Published on October 19th, 2021 | by University Communications


Tampa Center, The Tampa Writers Harvest collecting food, donations for Metropolitan Ministries

Donate to Metropolitan Ministries and enjoy an afternoon of poetry, fiction, and spoken word performance! Saint Leo University’s Tampa Education Center and The Tampa Writers Harvest are partnering to collect food and monetary donations, November 1-18, for the nonprofit organization that helps the homeless and those at risk of being homeless in the Tampa Bay area.

The Tampa Writers Harvest, a poetry and fiction reading and performance will be held 1-3 p.m., Saturday, November 20, via Zoom. Gianna Russo, assistant professor of English and creative writing and the city of Tampa’s first Wordsmith, is organizing the event, which will feature Tampa’s favorite poets, writers, and spoken-word artists from across the city. These artists include Dr. Steve Kistulentz, director of Saint Leo’s master’s in creative writing program, as well as artists from the University of Tampa, Black on Black Rhyme, University of South Florida, Tampa Bay Poetry Alliance, Heard ‘Em Say, and the community. The performances will take place live on Zoom and will be available for viewing after the event on YouTube. Saint Leo University’s Tampa Education Center will provide the venue for recording the performances.

The national Writers Harvest launched in the early 1990s as a fundraiser to support organizations that address food insecurity. Russo organized Tampa’s first Writers Harvest in the mid-1990s, and she said she is thrilled to bring the event back and to “contribute to the welfare of our fellow citizens.”

To receive a link to attend this event, participants are asked to drop off canned and nonperishable food items or checks made payable to Metropolitan Ministries at Saint Leo’s Tampa Education Center. Donations also may be made online to Metropolitan Ministries via Facebook at

Donations can be made at the Tampa Education Center, 1403 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33607. Canned goods and nonperishable food may be dropped off 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Find out more about the event here.

For more information about the event, contact Gianna Russo at (813) 817-6824 or For more information about how to donate food or the Tampa Education Center, contact Rod Kirkwood, center director, at or (813) 743-3228.

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