The Chicago Poetry Center’s first readings took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the early 1970’s. Since then, the Poetry Center has offered more than 40 years of literary readings events and 20 years of arts partnership with Chicago Public Schools.


Over the past seven years, the Chicago Poetry Center has undergone restructuring and revitalization as an organization to rebuild and better supports its mission in the current climate. The changes are exciting and include restructuring Hands On Stanzas to better support underserved school in economic need, and promote equitable access to arts education across Chicago. The Reading Series shifted to an online offering in 2021, and has returned to a monthly in-person format at CPC’s current home, Haymarket House.