Poetry Programs Spotlight: Student Poems Inspire Visual Art

For Chicago Poetry Center Poets and Students, Inspiration is an Exchange

“i am who i choose / i’ll never quit looking for / the sunlight in me” – Yailin V., Washington Elementary.
Click on the image above to watch the video.
At the Chicago Poetry Center, we’re constantly in awe of how inspiring our Poets in Residence are. Whether they’re connecting with students via weekly In-School Residencies or giving dynamic performances during our Virtual Pop Up Assemblies, our poets always make an impression. We also can’t forget the ways CPC students and their poems energize their teaching artists.
CPC Poet in Residence, Davon Clark
After a day of teaching, Poet in Residence Davon Clark felt particularly moved by his students’ haiku-inspired writing and decided to pair their poems with some of his own visual art. He shared the video on Chicago Poetry Center’s social media pages. “I practiced some color grading on some spare clips from the past year and sat with their words for a bit,” he explained.
“So silly, so small / So weird, yet so fun / So out there, yet so inside” – Lauren D., Washington Elementary.
Click on the image above to watch the video

As our 20-week residencies move past their midpoint, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the impact of our programs. Our Poets in Residence not only teach fun, engaging poetry lessons, but they also facilitate the exchange of art and ideas among students, teachers, and schools. Davon summarized it perfectly when he wrote, “I really appreciate the opportunity to be involved in the beautiful, reciprocal arrangement of education.”

In celebration of Black women in history, CPC student poet Cyniah from Miles Davis Elementary recites “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.

Click on Cyniah’s photo to watch the video.

Discover Poems by CPC Poets in Residence

Along with teaching Poetry Residencies at Haugan Elementary and Avondale-Logandale Elementary, Logan Lu (Luis Tubens) showcases his dynamic voice and poetic skills in our Virtual Pop Up Assemblies. Click here to watch his timely message and beautiful poem, “Abuela’s Kitchen.”
With a special gift for teaching poetry to younger students, Leslie Reese brings compassion and dynamic energy to her In-School Residencies at Swift Elementary, Shoesmith Elementary, and Avondale-Logandale Elementary. Listen to her lush, imagistic poem “Blood Around My Neck” by clicking here.

We hope these warmer, sunnier days bring you your own inspiration and creative energy.



“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.