By Von Wise

In Pittsburgh, April brought more than just showers. Students from Pittsburgh Milliones University Prep (UPrep) have teamed up with local artists for National Poetry Month to create the Pizza Poems Pittsburgh project. Throughout the month, Spak Brothers will be serving pizza in custom screen-printed boxes featuring the pizza-inspired artwork and poetry created by UPrep students. The students worked with local artists every step of the way, honing their skills while learning new ones—like screen printing—to share their illustrations and poetry with new audiences. But the project is about the community as much as the students.

“It is unique that [the students] get to make this happen alongside artists and professionals, rather than someone doing the work for them behind closed doors.”
-Stephanie Brea, Project Leader

Photo by Ben Filio

Photo by Ben Filio

Kicking off at Spak Brothers Pizza on Friday, April 1st during the monthly first Friday Unblurred gallery crawl in the Penn Avenue arts district, Pizza Poems Pittsburgh featured live poetry readings and a performance by the UPrep Young Musicians Collaborative. Spark Brothers customers enjoyed a poem with their pizza, enabling them to participate in National Poetry Month in a tasty and effortless way. The fun and accessible poems share a gift with the community in an art form that can often feel intimidating or impenetrable.

Ultimately, the project is about the creation and the spreading of poetry. It is about satisfaction. It is about celebrating the things we’d greatly miss if we ever lost them.