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                                                                   STEPPIN STANZAS

                                a grant-awarded poetry and art project celebrating city steps




PAOLA CORSO is the author of seven books of poetry and fiction set in her native Pittsburgh where her Italian immigrant family found work in the steel mills. Writing honors include a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant, New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellowship, Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award, and inclusion on Pennsylvania Center for the Book's Literary and Cultural Map. Corso’s latest books are THE LAUNDRESS CATCHES HER BREATH, winner of the Tillie Olsen Award in Creative Writing , ONCE I WAS TOLD THE AIR WAS NOT FOR BREATHING, a Triangle Fire Memorial Association Awardee, and newly released VERTICAL BRIDGES: POEMS AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF CITY STEPS. Her work has appeared in national venues such as The New York Times and numerous anthologies. She exhibits her photographs in libraries, galleries, and open studios. Formerly a literary activist with the National Endowment for the Arts WritersCorps, Corso divides her time between New York City’s grid and Pittsburgh’s grade. 


ANDREW EDWARDS is a writer, teacher, and librarian who studied Spanish and creative writing at Ohio Wesleyan University with a focus in modern poetics. He is the author of THE KOBE REALITY SERIES, a book of poetry based on his experience living in Japan. He earned his master's degree in TESOL at Arizona State University where he taught composition and argumentation and a master's in library and information science at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, he is working on a memoir about epilepsy. Born in Erie, Pa, he is the son of Scotch Irish and Lithuanian Jewish immigrants. He is married to Keiko Maeda and lives in Aspinwall with their two sons.




SAHRA DEROY is a belly dance artist in the Pittsburgh area with over 16 years of experience. She is a 3rd generation dancer joining her grandmother and aunt in their passion for dance.  Sahra travels extensively nationally and internationally performing at festivals, shows, and events.  She collaborates with many artists and companies including Mary Miller Dance Company, Moquette Volante, Lavish Dance Company, and musician Tom Moran.


MICHAEL DILAURO, a celebrated director and producer of documentaries, television programs, commercials, and corporate productions, has earned five Emmy Awards, a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival, and the Gabriel Award for outstanding television programming. He received major funding from National Italian American Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Council in the Humanities, and Pennsylvania Public Television Network. In 2013, he received a R.K. Mellon Foundation grant to produce a documentary on the Allegheny Conference. His feature documentary film PRISONERS AMONG US: ITALIAN AMERICAN IDENTITY AND WWII was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at New York International Film Festival and Montreal Film Festival and has been screened throughout the U.S. and Canada.


ANGELE ELLIS is an adopted Pittsburgher—a longtime writer, editor, and community activist— whose poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in over sixty publications and a dozen anthologies. She is author of UNDER THE KAUFMANN'S CLOCK: FICTION, POEMS AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF PITTSBURGH with photos by Rebecca Clever (Six Gallery Press), SPARED (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook), and ARAB ON RADAR (Six Gallery), whose poems won her a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, as well as co-author of the multicultural curriculum DEALING WITH DIFFERENCES (Corwin Press). She is a contributing editor to Al Jadid Magaz.


KOKU KUWONU Raised in the West African country of Togo, Koku is from the Ewe ethnic group. He grew up playing African drums with the church where his late father Ebenezer was a choir director for many years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Benin in Togo and immigrated to the U.S. in 2001 where he is now a naturalized citizen. He attends college for forensic accounting and enjoys drumming in his leisure time.


MARIA LARANGINHO Born in Borba-Evora, Portugal, Maria has lived in Pittsburgh since 2005. She studied in Germany where she met her husband and returned to live in Portugal before coming to the U.S. Her background is in English and German languages and literature. Formerly a middle school, high school, and adult education teacher, she made a career change and joined an e-commerce solutions company. She is very happy to find herself working in an international millieu summarized in this preferred quote from Socrates, I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.


AARON LEFEBVRE – A modern musician with a heart rooted in folk music, Aaron Lefebvre is an acoustic finger-style guitarist from Pittsburgh, PA. His music combines traditional and folk guitar musings with modern finger-style techniques that follow a musical narrative that inspires the imagination. You can see him in a multitude of settings including coffee shops, art galleries, weddings, house concerts, stage venues, and even his front porch on nice days.  Visit his website for music samples, tour dates, and more:


KEIKO MAEDA EDWARDS was born in Kobe, Japan and has lived in the Pittsburgh area for 14 years. She attended an English intensive program in Hawaii then transferred to Slippery Rock University where she studied gerontology and met her future in-laws and later her husband. Keiko works for Mine Safety Appliances and is active in Pittsburgh’s Japanese-American community. She and her husband, Andrew Edwards, live in Aspinwall with their sons Kai and Annon, to whom she passes on all her traditions with love.


CHRISTINE TELFER is both poet and ESL Instructor, former editor (The Exchange), and RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer). She currently teaches Citizenship classes to Immigrants in Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Adult program. Her publications include Along These Rivers: Poetry & Photography from Pittsburgh, The Brentwood Anthology, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Main Street Rag. She has work in THE NASTY WOMEN AND BAD HOMBRE Anthology.

Copyright © 2020 Paola Corso. All Rights Reserved.

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