By Julie Grant


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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Poetry on PAT buses. It will be a first in the city of Pittsburgh and possibly a first nationwide.

Making cultural connections in a city Pittsburghers love is what the “I Am Too Pittsburgh” Poetry Contest is all about.

“In honor of today, we would like to say, Pittsburgh is the way, a path of peace and love,” said Luqmon Abdus-Salaam, giving KDKA a little sample off the top of his head as he was explaining the contest. “It’s a project that was initiated by Crossing Limits, which is a non-profit organization and we use art to bridge cultural gaps.”

Abdus-Salaam is the Program Director.

Thirty winners will be chosen by a committee and displayed on the inside of Port Authority buses for riders to enjoy.

“We want poems, no more than five lines, and we want poetry about your relationship with Pittsburgh, your relationship with your community. We want something to bring love and respect and honor to the city,” Abdus-Salaam said.

The goal is to start conversations and create better cultural understanding.

“It would be very interesting if we got someone from White Oak and someone from Homewood talking about their communities,” Abdus-Salaam said.

Although the idea aims at growing appreciation for differences, it uses commonality.

“We feel that poetry is now becoming more common and more for the people. So we decided to do buses because it’s the common person and it’s access and everybody has access to the buses. Everybody will have access to this project and we wanted everyone in the city to have access to these words,” Abdus-Salaam said.

If it’s successful, poetry readings on the PAT buses may be next.

The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2019. For more information and how to enter, click here: crossinglimits.org/i-too-am-pittsburgh