Poetry Residencies and Pop Ups are in Full Swing!

Poetry residencies are in full swing

with new and returning partner schools

Fall has been a busy season for our Poets in Residence as they’ve launched In-School and After-School Poetry Residencies with the Chicago Poetry Center’s new and returning school partners. We’re excited to welcome back six schools from our 2020-21 residency season and bring poetry to an additional eight new partner schools (and counting) for the very first time.

Luis Tubens shares his love of poetry in Spanish with students at his alma mater, Avondale-Logandale Elementary.

After a year of remote residencies, Ms. Pannell’s fifth grade students at Avondale-Logandale Elementary are enjoying in-person poetry lessons with Poet in Residence Luis Tubens. As a poet who writes and performs in both English and Spanish, Luis is passionate about bilingual education. He considers working with Ms. Pannell’s bilingual classroom “the perfect opportunity to expose the students to another world of literature from Spanish speaking communities both here in the United States and in Latin America.” The result? “The students are able to grasps concepts like similes, metaphors, and alliteration more efficiently,” Luis says.



At Hale Elementary, Poet in Residence Fullamusu Bangura teaches poetry lessons that seamlessly blend literacy skills with creative self-expression.

While learning literacy skills and poetic devices is a cornerstone of our poetry residencies, our work in schools wouldn’t be complete without relationship-building and confidence-building. Social-emotional learning continues to be a critical part of the lessons our Poets in Residence deliver.

Fullamusu Bangura teaches an after-school residency for 6th-8th grade students at Hale Elementary, one of CPC’s new school partners. She explains, “I have loved watching my students go from nervously stepping up for open mics to jumping up to freestyle on our karaoke mic. They are truly a comical bunch, but we balance out our humor with tender moments when we write about our favorite stuffed animals or our love for My Chemical Romance lyrics.”


At the Chicago Poetry Center, we’re thrilled to reengage schools after a year of virtual learning. We’re equally enthusiastic about making new connections with schools that are hosting our Poets in Residence for the first time. The combination of literacy skills and social-emotional learning in our lessons provides an educational, creative, and fun environment for our students, whether they’re writing their first poem ever or have been writing poetry with our teaching artists for years.

We’re Back: In-School Pop Up Assemblies Resume!

For our after school poetry residencies, we like to kick things off with a school-wide Pop Up Poetry Assembly. These events feature three poets performing original works of poetry, sharing the legacy of slam poetry in Chicago, and writing poems on the spot, inspired by students in the room.

These assemblies give students a chance to get excited about poems and meet the Poets in Residence they’ll work with during their school’s poetry residencies.

Our first pop up of the season took place at Hale Elementary. Poets Fullamusu Bangura, Crystal Vance Guerra, and Luis Tubens took the stage and encouraged students to sign up to read, write, and perform poetry after school.

Our annual fundraiser launches in two weeks!

Donate to support our school programs across Chicago and receive a ticket to our virtual night of celebration: No Love For Love. Donations can be bundled by a group of people to fund a full residency for the following school year. (Check out this year’s named residencies.)

Don’t forget to save the date! No Love For Love: Feb 10, 2022.

December 15:

Blue Hour reading series and writing workshop

Join us for a night of poetry as we present the Blue Hour reading series and generative writing workshop. Hosted by series curator Marty McConnell, December’s events will feature poets Elena Bell and Rich Villar.


To learn more, visit the Blue Hour event page. Registration is required for both the reading and the workshop.

This holiday season, we’re thankful

for your support. We wish you

a warm and delicious week.




“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.