Poem of the Week

City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression.

We encourage Allegheny County residents to submit a poem for the series All Pittsburghers are Poets: Poem of the Week. We’ve provided some prompts below to get you started, but feel free to follow your own inspiration and creativity.


Submission Details and Eligibility
– A complete submission includes your name, mailing address, your poem in pdf format, and a brief bio.
– Poems will be reviewed anonymously.
– Writers of accepted poems will receive $15 for their work and will retain the rights.
– Published poems will appear every Tuesday from May 2020 through April 2021 here, be featured on the Sampsonia Way homepage, and shared in a weekly City of Asylum newsletter, and social media posts.
– You must be a current resident of Allegheny County to submit. (*Temporarily living outside of the county due to coronavirus? You can still submit, just note briefly why your mailing address is not in Allegheny County.*)
– We will only accept poems that have not yet been published online. Simultaneous submissions accepted.
– The deadline to submit has been extended to June 1, 2020.

Submit Your Poem


Prompt Gallery
Take a look at these 9 prompts inspired by City of Asylum Exiled Writers-in-Residence. Want to read more from our writers? Order their books online from the City of Asylum Bookstore.


Here are 40 poetry writing prompts inspired by City of Asylum’s mission, life in Allegheny County, and more.


These 25 prompts were created with youth in mind. Create your own grab bag of prompts! We also recommend Poets.org Poetry for Teens and these Poetry Printables from Scholastic for younger writers.


Craving simplicity? Here are one word prompts from a past City of Asylum project, River of Words.



Series Editors
Poems featured in All Pittsburghers are Poets: Poem of the Week will be selected by the Sampsonia Way Editorial Committee (Madison Kerlan, Craig Hayes, Sarah McKee, and Mia DeFelice) as well as finalists for Emerging Poet Laureate of Allegheny County.

Contact poetlaureate@cityofasylum.org for any questions about this call.


City of Asylum is grateful for support from the following partners for our new project, All Pittsburghers are Poets, to advance readership and appreciation of poetry locally:


This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD).
Sampsonia Way Magazine is a publication of City of Asylum in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh.

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