Poetry Programs Spotlight: Honoring Black Poets For Black History Month

The Chicago Poetry Center Celebrates

Black History Month with Intrinsic Schools

Throughout Black History Month, Chicago Poetry Center Poets in Residence have honored Black writers through their lessons for In-School Poetry Residencies.

CPC poet Tarnynon Onumonu shares passionate poetry during the recording session.

This week, the Poetry Center was excited to partner with Intrinsic Schools for a cross-campus community event in celebration of Black history. With support from the recording studio at GAP Community Center, CPC Poets performed original spoken word pieces alongside Intrinsic student poets. The event was filmed and presented as a virtual screening for the school’s students, faculty, and families.

With the support of Intrinsic students, CPC poet Jyreika Guest sings and performs a poem.

With their custom “I Am Black History” masks, courtesy of Intrinsic Schools, poets Jyreika Guest and Tarnynon Onumonu cheered on student poets between their performances. The students shared original writing, as well as recitations of poems by Langston Hughes, Yusef Komunyakaa, Maya Angelou, and Nikki Giovanni.

This week the event was screened on Wednesday night for students, families, and staff who shared their excitement about the night’s poems. Along with cheers and snaps for the performers, the chat was full of warm exchanges between students and faculty. While remote learning keeps us physically distant, celebrations such as these help bring school communities closer together.

We celebrate Audre Lorde’s birthday with

this video of student poems inspired by

her poetry.

New Student Poetry:

Learning Poetic Devices and Forms

The glistening waves / Blue hues are the only sight / Beautiful ocean -Giana E. from Avondale-Logandale Elementary. Click the image above for more Valentine’s Day haikus.
I had a cat / Who was so fat / He could not even / Sit on his mat
-Emily M. from Washington Elementary. Read more rhymes inspired by Gwendolyn Brooks by clicking the image above.

Thanks to our generous donors, this year’s campaign raised funds to support 27 Poetry Residencies!

Couldn’t make it to the event? There’s still time to donate!

All donors are celebrated on our donor recognition and residency sponsor pages.

Thank you for being part of our community.

Community makes this work come to life.


Education Programs are supported 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.