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Zip Odes

A place-based poetic form invented by O, Miami, in partnership with WLRN

The Zip Ode, an original form invented by O, Miami, and WLRN, is designed to transform your zip code into an occasion for place-based, lyrical celebration.

Submit a Zip Ode by March 22, 2023, for a chance to have your poem featured on a billboard in Downtown Miami. Details here.

How To Write a Zip Ode

Write the numbers of your zip code down the left-hand side of the page. Each number determines the number of words in that line.

Note: if you have a zero in your zip code, that line is a wild card! You can leave it blank, insert an emoji or symbol, or use any number of words between 1 and 9.



Invented in 2015, the Zip Ode is a five-line poem about where you live, written in the form of your zip code. O, Miami, and WLRN host an annual initiative to collect Zip Odes every Spring, but the form has also traveled all around the United States, including Orlando, Toledo, and Boston, and has been featured on media outlets such as The Takeaway and The Washington Post.

We welcome organizations, educators, and media outlets using the Zip Ode as a free, open-source tool to connect with their communities. All we ask is that you please credit the invention of the Zip Ode to O, Miami Poetry Festival, and WLRN.


Kris Archie came up with a solution to areas that have postal codes instead of zip codes. When the line has a letter instead of a number, that line has one word that must begin with that letter. Here are two examples:

V5B 3H4 (by Kris Archie)

long grey rainy days in
Magnolia blossoms bursting
Over Archie Olson family

V3M 2Y9 (by Mark Gifford)

is up Kingsway
New Westminster
to pressure to build nice long bridge over Burnaby

If you know of other areas that do not have zip or postal codes, we’re open to creating new variations with you.

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