It’s hard out here in these poetry streets trying to get students to write poems as they count down the days ’til the end of the school year! STILL Swift 2nd and 3rd graders […]

Today Shoesmith 4th graders got bluesy. When I talked about the origins of blues music, some students remembered it being part of a Black History Month program about the evolution of music created by […]

I got to meet with Twain 5th graders twice this week! On Monday, we worked on poems inspired by “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks. I started losing my voice Monday evening, and had […]

We are getting close to the end of our residency, so for their 9th week of poetry Twain 6th graders explored various ways to prepare for a performance. Some students suggested practicing a poem […]

We celebrated our final day of 5th grade poetry with a party today! We received our beautiful poetry anthologies, with a poem from each student. We then had a reading and the excitment in […]

On Wednesday, we had our last day of poetry class! We started the class by passing out our class poetry anthology and then celebrated with a reading. The poems were hilarious and tender and […]

Poetry @ The Green at 320 returns for summer 2024! The Chicago Poetry Center and The Green at 320 S. Canal are proud to reintroduce this free, weekly reading and open mic series co-curated […]

For our last session at Jordan, 6th graders explored the people, places and things that represent where we come from. We opened up with an activity where students created their own paint chips based […]

I love the energy that Shoesmith 4th graders bring to our poetry workshops each week! They always seem open to new ideas, ready to think, and eager to tap into their creativity. If we […]

One could argue that we’re always living in the midst of change. It’s true now and it was definitely true a quarter century (!!) ago, when we were on the verge of a new […]

Our 6th poetry session was all about celebrations for Shoesmith 5 and 6th graders. Some of the students participated in their school poetry slam competition. The theme for the slams was poems about heroes. […]

Blackout Poetry:  A blackout poem is created when a poet takes a marker (usually black marker) to already established text–like that from a newspaper–and starts redacting words until a poem is formed or an […]

Students used magazines to create cut-up or collage poems, using ‘found language’ and images to create new meaning. Contributors are: 7th and 8th Grade Students from Mrs. McClain’s Classroom: Piper M., Sloan L., Noah […]

This week, we talked about mythical creatures and symbolism. After reading “My People” by Pam Thompson, we discussed what myths and mythical creatures mean in poetry and stories. Check out some of the poetry […]

This week, we learned all about ekphrastic poetry! This kind of poetry is inspired and written about a piece of art. First, we read two ekphrastic poems: one by a student poet that was […]

For their 8th week of poetry Twain 6th graders explored various ways to communicate with one another. Our society relies heavily on technology. Some students feel only comfortable communicating through emails and texts, while […]

In addition to reading aloud from poetry books and watching the “We Real Cool” video produced by the Poetry Foundation, Dubois students discussed things they like and dislike about writing. Students reflected on things […]

Poems from our 16th sessions reflect a mixed bag: while 2nd graders continued to write identity poems, 3rd graders played with ideas that reflected on their trip to the zoo. Ms. Reed’s class still […]

Last week I got to meet with Twain 5th graders for our 4th and 5th sessions. Students spent more time working on their dream poems, some of which you can read, below. Before getting […]

For their 5th poetry session Shoesmith 5 and 6th graders explored persona poetry. I asked students to imagine seeing the world by walking in someone else’s shoes. We joked about not actually wearing someone’s […]

Last week, Grissom’s middle schoolers got to show love to the people most important to them. We began our time together with a brief lesson on the Harlem Renaissance before reading Langston Hughes’ poem […]

Sayre 7th graders recalled the key terms: imagery and line. Looking to Parneshia Jones’ “For The Basement Parties at the YMCA” they sought out rich images, striking sounds, and astute line breaks. Then, they […]

Greetings, greetings! For our most recent session with Waters 6th graders, we talked about the fun, surrealist concrete poems! We looked at a bunch of different examples before reading Juan Felipe Herrera’s “Social Distancing”. […]

This week in Ms. Murray’s 4th grade class, we read “Honey, I Love” by Eloise Greenfield and talked about all the things we love and don’t love. Some students noticed that the poem was […]

Students wrote Acrostic Poems, in which certain letters in each line form a word or words. The theme was ‘Heroes,’ both real and imagined, or Supervillains. Lesson Note: “You don’t need permission to make […]


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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.