Kicking off 2022 with Poetry

New Year News:

Honoring Dr. King, Celebrating our Community, and the launch of “Critical Conversations”

Next week CPC Poets in Residence return to classrooms with our students and classroom teachers. We want to take a moment to send some love to our amazing community. The biggest of thanks to our teaching artists, classroom teachers, and students for continuing to prioritize creativity and self-expression while navigating all the ups and downs of these challenging times.


This month, we are thrilled to partner again with the Chicago History Museum for a collaborative performance event, this time honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and followed by a writing workshop. Reader and event details below.


We are also celebrating the official launch of CPC’s Critical Conversations @ Work: Anti-Racism program, which use the written word as a springboard for powerful conversations about how race shapes our individual experiences of the world. Read on for details about the program and a Black History Month discount for non-profit organizations!

MLK Day Celebration

Monday, January 17
10:30 a.m. reading
11:30 a.m. workshop


Chicago History Museum and Chicago Poetry Center present a reading and workshop focused on the topics of community, housing, and civic engagement, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The event is free and will take place at the museum, 1601 N. Clark Street. Participants of all ages are welcome! RSVP here.


Featured readers include Davon Clark, Jyrieka Guest, Timothy David Rey, and Tarnynon Onumonu.


Drawing on our decades of workshop facilitation, the Chicago Poetry Center’s “Critical Conversations @ Work: Anti-Racism” offerings use poetry to launch and guide meaningful discussions around race in the workplace and the world.


Each session includes exploration of a theme related to racial justice through discussion of two or more contemporary poems, sharing of personal experiences, and guided writing practice. No prior poetry experience or education is needed!


Sessions can be conducted online via Zoom or in-person if/when allowed by state and local safety guidelines. For more information about bringing the program to your workplace or community, visit our web site or email


And if you are part of a non-profit organization, make sure to ask about our Black History Month discount, available to any NPO that contracts in February for one or more sessions to take place anytime between February and May.

Poet in Residence Spotlight: Eemanna Rivers

First-year Poet in Residence Eemanna Rivers works with 7th grade students through In-School Poetry Residencies at Dever Elementary.
“I have learned a lot through my residency with 7th graders at Dever. One key piece of new knowledge is the importance of having play as part of what we do together. We learn through exposure, and when enjoyment is added to the mix, we allow ourselves to develop our understanding even more.


When I taught a lesson on stanzas, we used stories from our personal lives as inspiration for the poems. I think the lesson was effective because we built upon content from previous lessons, and we took some extra time for our brainstorming and pre-writing exercises.”

Our annual

fundraiser is live!

Donate to support our school programs across Chicago and receive a ticket to our virtual night of celebration: No Love For Love. Donations can be bundled by a group of people to fund a full residency for the following school year. (Check out this year’s named residencies.)


Don’t forget to save the date! No Love For Love: Feb 10, 2022.

January 19:

Blue Hour reading series and writing workshop

Join us for a night of poetry in collaboration with Kundiman as we present the Blue Hour reading series and generative writing workshop. Hosted by series curator Marty McConnell, January’s event will feature poet Andy Sia and celebrate the release of Matthew Olzmann’s new collection, Constellation Route.


Event details can be found here. Learn more about the Blue Hour series here.


Register here for the reading, and at this link for the workshop.

Happy 2022 from your friends at the

Chicago Poetry Center!



“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.