Calling all poets…enter the ‘I Too Am’ poetry contest

The New Pittsburgh Courier has learned that Crossing Limits has partnered with Port Authority of Allegheny County to launch a poetry contest entitled “I Too Am Pittsburgh.” City of Pittsburgh neighbors of all ages are encouraged to write poetry about their communities, and the winning poems will be displayed inside Port Authority buses.
“This contest will help our diverse communities recognize the rich history and challenges that are a part of Pittsburgh,” said Rashida James-Saadiya, creative director of Crossing Limits, in a release. “As we learn about our communities and create greater awareness in this way, we hope to encourage unity among our residents,” she adds.
“I Too Am Pittsburgh” is supported by The Port Authority of Allegheny County, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and Shuman Center. Students from Shuman Center will illustrate poems with art. To assist participants in completing their poetry, six writing workshops will be held on select Saturdays. Locations and details about the workshops, as well as contest rules and instructions can be obtained by sending an email request to The submission deadline for poems is May 1.
“In the wake of recent destructive acts of hate, such as the violent attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue, I believe endeavors such as the I Too Am Pittsburgh Poetry Contest is much needed to help us continue to break down barriers, stereotypes and hatred in our communities; I’m happy to be a part of this effort,” says Luqmon Abdus-Salaam, Project Director.
Some of the guidelines for the poetry contest include: Contestant must live in Pittsburgh or within Allegheny County; submit only one unpublished, original poem; limit poem to five lines (excluding title), with no more than 50 words; include your name, neighborhood and contact information; include a brief third-person biography that is no more than 140 words; include submission as a .doc, .docx or .pdf attachment.
There is no fee to submit a poem. Themes to inspire your submission include: home; belonging; migration; identity; solidarity; peace; collective work; neighbors; humanity; crossing divides.
Crossing Limits was established in 1998 to promote solidarity amongst varying faith and cultural traditions. Its focus on using poetry as both an instrument of beautification and agent for social change, highlighting the intersections of faith and social justice.
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