Our mission is to provide poetry in the greater Chicago community, and to support the careers of Chicago poets. We do both of these through our two primary programs:
Six Points Reading Series is a monthly, free and public reading series, at rotating locations across Chicago. The series features emerging and established as well as local, national, and international writers. You can receive updates on our events by joining our mailing list on the homepage, following us on social media, or checking our News + Events page. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hands On Stanzas is our creative literacy residency program in Chicago Public Schools. We hire Chicago poet/teaching artists (Poets In Residence) to teach year-long residencies. The poets meet with their classrooms weekly, and publish student work after each session on our Hands On Stanzas school blogs. Each week our poet and students read, write, discuss, and perform poetry. Theprogram improves reading and writing skills, builds confidence, and affirms the voices of young Chicagoans. For more information, please visit the program page.
The Poetry Center of Chicago is an independent not-for-profit, 501c3 arts organization founded in 1974. To learn more about how you can support the Poetry Center of Chicago, please visit our support page. For inquiries regarding job opportunities, please read details here.
Poetry Center of Chicago, 641 W. Lake Street, Suite 200, Chicago, Illinois 60661
General Inquiries: email@example.com
Hands On Stanzas: firstname.lastname@example.org
Six Points: email@example.com
Elizabeth Metzger Sampson
Poets In Residence
Elizabeth Metzger Sampson
Timothy David Rey
Larry O. Dean
Poetry Center Office Team
Natasha Mijares: Six Points Reading Series Curator
Megan Cho: Programs Assistant
Nora Kane: Audio Digitization
Gabrielle Peterson: Social Media
Interested in joining the team?
For more information on Poetry Center Internships + Volunteering, visit our Support Page.
For more information on becoming a Poet In Residence, please the details at the bottom of our the PIR section of our site.
Please do not contact us regarding unposted job opportunities. Thank you.
Board of Directors
Beginning in 1968, Paul Carroll, editor of the short lived though tremendously influential Big Table literary magazine, organized and hosted readings at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to promote the new Big Table Books series. These readings, along with the awareness and interest they generated, served as the foundations for what would eventually become The Poetry Center of Chicago. In 1973, concurrently with The Poetry Center’s official inception, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg gave a reading in the basement of the Museum of Contemporary Art, paving the road for a reading series that would span more than three decades, host more than 200 poets, and garner both local and national acclaim. Paul Carroll served as the first board president, followed by poet Paul Hoover and Mark Perlberg, who served as president for 14 years. Subsequently, John Van Doren and Rezek would also serve as board presidents.
History of Readings
N. Scott Momaday
Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Mei Mei Berssenbrugge
Charley Henry Ford
Jenny A. Burkholder
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Quraysh Ali Lansana
A Van Jordan
Deborah Boida Cummins
Robbie Q. Telfer
Sahara Sunday Spain
Naomi Shihab Nye
Ralph J. Mills
John Fredric Nims
Agha Shihid Ali
Maxine Hong Kingston
A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff
Janice N. Harrington
John Fredrick Nima
Harry Mark Petrakis
The Poetry Center receives its funding from many individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies, to whom we are thankful.
Many thanks to our supporters:
And to you, our many generous members and donors!