More than 250 writers, ranging from household names like Amy Tan to promising writers who have not yet been published, have been in residence in the Writer’s Room.
Academy of American Poets, which partnered with the hotel to fund a residency program for winners of AAP’s James Laughlin Award, given once a year. The community will be invited to meet the award-winning poets during intimate gatherings at The Betsy, the most intriguing of which are hosted in the underground B Bar, whose mirrored ceilings, moody lighting and art-filled light boxes give it a vibe that’s part funhouse, part twenties speakeasy. Now in its fourth season, the Writer’s Room is booking residencies for 2016 and beyond. The demand, Plutzik says, has skyrocketed. In response, The Betsy will unveil a second Writer’s Room as part of its expansion, which will be complete in late 2016. In the meantime, Miamians will continue to experience the talent of writers and poets of diverse backgrounds. “We celebrate diversity in every possible way it can be measured,” says Plutzik. “Ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, race…We want to connect with communities of all kinds.” One recent artist-in-residence perfomance that stands out for Plutzik was a public event featuring writer David Mills, during which Mills recited the work of African-American poet Langston Hughes, in honor of Black History Month. To say Mills brought down the house is an understatement. On reflection, Plutzik says, “it was tremendously powerful. I am—and everyone present is—so lucky to have this opportunity to regularly connect with poets and writers on such an intimate level. I am proud of the way the hotel has devoted energy and space to this exercise.” ◗
inside the writer’s room at the betsy
3/31/15 10:49 AM