Illinois Humanities, in partnership with the Poetry Foundation, Brooks Permissions, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, is currently accepting submissions from youth in grades K-12 for the Sixth Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards (GBYPA). The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 6, 2022. For more information about GBYPA, click here.
This virtual workshop on Saturday, March 19th is for Illinois teachers, parents, and guardians working with grades K-5. This workshop, in partnership with the Chicago Poetry Center, will be led by one of their poets in residence, Leslie Reese.
Leslie Reese is a poet, writer, and interdisciplinary arts educator. In the words of one classroom teacher, Leslie has been “galvanizing, clarifying, decorating, and inspiring” students with poetry since her first stint as a poet-in-residence in Detroit Public Schools with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project more than 20 years ago. Since earning her MA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College, Leslie has been a reading mentor for kindergarteners, a poetry instructor for teens, and a literacy coach facilitating reading and writing workshops for adult learners. She is the founder of folklore & literacy, which uses books, visual art, music, movement, and performance as gateways to literacy, discovery, and self-expression. In addition to authoring the poetry collections, Upside Down Tapestry Mosaic History, and Urban Junkstar, Leslie has composed and performed original poetry for projects with musical luminaries violinist Regina Carter, and bassist Marion Hayden.
On Saturday, March 19th, the Chicago Poetry Center will lead a workshop on strategies for teaching poetry geared towards teachers, parents, and guardians. The workshops will be held from 12:00-1:00 p.m. CST for teachers of grades K-5 and from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CST for teachers of grades 6-12. Click here to sign up for the 6-12th session.
Continuing the tradition started by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate herself in 1969, the Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards celebrates the creative expression of youth throughout Illinois. The selection committee chooses two winning poems per grade level as well as up to three honorable mentions. Winning poets receive a small cash prize along with a book of Gwendolyn Brooks poetry from Library of America, a poetry chapbook containing all the winning poems and honorable mentions, and are honored in an awards ceremony scheduled for Saturday, August 20, 2022, to take place at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, if public health condition permit, otherwise it will take place virtually.