The Betsy Hotel National Poetry Month Celebration: James Cagney, Geoffrey Philip, & Rebecca ‘Butterfly’ Vaughns

The Betsy-South Beach will celebrate National Poetry Month by presenting poets James Cagney, Geoffrey Philp and Rebecca Butterfly Vaughns in a free poetry reading on April 10, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. ET in the Andy Gato Art Gallery at Barry University. Hosts of the event are Jonathan Plutzik, co-owner of The Betsy Hotel, Dr. Giselle Elgarresta Rios, Founder and Director of the Center for Immigration Studies at Barry University. 

James Cagney is the author of Black Steel Magnolias in the Hour of Chaos Theory (Nomadic Press, 2018), winner of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award. His second book of poems Martian (Nomadic Press, 2022) was selected by Mark Bibbins, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Ladan Osman received the 2021 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets; as part the Laughlin Award, Cagney received a residency in The Betsy Writers Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach. A Cave Canem fellow, Cagney lives in Oakland, California. James Cagney is presented by The Betsy at Barry University in partnership with the Academy of American Poets Laughlin Award Program.

Geoffrey Philp is the author of eight books of poetry, two novels, two collections of short stories, and three children's books. His poems and short stories have been published in The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse, World Literature Today, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, Bearden's Odyssey Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden, Rattle: Poets Respond, and Crab Orchard Review. Philp received the 2023 Silver Musgrave Medal by the Council of the Institute of Jamaica for outstanding merit in literature and is also a recipient of the Luminary Award from the Consulate of Jamaica (2015). In Miami Beach, Philp's work is featured on The Poetry Rail at The Betsy--an homage to 12 writers that shaped Miami. His new book, Archipelagos, published by Peepal Tree Press in 2023, explores the effects of climate change on the Caribbean and the Global South.

Rebecca Butterfly Vaughns, a 2-time Grammy nominated freestyle spoken word artist is also SoFla’s go-to poetically inspired historian on Overtown, AKA The Harlem of the South, where her grandfather had a barbershop. Born in Miami, Butterfly has released 14 studio albums, produced 9 stage shows, published 3 poetry collections, and received numerous awards and proclamations. She’s been referred to as the Jay-Z of poetry because (as she says … ) Rebecca Vaughns is always ready (for anything) with words.