Secret Sonnets

April 2015

U.S. Postal Service &
South Plantation High School

Secret Sonnets
A project for O, Miami Poetry Festival 2015
Created by Conner Grey and Emily Nostro

In 2013, Connor Grey lost his eyesight to a gunshot wound. For O, Miami Poetry Festival 2015, he and his teacher Emily Nostro created “Secret Sonnets,” a project that collected poems from citizens in Miami-Dade County, translated them into Braille, and then mailed them back to the addresses provided by the poets, along with a “cheat sheet” guide to reading Braille.

O, Miami helped Grey and Nostro solicit and collect the poems, and then the poems were transcribed by students at South Plantation High School under the guidance of Grey and Nostro.

This project provides residents with the tangible opportunity to interact with a different literacy mode. By providing poetry in an untraditional literacy mode, the project aims to engage the audience to decipher the poem's message. It is estimated there are 58,000 residents of Miami-Dade County who are visually impaired. Only a fraction use Braille, partly because Braille readers are often marginalized due to the lack of accessible materials available to them. One goal of this project is to help empower people with visual impairments with the celebration of poetry in a format that is accessible to them.

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