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East Ridge at Cutler Bay, South Miami’s only life plan community, has many talented residents who are writers and poets. The beautiful, peaceful environment found within the community’s amazing tropical campus may stimulate their creativity.

By contributing to the community’s newsletter,” The Bulletin”, submitting poems for competitions and doing readings, they share their talents with their neighbors. Since April is National Poetry Month, it’s a perfect time to consider their insights on poetry.

East Ridge has been Jnita Wright’s home for nearly 20 years. A prolific writer and poet, she has shared her love of writing poetry by teaching aspiring poets at the Pine Crest Library for 25 years and has been a frequent contributor to the East Ridge community newspaper.   Over the years, she has received many accolades for her numerous creative poems and books. Several of her books are available on Amazon including her children’s book published in 2016, “Yabit Habit”.

A departure for the poet, her book is children’s fiction and is an easy reader offering a lesson for all ages. “Yabit Habit” takes her character, Krystal, on a journey to and through the land of Sumdy and is intended to teach the value of “I can, I can, I can!”

Jnita wrote “Poems of South Florida 1966-2006”, compilation visions of her neighborhood into words. She published nine anthologies while authoring four books: “An Apple Falls”, “Taming the World”, “Neighborhood Poems”, and “Crayola Psychology Commentaries from a Full Life”.

She was also a contributor to a published book on the history of East Ridge in “The First Fifty Years East Ridge Retirement Village” available on Amazon ( and her beautifully woven, description words, “Thoughts From a Villager”, appeared as the last written section of the book.

Children’s book author and East Ridge resident, Rita Steingold, finds reading poetry can offer someone comfort and new insights and wants people to read more poetry.

She believes her love of poetry started when she was in kindergarten and wrote a poem about Easter which was selected for the school’s Easter show. Her teacher asked her to read it aloud on stage.

“Poets rarely write to be published; they write for themselves,” she explained. She referenced her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson, as an example. Only eight of her poems were published in her lifetime but she is credited with writing over 2,000 meditations on life, death, nature, love and art.

“There’s a special talent needed to write poetry and it’s truly the most difficult writing medium. You have to have the time to give it. You are finding the words to resonate with others,” she added.

Rita’s offers advice for those who don’t aspire to write poetry: “Reading poetry can be a wonderful alternative. We simply don’t read enough poetry. Once you start to read a poem, the words and thoughts can engulf you and poems can be magical. They can spark the imagination.

The East Ridge library offers residents many books of poetry and volunteers help people find books of interest.

To learn more about East Ridge, please call (305) 256-3564 for a personal tour or visit