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Poems about Pittsburgh neighborhoods will be displayed in Port Authority vehicles

Bob Bauder
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JASMINE GOLDBAND
Port Authority transit riders wait for their buses along Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh.

A Pittsburgh nonprofit literacy organization is sponsoring a poetry contest designed to bring people together and help heal wounds left by violence in the city, including the October murders at Tree of Life synagogue.

Crossing Limits has partnered with the Port Authority of Allegheny County on the contest dubbed I Too Am Pittsburgh and will post winning entries inside buses, according to Carol Elkind, the organization’s founder and treasurer. The project is geared toward encouraging people of all ages to write poetry about their communities.

“At this point we feel that we need to connect our neighborhoods because demographically they’re separated by hills and consequently I think we’ve stayed among ourselves,” Elkind said. “Our communities have tremendous flavor to them, but they need to be shared. Hopefully this is the first year of many that we will be able to do this project and do different themes about Pittsburgh each year.”

Organizers will select 60 entries for display in buses. Students from Shuman Center will create art to illustrate the poems. Elkind said Crossing Limits plans to open a website to display all of the poetry and art.

The organization will host six writing workshops on Saturdays to help participants complete poems. Locations and details about the workshops, as well as contest rules and instructions can be obtained by sending an email request to [email protected] .

The submission deadline for poems is May 1.

Crossing Limits was established in 1998 to promote solidarity among faith and cultural traditions. It focuses on poetry as an instrument of beautification and agent for social change

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter @bobbauder.