Programs Spotlight: Celebrating Student Poets for National Poetry Month

Celebrating CPC Student Poets for National Poetry Month

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’re highlighting some of the wonderful student poems that have come out of Chicago Poetry Center’s In-School Poetry Residencies this year. Since the Residencies launched in Fall 2020, it’s been a delight to see poetry from all grade levels fill the Student Poetry Publication Blogs. From sparse haikus to imaginative self-portraits, CPC student poets have used each weekly lesson as an opportunity for creativity and self-expression.

We’re amazed by the CPC student poets and endlessly proud of them for their resilience, strength, and creativity during this unprecedented time.

Who do the students at Haugan Elementary consider heroes? Click the image above to watch a video and find out.

For the Love of Odes

One of the most popular poetic forms we’ve seen across Residencies this year has been the ode. At Swift Elementary, 2nd graders wrote odes to things they found “wonderous”: the sea, flower petals, and even germs. “Germs are wondrous because they are powerful,” wrote Gegeenkhuslen U.

A delightfully ironic ode about sibling love came from Du Bois Elementary, where 8th grader Lawryn C. lovingly compared a sibling to “a buzzing bee and leaves falling off a tree” in a poem titled “Ode To My Little Gremlin Sister.”

What’s even better than a lullaby? A soothing “good night” poem, of course. Click the image above to watch good night poems written by Skinner West students.

Delicious Dishes

A recurring theme in many of the Residency lessons was food. Whether focused on favorite dishes or mealtime memories, CPC students poets wrote enthusiastically about about all things culinary. At Taft Freshman Academy, 9th grader Wellington J. wrote a poem entitled “The Sound of the Block” that proves that you’re never too old to chase down an ice cream truck. In a poem simply titled “Spaghetti,” Xochitl H., a 5th grader at Shoesmith Elementary, wrote what might be the perfect couplet:


Noodles so long, I slurp them with ease
And when I’m done, I ask for “more please!”


During National Poetry Month, we encourage you to consider the ways poetry fills your own life – whether it’s during moments of awe and wonderment, or in the small joys of a delicious snack. Through their poems, our students teach us that if we’re receptive to it, poetry is everywhere.

Two Students Poems for the Week Ahead

CPC Student Poet Wins

State Poetry Out Loud Competition

The Chicago Poetry Center is proud to partner with the Illinois Arts Council Agency as Chicagoland Regional Hosts of the National Poetry Out Loud Teen Poetry Competition. Big thanks to Timothy David Rey, POL Coordinator and CPC Poet in Residence, for running the show. And major congratulations to CPC student poet Catherine Herrera from Taft High School for her win at State! Good luck at Nationals, Catherine!

May poems fill your life during

National Poetry Month and beyond.



“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.