Application Open: April 1 -24, 2024 Click here for application The Chicago Poetry Center is excited to announce an open call for new board members. We are seeking individuals with a passion for connecting […]

Last semester I had the pleasure of working with 3rd grade students at Twain, and this Wednesday I returned to begin a residency with 5th graders. It was an inspiring day. Between the four […]

This Tuesday, I met with some third, fourth and fifth grade students at Dubois Elementary School for the first time. Their ideas and energy were infectious! Some students made an impression on me when […]

The Chicago Poetry Center presents BLUE HOUR, a free, public monthly in-person reading series and generative writing workshop hosted and facilitated by Marty McConnell.  The Blue Hour reading includes a brief open mic followed by […]

For our last session, Waters 6th graders discussed how to give good instructions. First, we did an activity where one student instructed another stuent on how to draw an animal. How is that different […]

This week we “ate” poetry and talked about what memories we had that were connected to food. Students wrote poems sharing their favorite dishes and who they love to eat it with! Check out […]

During our fourth poetry workshop for the 6th graders, we talked about space poetry a week after watching the eclipse. We first learned all about the United States Poet Laureate Ada Limón’s collaboration with […]

Today at South Loop Poetry Club, our poets got to work on our own handmade poetry books. Some of us paired up, while others worked on themed poetry. Some wrote new poems, and others […]

Students created concrete poems, which rely on their visual depiction to express meaning more clearly. Here are some of their beautiful examples of that form! Lesson Note: “Art has a way of bringing to […]

Our inevitable last classes occurred this week. I brought in one of my own poems to share, giving students the opportunity to quiz me on its particulars. “Finding Bigfoot,” inspired by the TV show […]

Hello again, dear reader! Last week, Grissom’s 6-8th grade students turned into cosmic metaphor explorers. This lesson was inspired by Joy Young and began with a quick question: what’s something you wish you could […]

It’s exciting to be back at Shoesmith again. I saw familiar faces, met new students, and was greeted warmly by teachers and staff. Last Friday for their first session of poetry, 5th and 6th […]

Last week at poetry club, we finished up our unit on poetic forms and took some time to reflect on our work in the past few weeks. Then we used lines from our previous […]

This week Ms. Murray’s 4th graders explored the ode, a popular poetic form used to celebrate a person, place, thing, or even an idea. We started off by talking a bit about Pablo Neruda, […]

Students created Diamond Poems using parts of speech and their wonderful imaginations. Lesson Note: A diamante poem is a poem in the shape of a diamond. It can be used to compare and contrast […]

Behind the Scenes of Our First Video Series: Queen Zee’s Poetic Adventures After months of project planning, script writing, and rehearsals, the Chicago Poetry Center filmed its first ever “poetry on demand” video series this month. Queen […]

Students created concrete poems to showcase shape and style. Below are the first drafts, which were hand-drawn and written! Lesson Note: “I think you should be intuitive and playful in your choices and determined […]

After a few weeks off, we reunited for our penultimate sessions, reading and discussing “maggie and milly and molly and may” by E. E. Cummings. I suggested that this poem was a kind of […]

For our 12 sessions each class engaged poetry uniquely. I brought in books of poems and Swift students and teachers took turns reading aloud in both English and Spanish. In one classroom students danced […]

The 1st session in my 4th year of being invited to engage Shoesmith 4th graders in poetry was 🔥! It included sweet reunions with staff, teachers, and former students at the front desk, in […]

This week the young vikings explored cinematic poetry. We discussed what are the components of a movie: dialogue, setting, sound, actors, etc…We read “Please Refrain from Talking During the Movie” by Robert Polito and […]

Twain 6th graders not only traveled back in time for their third week of poetry, they also welcomed the solar eclipse. All the students, teachers, and staff at Twain stood in the playground and […]

Last Friday Swift students tried their hands at using alliteration in their poems. It was challenging! Ms Urquiza2nd Grade A Baby Bee and Birdby Breanna V. On one beautiful day it wasWednesday and it […]

After reading student poet Noor S.’s poem ‘Self Portrait with my Loose Hijab, ‘ students wrote self-portrait poems focusing on one aspect of themselves! Self-Portrait with my loose hijab  By Noora S.  Trying to […]

Spring is in the air! For our session before the spring break students worked on poems about dreams. Dreams for the future, or the wild and strange things that we see on the movie […]

After reading student poet Noor S.’s poem ‘Self Portrait with my Loose Hijab, ‘ students wrote self-portrait poems focusing on one aspect of themselves! Self-Portrait with my loose hijab  By Noora S.  Trying to […]


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“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.