Summer 2022 Hiring Call: Poetry Teaching Artists

In-School and After-School Residencies, Chicago Poetry Center

Position: Poet in Residence with the Chicago Poetry Center
Deadline: Sunday, August 28th, 2022

About the Program: The Chicago Poetry Center has been an arts partner to Chicago schools for over twenty years. Our teaching artists (Poets in Residence) are active Chicago poets with teaching experience. Poets in Residence are paired with a school to conduct a 10-20 session residency, starting in Fall and Winter 2022 and ending in Spring 2023. Poets write custom lessons for their residencies, and in each lesson, poets read, discuss, and write poetry with their students. Poets in Residence teach culturally responsive lessons that are tailored to the students in their residency and publish student poems weekly.

Qualified applicants are:

  • Working poets who are enthusiastic about creative self-expression and teaching poetry to students
  • Experienced educators who can create tailored and responsive lesson plans
  • Skilled at working with young people in 2nd-12th grade classroom settings
  • Open to collaborating with cooperating teachers on student engagement strategies and learning goals
  • Comfortable blogging in WordPress (weekly student publications)
  • Reliable and committed communicators

Applicants who can teach in Spanish and English, as well as those with primary and intermediate grade (2nd-5th grade) teaching experience are highly encouraged to apply.

The Chicago Poetry Center values diversity at all levels and understands that a safe and supportive environment is necessary to facilitate our work in valuing and uplifting creative expression. CPC will not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status, age, religion, national origin, marital, parental, or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. We are committed to the principles of equal opportunity, and we strive to go above and beyond the regulations of anti-discrimination law in fostering a workplace of equal opportunity and inclusion for all.

Further Details: This is an hourly paid, independent contractor position (with annual scheduled pay increases for returning poets). Poets are paid for teaching, training, and prep/blog time. Poets must be able to teach CPC lesson plans and to design their own lessons—we utilize a mixture of the two to create customized programs for each individual classroom. Poets must commit to weekly residency sessions through the academic year, attend training sessions, and complete weekly publication of student work via the residency blog. CPC will facilitate the creation of a year-long residency schedule with mutually agreeable weekly set session times for each Poet in Residence and each Partner School. Poets may have multiple residencies within one school and may partner with multiple schools.

Compensation: First-year teaching artists earn $30 per hour (pay scale increases annually). For each hour of instruction, CPC pays for one hour of prep time. Total compensation for each hour of teaching is $60 (2 hrs x $30). CPC pays for training hours and a predetermined set of syllabus prep hours.

How To Apply: Send a letter of interest and resume/CV to Helene Achanzar at with the subject: (Your Name): Application for Poet in Residence. Please put your name and relevant file info in your attached documents (Ex: Achanzar_Resume.pdf). In your cover letter, please clarify the specifics of your teaching experience (ages, grades, type of teaching, years of experience), as well as your experience with poetry. If you’re excited about education, if you believe in creativity in the classroom—we want to know about it.

Position Timeline: Interviews will take place the week of the application deadline, and successful applicants will participate in paid training in September. Poets will begin their residencies between October and November. Additional residencies launch in winter and spring and will be offered to current Poets in Residence as they become available.



“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.