Meet Calvin Early, founder of The Poetry Potluck

📸 Photo courtesy of Calvin Early

Hi, Calvin! Who are you? What do you do?

I’m a dedicated advocate for community, communication, and culture with a superhero’s appetite for positive change. I have nearly two decades of experience in arts-based education and public speaking. I’ve become an internationally recognized figure and am best known for my ability to seamlessly weave humor and real-life experiences into my impactful speeches.

What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?

I was born and lived the early part of my childhood in Liberty City’s Scott Carver Projects. I later moved to and was raised in Little Haiti.

What brings you most alive about the 305?

Anything that takes me back to my childhood. Things that make me say, “That’s so Dade County.”

What’s your favorite Miami memory?

One that stands out are holiday barbeques at Haulover Beach. I was there with my family, but EVERYBODY present was like family and treated each other as such.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chicken souse from Conch Heaven.

Outside of the obvious stop above, share your other top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Miami day.

I’d start my day with a walk through Margaret Pace Park and over the Venetian Causeway. Then I’d head over to Miami Gardens to get some work done at the Co-Space. I’d wind down the day with a late lunch/early dinner at Naomi’s in Little Haiti.

What’s your favorite local social media account to follow?


If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?

Dedicate time to exploring and enjoying the city through the eyes and with the excitement of a tourist.

How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?

Everything I’ve ever accomplished has been directly impacted by collaboration and community engagement. As a teen, I was lucky enough to be introduced to the arts by community-based organizations like Youth Expressions. Having this as a foundation, I learned the benefit of grass-roots organizing and building relationships with connecting like-minded creatives.

If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?

Increase access to education, housing, and medical opportunities for the chronically houseless.

What are you looking forward to in 2024?

I’m looking forward to all the growth and evolution I couldn’t possibly predict for The Poetry Potluck and all our CUZZINs.

That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2024.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.