📸: Photo by Jackie Taylor
So Nicole, who are you? What do you do?
In short, I’m a writer. My full-time day job is serving as the Director of Legislative Affairs for Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. I also serve as her Poetry Ambassador, and Poetry and Interviews Editor for The Blue Mountain Review, and an Associate Editor for South Florida Poetry Journal.
I also published my first book this year, a hybrid prose-poetry collection called Something Kindred, and have two poetry books on the way next year: POEMS FOR THE PEOPLE and FERSACE.
How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?
Miami is an endless source of inspiration for my art. There is never a dull moment here.
What’s an unpopular opinion you have about Miami?
I think we need a few more seasons. I’m half kidding.
If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?
This is a very Michigan thing, but could we please be a bit nicer to each other on the road?
What is your favorite Miami memory?
The first real rainstorm I experienced downtown after moving here from Michigan. I love the rain, and it’s ferocious here — in the very best possible way.
If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Only one? This is so tough. I went to brunch at Zuma one time with a friend, and it was unforgettable.
Outside of the obvious stop above, share where else you’d go on your perfect Miami day.
I spend a lot of time at home reading and writing, but if you are going to force me outdoors, I like to walk through Simpson Park before it gets too hot. I like to walk and people watch at Brickell City Centre, and catch a movie at CMX or Silverspot. At night, I love to go to The Standard Hotel. I especially love the fire pit, the view from the Lido Deck, and the new speakeasy Monterrey Bar.
What are your favorite local social media accounts to follow?
I love Kristen Arnett (@Kristen_Arnett). She makes me laugh out loud. I do think we recently lost her to Orlando, which is a serious bummer.
I love keeping up with poetry through @omiamifestival and with the ladies @SWWIMmiami. They are doing good things for the literary arts.
Wax poetic for a minute and tell us: what brings you most alive about this city?
The arts community is what brings me most alive in Miami. I’ve heard some people say that Miami is not a literary city, but nothing could be further from the truth! We are home to Miami Book Fair, O, Miami Poetry Festival, and beautiful bookstores like Books & Books.
We also have an amazing film festival and performing arts center, museums like PAMM, and we keep growing in this area every day.
What’s a project you’re working on — big or small — and how can our readers help?
I’m working with Miami-Dade’s Inaugural Poet Laureate Richard Blanco to launch a Countywide poetry project during Miami Book Fair. We’d like as many residents as possible to participate. Please stay tuned for details and the announcement in the Fair Guide.
What are you looking forward to between now and the end of the year?
Miami Book Fair, Art Basel, perhaps a little bit of downtime. I’m probably setting myself up for disappointment with that last wish.
That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know, sponsored by Miami Book Fair 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 2023.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.