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Part-time ,
submitted by
Elizabeth Sampson

Poet in Residence with the Chicago Poetry Center

Deadline: Friday, August 30 – applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled

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 Chicago poets with K-12 teaching experience. Poets in Residence are paired with schools to teach poetry lessons in 10 to 20-week in-school or after school residencies.

Poets in Residence:

  • write custom lessons for their residencies
  • teach engaging, culturally responsive residency sessions
  • read, discuss, and write poetry with their students in each lesson
  • publish student poems each week
  • have paid opportunities to read and perform their own poems at schools, community centers, and more

Qualified applicants are:

  • enthusiastic about teaching poetry to students
  • experienced educators who can create structured and responsive lessons
  • skilled at working with young people in K-12 classroom settings
  • open to collaborating with cooperating teachers on student engagement strategies and learning goals
  • comfortable using WordPress to publish student poems
  • 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.

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. 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.

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. CPC works in an ADA accessible building with gender neutral bathrooms. CPC supports a staff, teaching artist team, and program participant community that is diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, and ability, and leadership continuously audits our practices to deepen our inclusion.

Further Details: This is an hourly paid, independent contractor position (with annual scheduled pay increases for returning poets). Poets are paid for training, instruction, and prep. 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. Weekly residency sessions will take place at mutually agreeable times for each Poet in Residence at their partner school(s). Poets may have multiple residencies within one school and may partner with multiple schools.

Compensation: First-year teaching artists earn $30 per hour, and the pay rate 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 pre-term and mid-term prep hours.

Position Timeline: There are multiple Poet in Residence positions open, so we encourage applicants to share this opportunity with others. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Successful applicants will participate in paid training in September. While some Poets in Residence begin their first residencies between October and December, some will not begin teaching till winter or spring. Residencies will be offered to Poets in Residence as they become available.

Job Type: Permanent
Compensation: $30 per hour
Location: Chicago