Farewell to a Wonderful Winter:
Staying Connected to Communities
with Special Events and More
It’s been a busy few months for the Chicago Poetry Center. While we continue to launch In-School and After School Poetry Residencies at new partner schools, we’ve welcomed two additional Poets in Residence to our team. We’re pleased to share that Chasity Gunn and Isaac Ginsburg Miller have begun working with students on Chicago’s North and Northwest sides, teaching poems in both English and Spanish, and adapting their lessons for enthusiastic English language learners. Read about our new team members on the Poets in Residence page.
Meanwhile, other CPC poets have been teaching and performing in communities all across the city. In January, Davon Clark, Jyreika Guest, Tarnynon Onumonu, and Timothy David Rey shared poems at the Chicago History Museum’s celebration honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Inspired by a keynote address by Donald Lassere, President of the Chicago History Museum, the poets performed original poems as well as poems by other Chicago writers with the themes of community-building and civic engagement.
After the performance, Timothy led a packed room of children and parents through a poetry writing exercise. Participants shared their answers to questions like, “What does community mean to you?” and “Who is part of your community?” Then, using historic and modern protest songs, participants wrote poems that blended lyrics with their own ideas about their communities. Workshop ended with an open mic, during which kids and adults alike read their newly written poems.
In February, Timothy and Tarnynon joined students and parents at Intrinsic Schools for an evening of performances to celebrate Black History Month. The night was filled with music, dance, and of course, poetry.
Poems from the Student Blog
Poet in Residence Spotlight: Joshua Nguyen
“For the Chicago Poetry Center’s pop-up assemblies, I gravitate towards performing poems about my Vietnamese-American identity. I think it comes from the fact that growing up, I wish I saw more Vietnamese-American poets. I think if I did, I would’ve found confidence in my voice earlier. I also like doing poems that make me laugh or fill me with wonder.