National Poetry Day was Saturday, October 3. Here are a few ways to keep the celebration going throughout the month of October and beyond: 

Listen and Write

pittsburgh poetry pittsburgh poetry collective
Image via: Pittsburgh Poetry Collective

The Pittsburgh Poetry Collective is an organization that creates an active, welcoming, and safe space for talented writers, spoken word artists, poets, and beyond. This non-profit organization helps host and hone talent in the Pittsburgh area, while giving community members open access to the art form. Founded in 2014, the Collective has grown to be a core influence in the Pittsburgh art scene. 

One of the Collective’s largest events each year is the Steel City Poetry Slam. Artists from around the Pittsburgh area and beyond participated in an ongoing opportunity to showcase original compositions and stories to crowds. The crowd provided applause, judges score participants, and one contest walks away a winner.  Currently, due to COVID-19, these events are on hold. However, stay up-to-date by connecting on Facebook for the next event.

However, not all events are postponed! Join in on open mic nights, slam sessions, writing workshops, writing seminars, and more. The majority of events, to comply with local safety laws due to COVID-19, are hosted via zoom. Check out their online calendar to see if there is an event right for you (no experience required!)


pittsburgh poetry carnegie library of pittsburgh
image via: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh may be known as the city of perogies, Penguins, Penn Avenue,Pirates, Primanti Bros. but one more “P”  is missing. You guessed it: poetry.  Many poets, ranging from locally followed to world renowned, have used Pittsburgh as their homebase during their writing journeys.  Check out the  Duquesne University LibGuides to dive into the deep history of Pittsburgh based poets and poems. You can also use Littsburgh, a Pittsburgh centered literacy website, as a second resource to find more Pittsburgh based poems and poets. Not finding anything you like? Check out no other than your local Carnegie Library to access their catalogs of thousands. 

Shop and Read

pittsburgh poetry white whale bookstore
Image via: White Whale Bookstore

Looking to purchase a poetry book? Shop locally by ordering from  White Whale Bookstore (Bloomfield), Amazing Books and Records (Squirrel Hill), or City of Asylum Bookstore (North Shore). Talk to local store owners and employees to get a worthwhile recommendation for a stellar read, whether it is your first time reading poetry or your 100th time reading. These stores, locally loved and respected, have well-informed staff that are eager to help. In addition, check out NPR’s 2020 Poetry Review for further research on what type of poetry might help get you inspired. 

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Katherine Lewis

A Virginia native, Katherine moved to Pittsburgh in 2016 to attend the University of Pittsburgh. After earning her B.A. in Media and Professional Communications in December 2019, Katherine began working as a Marketing Intern and Public Relations for two different Pittsburgh-based organizations. She loves to travel, read ( big Carnegie Library fan), and explore Pittsburgh during her free time! All while fueled by an unnecessary amount of caffeine, of course.

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