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All Pittsburghers are Poets

City of Asylum's RADical ImPAct project celebrates poetry in Pittsburgh with its new program, "All Pittsburghers Are Poets."


City of Asylum


Grant Amount




City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. Beginning in May 2020 and running through April 2021, poems by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience are published weekly at Sampsonia Way Magazine.

City of Asylum will also be awarding Poets Laureate in four categories: 

  • City of Asylum Poet Laureate of Allegheny County
  • Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County
  • Emerging Poet of Allegheny Count 
  • American Sign Language Poet Laureate



In July 2020, City of Asylum announced the four inaugural Poets Laureate of Allegheny County. Learn about them here. They have kept busy during their terms of service:

  • All Pittsburghers are Poets is partnering with Write Pittsburgh to present the live teen poetry showcase All Pittsburghers are Poets: Youth to the Front to be streamed Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 7:00 PM on City of Asylum's virtual channel. The live reading features the closing performance of our inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Vincent Folkes.

  • On view beginning in April 2021, ASL Poet Laureate of Allegheny County Mj Shahen performed ASL interpretation for the Mattress Factory exhibit "A New Tomorrow That Starts Today" by artist Meir Tati.

  • Between December 2020-March 2021, City of Asylum hosted 8 workshops in the series Between Poetry and Performance curated by Emerging Poet Laureate of Allegheny County Paloma Sierra. Participants learned from emerging poets and animators from across the US about translating poetry for the stage and screen.

  • Poet Laureate Celeste Gainey is developing a project about environmentalism and poetry for Spring 2021. 

All Pittsburghers are Poets: Poem of the Week is up and running through April 2021. Find the poems here at Sampsonia Way, City of Asylum's online magazine.



The Duquesne Duke - February 18, 2021

Pittsburgh Current - July 21, 2020

Point Park News - July 10, 2020

Kidsburgh - July 6, 2020

WESA - February 17, 2020

NEXTpittsburgh - January 29, 2020