Aspinwall poets pay tribute to Pittsburgh steps at StepTrek

October 4, 2018

Aspinwall resident Andrew Edwards recites poetry with percussionist Koku Kuwonu during a Steppin Stanzas performance at the Polish Hill Arts Festival.

Paola Corso and Andrew Edwards, Aspinwall residents and co-founders of a grassroots poetry project celebrating Pittsburgh city steps, are seeking local stories that celebrate the plentiful steps that cross the region.

Their group, Steppin Stanzas, will host a booth at the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association’s 18th Annual Pittsburgh StepTrek from 11 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Their table will be at Josephine and 21st streets with a display of original city step photos and bookmarks.

“Our photo bookmarks include a famous step quote on the back,” Corso said. One of her favorites is from Martin Luther King, Jr. -- ’Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“We invite kids and adults to create a quote of their own to celebrate Pittsburgh city steps with us,” said Edwards, author of “The Kobe Reality Series,” a poetry book based on his experience living in Japan.

Corso’s poetry collection, “Steppin,” tells the tale of city steps and those from across the world.

“Since Pittsburgh has more public stairways than any other city in the country, I don’t think we’ll run out of material any time soon,” she said.

This is the third year Steppin Stanzas will appear at StepTrek. In 2016, Corso and Edwards launched their poetry project with the help of a Sprout Fund grant.

Last year, they performed a special program “On the Way Up: City Steps, City Immigrants,” a tribute to early immigrants who built public stairways, those who care for them and new immigrants to the Pittsburgh area.

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