick Vagnoni, founder of the Miami Poetry Collective, at The Betsy to read poems about food and restaurants. Also that evening premiering simultaneously at The Betsy, the Poetry Mosaic will debut, featuring words, music and images comprised of Broadsided, an exhibit of poetic posters; the debut of a new musical work for electronic tape by composer Jeffrey Briggs, and the grand opening of the Salon Poetry Library.

The Betsy’s interest in and commitment to poetry runs deep with a poetic legacy rooted in the works of Hyam Plutzik, a Pulitzer-nominated poet and father of Jonathan Plutzik, principal owner of the hotel. The sponsored premiere of Brigg’s electronic work (on April 13 at 7 PM) marks the official beginning of the Hyam Plutzik Centennial Project, a year long national salute to the poet’s life and work.

Beginning on Saturday April 9, all rooms in The Betsy will be the recipient of “Poems on Pillows” with a poetry greeting card in each room of Hyam Plutzik’s “on hearing my poems were being studied in a distant place.” Beginning April 12, the Word! Poetry Pop Up will open and stay up through April 30 with a variety of publications and poetry related objects for sale, including the works of O, Miami resident poets.

On Monday April 25, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a partner with The Betsy on past projects will begin a two-week residency in the region, including a service appearance at Alonzo Mourning Charities. The Bus will also make a three-day stop in front of the hotel during the first week of May, when it will be open for public tours. The Lennon Bus is a non-profit 501(c)(3) state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility that is dedicated to providing young people with tours of the studios and participation in free songwriting and multimedia production workshops.

Ongoing throughout the month: daily poetry tweets, haikus on Facebook, Huddle Haiku and Rock and Roll poetry sessions with the hotel staff. More programming is in the works; to keep current with the schedule please go to www.thebetsyhotel.com or visit their facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebetsyhotel. For more information on O, Miami and a complete schedule of projects and programming go to www.omiami.org.

The Betsy Hotel is located at 1440 Ocean Drive on Miami Beach, 305-531-6100.

For more information about The Betsy or the events taking place this month, please contact:

Karen Barofsky/Oriane Lluch

Brustman Carrino Public Relations

305-573-0658

bcpr@brustmancarrinopr.com