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Pizza Poetry Project highlights students poems on pizza boxes

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  In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the local literacy and tutoring center Big Class (www.bigclass.org) is teaming up with New Orleans pizza joints to publish student work on pizza boxes. Students ages 6 to 18 wrote poetry for the Pizza Poetry Project (www.pizza-poetry-blog.tumblr.com), and their work will be displayed on the boxes April 18. Participating pizzerias include Pizza Delicious, (617 Piety St., 504-676-8482; www.pizzadelicious.com), Mid-City Pizza (4413 Banks St., 504-483-8609; www.midcitypizza.com) and all the New Orleans locations of Reginelli's Pizzeria (citywide; www.reginellis.com). A portion of the proceeds from pizza sold that night benefits Big Class' free creative writing programs in New Orleans.

  As for what kind of verse to expect with a pizza, Big Class director Doug Keller says the center has received poetry "that ranges from an ode to chocolate by an 8-year-old in the Big Class Open Studio after-school program to a poem that explores questions of pedagogy from a 16-year-old."

  "The idea is to showcase the diversity of student voices and what poetry is capable of, and getting it to as wide a readership as possible through the magic of pizza," he adds.

  Keller notes that many of the poems are about pizza. Big Class, the educational division of Press Street (www.press-street.com) had received about 100 poems for the project as of April 8.

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