Programs Spotlight: National Poetry Month & CPC Opportunities!

National Poetry Month is here!

Between launching In-School and After School Residencies for the spring term and visiting schools for Pop-Up Assemblies, the Chicago Poetry Center’s Poets in Residence have had quite the busy National Poetry Month. Not only are they leading poetry lessons in nearly 90 classrooms across 30 partner schools, but they’re also writing on-the-spot poems dedicated to students at National Poetry Month-themed performances at schools all over the city. What better way to celebrate this special month than with new poems from our Residency students and our Poets in Residence.

At Twain Elementary, our Ingenuity Creative Schools Fund partner, Joy Young began her 6th grade residencies this month with a lesson on extended metaphors. In a poem titled “Cereal Thoughts,” student poet Lucas H. writes: My thoughts are cereal. / I have so many thoughts, / each little piece of cereal / In the milk is just one thought.

At Amundsen High School, Poet in Residence Russell Price encourages creative and honest self-expression among the students in Ms. Widman’s Creative Writing class.

Russell Price’s students at Amundsen High School began the month with poems that incorporate poetry and historical research. Visit our student poetry blog to read some of their reportage poems.

Poet in Residence Tarnynon Onumonu at an assembly at Chalmers Elementary.

A special assembly at Haugan Elementary highlighted that April is also Arab American Heritage Month. During the InstaPoem game, Tarnynon Onumonu wrote beautiful rhymes based on interview responses from a student named Noah. As another poet asked Noah questions, Tarnynon crafted this impromptu poem on stage:

He dances on sun rays, light as the air we breathe, and flies by on his way to Tokyo to take in all the beautiful scenes. And you know he’s super fit, his favorite class is PE. So don’t be surprised to see him running far away for pizza in Europe, in Italy. He’ll burn the calories, a true sportsman indeed!

If you enjoyed these poems, don’t forget to check out others on our student blog. Whether you’re a poetry writer, poetry reader, or simply poetry-curious, we wish you an inspiring April and hope that poems bring you joy all year round!

Join the Chicago Poetry Center team!

Want to get involved at the CPC? Check out our hiring call for these two positions!

We’re looking for versatile, dedicated individuals to join CPC’s dynamic and supportive office team. We seek to fill two roles: Operations & Resource Coordinator and Programs Intern. Visit our website for full job descriptions. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and early applications are encouraged.

Looking for another way to get involved?

We’re looking for new board members this season!
We’re excited to launch an open call for new board members. As a member of the board, you will have the opportunity to shape the direction of the organization and help CPC make a meaningful impact on the literary landscape of our city. We are looking for individuals with a variety of skills, experiences, and capacities to provide support for the organization. Visit CPC’s website to learn more about the board and how to apply.

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.