CPC Launches Residencies, Queen Zee’s Poetic Adventures, and More

Bringing Poetry Back to Schools with Residencies, Assemblies, and More


Chicago Poetry Center’s In-School and After-School Residencies are back in full swing. This month, CPC’s Poets in Residence are returning to classrooms across the city, inspiring students to read and discuss poetry, then write and share their own original poems.

After a wonderful year of after-school residencies and a fun summer enrichment program at Hale Elementary, we’re happy to be back in Chicago’s Dunning neighborhood to write poems with Hale’s 3rd-5th grade students. During their first week, they wrote a collaborative poem that celebrated their names:

                                                        My name is bright and welcoming.
                                                        It means an olive tree.
                                                        It means a flamingo.
                                                        My name comes from my parents.
                                                        It is a pretty good name.
At Hale Elementary, Poet in Residence Christie Valentin-Bati works with 3rd-5th graders after school.
In addition to the launch of our residencies, CPC poets are engaging young audiences with Pop-Up Assemblies in different communities throughout the city and beyond. Over the past month, we’ve performed at Lyons Township HS, Acero Roberto Clemente in Humboldt Park, and Howe School of Excellence in Austin.
Fullamusu Bangura reads a poem for students during a lunch period at Howe School of Excellence in Austin.
To learn how to bring CPC Residences or Pop-Ups to your school, visit our School Programs page.

You’re Invited: A Launch Party for
Queen Zee’s Poetic Adventures!


On-demand video poetry lessons are available to all!
Join the Chicago Poetry Center as we celebrate the launch of Queen Zee’s Poetic Adventures, CPC’s new education program. Inspired by classic children’s television, this five-episode video series takes viewers to a magical world of joyful, engaging poetry lessons for kids. Designed for students in 2nd-5th grades, this free, no-prep resource is ELA and SEL-focused, aligned with Common Core standards, and best of all, fun!

You’re invited to an evening of food, drinks, and giveaways as we preview an episode and explain how to make the most of the teacher guides and student worksheets.

When: Tuesday October 25 – Doors and dinner at 4:30 pm; Event begins at 5 pm

Where: Haymarket House at 800 W. Buena Ave. in Chicago

All teachers and school administrators who attend will be eligible to win one of two prizes:

  • Pop-Up Assembly for your school: one-hour performance featuring three CPC Poets in Residence (value: $1,000)
  • An educator’s book bundle including poetry titles from Haymarket Books, Gathering Voices: Creating a Community-Based Writing Workshop, and more (estimated value: $150)

Please RSVP here, and pass this invitation on to any educators you know who’d like to attend!

Haymarket House is fully wheelchair-accessible; please email kristina@poetrycenter.org with accessibility questions. For any other questions, email helene@poetrycenter.org.

Need a Moment of Peace?


“Meditation in Silence” by Serena M.

Follow CPC on Instagram for peaceful student poems like Serena M’s “Meditation in Silence.” Check out our account for more thoughtful, funny, and adventurous poetry from the young people in our Residencies.

Arts Education Programming Made Possible with Support by our Partners:





“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.