2023 All Schools Readings Recap

On May 24th and May 31st, The Chicago Poetry Center had the wonderful opportunity to host our annual All Schools Readings! 

Students, parents, and loved ones packed the Haymarket House for a celebration of creativity and self-expression that showcased one young poet from every classroom we worked with this year. This year, the Chicago Poetry Center brought Poetry Residencies to nearly 90 classrooms across the city, working with approximately 2500 students with weekly poetry lessons. With that much engagement, our annual All Schools Readings took place over two nights. Find a list of participating schools below.

This was also the first time we’ve been able to host the ASR in person since the pandemic, so it was quite the party! Poets in Residence were delighted to introduce their students on stage, and young poets shared their work in front of an enthusiastic audience. The poems presented were diverse in theme, style, and influence, and was a shining example of how the bright young people of our community are embracing self-expression and creativity!

photo: Joshua Tatro

Our students and Poets in Residence have done fantastic work this year, and they should be very proud! We look forward to continuing to work with our community this summer and in the next school year, and wish you all a fun and creative summer!


A special thank you to Wintrust for being this event’s sponsor!


List of Participating Schools:

May 24:

  • Deneen Elementary
  • Galileo Academy
  • Kozminski Academy
  • Sayre Elementary
  • Shoesmith Elementary
  • Swift Elementary
  • Twain Elementary
  • Waters Elementary
  • West Park Academy

May 31:

  • Hale Elementary
  • Amundsen High School
  • Bronzeville Classical Elementary
  • Carver Military Academy
  • Foster Park Elementary
  • George Washington Elementary
  • Grissom Elementary
  • Perez Elementary
  • Poe Elementary

For more wonderful photos of the event, make sure to check Joshua Tatro’s photos down below!



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The mission of the Chicago Poetry Center is to connect people with poetry, equitably engage poets with communities, and foster creativity and literacy in schools. We envision a world where poetry catalyzes reflection, connection, and change.

Since the Chicago Poetry Center’s first readings took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1975, the Poetry Center has been a mainstay of Chicago’s cultural scene. Free public readings continue to be offered monthly in virtual and physical formats. Over 325 poets have participated in public readings, and a digital archive of their work is available on the Poetry Center website. The expansive archive also serves as the basis of a digital module for teaching poetry, which was recently developed by the Center’s Executive Director and is available at no cost to teachers.



“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.