The Chicago Poetry Center was founded in response to literary censorship trials in Chicago in the 1950s. The trials caused local writers and editors to organize and begin building informal publication and performance spaces that welcomed diverse contemporary voices. These organic, community-driven efforts were formalized in 1974 to establish the nonprofit now known as the Chicago Poetry Center (CPC). Now in its 50th year, CPC maintains its belief that artistic expression is a fundamental human right, and that poetry in particular is ideally suited to supporting human growth and connection. Rooted in our history of liberatory artistic practice and guided by our core values of integrity, humility, creativity, equity, and inclusivity, we envision and work to create a fair and verdant world rooted in artistic expression, human connection, and boundless imagination.