PCC Executive Director Interviewed by The Adroit Journal

Poetry Center Executive Director, Elizabeth Metzger Sampson was recently interviewed by The Adroit Journal about the Hands on Stanzas program and teaching poetry to youth in Chicago Public Schools.

“This program was built out of the belief that poetry is good for everyone, that creativity is vital to a good education, and that everyone deserves the same resources in their education,” Sampson said.

The Hands on Stanzas program puts Chicago poets into schools to teach young people poetry and creative literacy. Each session consists of 20-week residencies within several classrooms. Each year, our students show not only an increase in literacy and comprehension, but they self-report increased confidence in reading, writing, and self-expression.

Adroit asked Sampson about the history of the program, her teaching experience with students of all ages, and what she believes is special about young people and poetry.

“On a daily basis, walking into a school and hearing young people (whether 8 or 15 years old) exclaim ‘Yes! Poetry!’ is an awesome ongoing inspiration.”



“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.