November Poetry Programs Spotlight

A New School Year at the Chicago Poetry Center!


This month, CPC launched its 2020-21 poetry residencies. While there’s nothing quite like being in classrooms with students, the Poets in Residence are thrilled to connect via livestream with young poets all over the city.

In this academic year, we’re working in ten schools with 41 virtual classrooms. We’re happy to announce a new type of residency this fall, too: at the Evening Reporting Centers, a poetry program for court-involved youth, through a partnership with local health and wellness organization, Aunt Martha’s.


Our CPC teaching artists and staff at the orientation for the 2020-21 school-based poetry residencies.
Finding unique ways to support student engagement via at-home learning has been has been a challenge, and the CPC team has been ready to meet it. Our dedicated team of teaching artists pair each of their live sessions with interactive workbooks, text, and recorded videos. These materials ensure we support all learners with the opportunity to read, write, and listen to poems from their weekly lessons even after class is over. We’re doing our part to stay connected to our students during and beyond the school day!
Click the image above to watch a video where poet Leslie Reese reads a dream poem for her 2nd grade classes at Swift Elementary.

Poets return to their grade schools


Two CPC Poets In Residence are teaching residencies at schools they attended as students! Are you following us on social media? Follow us to keep up with our Poets in Residence and read student poems published weekly.



New student poem publications

“This is a voice that you could hear miles away. / This is a voice that came from my Latino race. / This is a voice that I would never change.” – Bryan R. from Haugan Elementary. Click the banner to read more about student voices.



“Your love is like a mother bird keeping her eggs warm on a cold, cold day / And you can’t be touched like a museum display” – Rochelle C. from the Evening Reporting Centers. Click the banner for more “silky similes.”


This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency. Additional support from the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.






“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.