Now Hiring Teaching Artists for 2019-20

Post Update: This call is now closed. We have received an exceptionally high volume of gifted candidates in less than a month, and are no longer accepting applications for 2019-20. Thank you to all who applied, and to those who did not, we hope you’ll apply next year!


Hands On Stanzas Program, Chicago Poetry Center

Position: Poet In Residence with the Chicago Poetry Center
Deadline: Rolling applications until roster is full, apply soon!
Check out: this brief video introduction to the program to learn more, see our students in action, and meet some of the team.

About the Program: Hands on Stanzas has been an arts partner to Chicago schools for twenty years. Our teaching artists (Poets in Residence) are active Chicago poets with teaching experience. Poets in Residence are paired with a school to conduct a 10 – 20 session residency, which can range from October – May, or occur over a shorter time period during the academic year. Poets read, discuss, and write poetry with their students in every session. Students perform poems in class, and additional performance opportunities at cultural venues across Chicago occur throughout the year. Poets in Residence publish student poems weekly at

Qualified applicants are:

  • Working poets
  • Experienced in teaching and creating lesson plans
  • Comfortable in classrooms/working with young people
  • Comfortable collaborating with classroom teachers on classroom management and learning goals
  • Comfortable blogging in WordPress (weekly student publications)
  • Enthusiastic about poetry, creativity, and teaching our students
  • Reliable, committed, strong communicators

Applicants who are able to conduct a bilingual Spanish/English residency, and/or with elementary-age teaching experience, are highly encouraged to apply.

CPC seeks to recruit persons of diverse backgrounds. CPC is inclusive of people regardless of their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, marital status, age, physical abilities, political affiliation, religious beliefs or any other non-merit fact, so that all team members feel included, equally valued and supported.

How To Apply
Send a letter of interest and resume/CV to B Sampson at with the subject: Your Name Application for Poet in Residence. Please put your name and relevant file info in your attached documents (Ex: Sampson_Resume.pdf). In your cover letter, please clarify the specifics of your teaching experience (ages, grades, type of teaching, amount of experience), as well as your poetry experience. If you’re excited, if you believe in creativity in the classroom—we want to know about it.

Further Details
This is an hourly paid, independent contractor position (with annual scheduled pay increases for returning poets). Poets are paid for teaching + prep/blog time. Poets must be able to teach program lesson plans, and be ready to design their own—we utilize a mixture of the two to create great programs for each individual classroom. Poet must be able to commit to weekly consistent residency time, build schedule with teachers, and attend training session/s. Poets may have multiple residencies, at multiple schools.

Our program boasts exceptional retention of teaching artists and school partnerships. We’re looking for people who are eager to join that community of educators, artists, students, and community-networked Chicagoans.



“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.