Program Spotlight: Another School Year in the Books

Student poets shine
at CPC’s annual All Schools Readings

photo: Joshua Tatro
What better way to end the 2022-23 school year than with not one, but two student showcases?
This year, the Chicago Poetry Center brought Poetry Residency to nearly 90 classrooms across the city, engaging approximately 2500 students with weekly poetry lessons. With that much programming, it was only right to expand our annual All Schools Reading over two nights.
Students, families, and teachers packed Haymarket House for a pizza party, followed by a student showcase to celebrate the creativity and dedication that CPC’s residency students brought to their poetry classes each week.

Poets in Residence were delighted to introduce their students on stage, and young poets shared their work in front of an enthusiastic audience.

Poet in Residence Mayda del Valle poses with one of her residency students. Photo: Joshua Tatro

From the courageous politically-inspired poem by a 12th grader to the imagistic nature poem by a 2nd grader, every student was a shining example of the importance of creative self-expression in the classroom. To see more photos from the All Schools Readings, check out our event recap.

photo: Joshua Tatro

Thanks are in order!

Thank you to the cooperating teachers and school administrators that worked in partnership with CPC this year. Thank you to the parents and families who supported their students at the events and throughout the residencies. Thank you to the Poets in Residence who delivered engaging, high-quality poetry lessons week after week. And last but not least, thank you to the residency students of the 2023-24 school year. We wish you a fun and creative summer!

Big thanks to Wintrust for sponsoring the All Schools Reading!

Welcome Rinnah Shaw,
CPC Operations and Resource Coordinator!

The Chicago Poetry Center is thrilled to introduce Rinnah Shaw as the new Operations and Resource Coordinator. Originally from Columbus, OH, Rinnah’s professional experience includes work with Highland Youth Garden, an urban garden in downtown Columbus that combats food insecurity through free fresh food markets and youth programming.

Welcome to the team, Rinnah!

Join us all summer long at
Poetry @ The Green at 320


In partnership with The Green at 320 S. Canal St., we’re excited to host this free weekly reading and open mic series co-curated by CPC’s Poets in Residence Tarnynon Onumonu and Timothy David Rey. Visit our website for location details and to learn more about this month’s featured readers.

CPC’s 2024 Summer Poetry Party:
RSVP now or register to volunteer


You’re invited to our annual summer bash celebrating Chicago’s literary community!
Readings will include poetry by special guest Jane Wong and a showcase of CPC Poets in Residence Alyx Chandler, Ola Faleti, Luz Magdaleno Flores, Lisa Low, Maya Odim, C. Russell Price, Luis Tubens, and Christie Valentin-Bati.

When: Friday July 14

5:30pm – open mic
6:30pm – featured performances
7:30pm – dance party

Where: Haymarket House – 800 W. Buena Ave.
Cost: Free (but donations at all levels are welcome and gratefully accepted)

Space is limited and the event will sell out, so reserve your tickets now.

Looking for a way to get involved? We would love help as we transform the event space, make some magic happen, and get everything back in order when the event is over.

Check out the list below and email if you’re available and interested in helping out.


Greeter/registration table
Bar support (opening cans, distributing water, etc.)
General event support

Shift A: 5:30 to 8 pm
Shift B: 8 to 10:30 pm

Arts Education Programming
Made Possible with Support 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.