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Announcement Details

2020 Poetry Club Information

Happy New Year and Welcome Back!


Life Changer Award: Nomination


I was nominated for a “Life Changer of the Year” award. The winner not only wins big-time funding for their classroom but also their school. If you feel compelled to leave a comment for the judges to read, I would appreciate the support.  Thank you to those who have already commented. It’s been an overwhelming experience and I’m so grateful for your reflections.


LTAB Chicago

We had so many amazing students try-out for LTAB Chicago. Below are the two teams. The four indy poets will compete with their own poem. The group will compete as a group of four. The two alternates will be sacrificial poets and step in with their pieces as needed. Thank you to everyone who participated. Please know that everyone is welcome to join us in February and March to cheer on our middle school and high school LTAB teams.





1. Laine Cibulsuis

2. Avila Matzig

3. Khalid Abdo

4. John Ocampo



1. Angel Argueta

2. Ariana Martinez



1. Laine Cibulsuis

2. Charice Salazar

3. Khalid Abdo

4. Emma Brock





1. Sara Stutler

2. Brooke Majchrowski

3. Anna Badon

4. Laasya Nagumalli



1. Olivia Zaleski

2. Ian Mandley



1. Brooke Majchrowski

2. Olivia Zaleski

3. Laasya Nagumalli

4. Maddie Cyranek


Crossing the Street: Writing Workshop

You are welcome to join the LTAB performers at Crossing the Street writing workshop at Tilden High School in Chicago. We are going on Saturday 2/22. See the attachment for info and a permission slip. The cost is $10/person and that will include lunch. Give permission slip and money to Fairfield or me ASAP. Once the bus is full, we will close the trip.


Slammin the Sun Down: Optional Competition

There is an opportunity for you to compete locally in the suburbs as an indy poet. We will NOT have tryouts and not compete as a school. You are encouraged to sign-up and compete. We have had many students compete in this competition and even hosted it at JFKMS one year.


Here is the info from the organizers:





The Slammin’ the Sun Down Schedule! On Saturday, January 18th, join T-WAAP for the below events!


9am - Final Registration Check-in and Ice Breakers

9:45am - Opening Ceremonies

10:30am - Preliminary Bouts

11:45am - Lunch

12:15am - Writing Workshops

1pm - Open Mic for Writing Workshop

1:45pm - Final Bout

3pm - End


How is the slam styled?

Both the preliminaries and the finals will include 4 rounds.  Each team of up to 5 poets can send up any kind of piece they want in each round – individual pieces, duo pieces, trio pieces, or group pieces.  Poets who have registered as Individuals will be competing between each team round. The winning teams/indys will move on to a final slam in the afternoon.


How can poets register again?

Step 1 – Register a team or indy

Follow this link to register a team or an individual poet: Slammin' the Sun Down 

A registered team can only have up to 5 members; however, any given school can register more than one team for an additional cost and more than one individual poet. THERE IS NO LIMIT TO THE AMOUNT OF STUDENTS A SCHOOL CAN REGISTER. Please fill out the form once per team, meaning if you are registering multiple teams or individuals, please fill out the form multiple times. If you plan to bring audience members, please email with a head count or questions.


Step 2 – Paying for a team or an indy

Registration for Slammin’ the Sun Down is $50 per team of up to 5 members. Schools with more than 5 members can choose to create a second team (for an additional cost) or register poets from their school as individual participants ($10 per poet). This fee will include the cost of full-day participation, lunch, workshops, security, etc.  Scholarships are available for teams or individuals who are unable to fully afford these costs. 

We currently have two options for payment: paypal or by mail. If you would prefer to make a payment in person or have additional concerns regarding the cost of the slam, please email when you register. 

Paypal: a paypal button is located on the bottom of the Slammin’ the Sun Down page at Registration/Payments. Please select the appropriate payment option (team or individual) located under the registration form. 


Who do I contact with questions?

If you have other questions, please contact for more information.


Youth Poet Laureate of Fox Valley:


Submissions are now OPEN!

Don't let your students miss this incredible opportunity to be the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of the Fox Valley region! Run with the support of the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, PEN America, Cave Canem, the Library of Congress, the National Endowment of the Arts, and Penmanship Books, this is a national program that has now become available to students all across the west suburbs. 

Basically, if you are receiving this email, your students are eligible to apply! Please read below for a quick run down of the application process, or refer to our website:


How can my students apply?

We've tried to make the process as simple as possible. To apply, your students must submit the below 3 items to this google form.

  1. A signed poet agreement form (found here)
  2. An artists resume (If your students have never made a resume before, we have an easy-to-use template for them to fill out! Found here)
  3. A poetry portfolio of 5 poems. Four of these poems can be anything the applicant chooses to submit. The 5th poem must be written on the theme "Survival in the Suburbs" (want to help your students write this final poem? We made a workshop to help them! Found here)

And that's it! Any questions you have, don't hesitate to email us at or refer to our website for answers. We're willing to help you in any way possible to make this accessible to your youth!


Most importantly, why should I encourage my students to apply?

The Youth Poet Laureate Program celebrates our nation’s TOP youth poets that are committed to artistic excellence, civic engagement, and social justice. Because we believe the west suburbs are filled with just such youth, we are offering many celebratory advantages to the winner, including:

  • The title of Fox Valley YPL for 1 year.
  • A bundle of poetry books published by Button Poetry.
  • Publication of 5 poems in the National Youth Poet Laureate annual anthology.
  • A featured spot on the National YPL website for your picture and a chosen poem.
  • A reading/featuring tour through the West Suburbs, including a short interview on public access television.
  • Automatic qualification to move onto the next regional competition -- the title of Youth Poet Laureate of the Midwest! The winner of this next level would then become eligible to be considered for the title of National Youth Poet Laureate.


Visiting Artists

Sam “Trump” Harris will be here on February 21. I have John O and Angel A hosting Sam. Please let me know if this works for you, fellas!

This year, six artists will perform and workshop all 8th LA classrooms to hype poetry, writing, performing, and the arts with the eighth graders.

We are hosting artists in the media center and we have chosen hosts! Thank you to all of the volunteers.


International Travel Experience Invitation and Link

As a stand-out student and Poetry Club member, you are deemed eligible and you are invited to learn more about an international travel program to Greece during the summer of 2020 and Thailand in 2021. We had a large group of poetry club members and their families join us this past summer in Costa Rica! We had an awesome group two summers ago in London/Paris/Rome.

We have many students signed up already for Greece—so this is a last call! WE ONLY HAVE TWO SPOTS LEFT!

We have released and announced our 2021 trip—THAILAND!

From the bustling metropolis of Bangkok to the serenity of Saiyoke National Park, you will gain a broad understanding of this spectacular kingdom.

Navigate the Chao Phraya River canals and battle for bargains at busy markets. Experience the warmth of the Thai people and test your spice threshold with their flavorful cuisine. Every destination and experience will add new depth to this immersive tour of Thai culture and its natural surroundings.


The link with information about the itinerary, dates, videos, and cost are located here:


Email me about an early sign-up and/or a repeat traveler discount(s).


There is limited space for this trip; space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. I sincerely hope you will come and learn more. This trip is open to students 6-12th grade. College students: speak to me if you are interested.


Social Media and Poetry Club

Finally, please join the student-led Poetry Club social media sites. Please feel free to contact our Student Communications Department with any upcoming dates, events, poems, videos, that you would like them to feature.


Instagram @Plainfield_poets (Khaled)

Twitter @Plainfieldpoets (Sam)

Snapchat @Plainfieldpoets (Savannah)

Tumblr (Arin)


NOTE TO ALL PEHS STUDENTS: On each of these Poetry Club dates listed above, there is a separate meeting at PEHS with Ms. Fairfield from 2:20-3:00 in Room 418. When coming to JFK, please wait until 2:55 to enter the building and go to the office; OR wait until 3:05  outside and then come straight to my room in 132. We will be starting without you so just come on in!


Let me know if you:

  1. have any questions about club or LTAB
  2. have any questions about the international trip
  3. would like to lead one of the poetry club meetings with a writing prompt


Below is a list of dates to mark on your calendar!

All meetings are in room 132 from 3-4 unless marked differently below.


8/30 Informational Meeting                                                                                                                                             

9/13 Poetry Club—Write about Jordan Bear Pulley of the band “Of Brighter Skies”

9/27 Poetry Club—Binkey Day!

10/11 Try-outs for Talent Show

10/25 Poetry Club—Plainfield’s Got Talent Performer Practice

11/8 “Plainfield’s Got Talent” Show! 6-9pm

11/22 Try-outs for LTAB Chicago

12/4 Thailand International Travel Study Abroad Meeting @ Plainfield Library 5:00pm

12/6 Holiday Party and Open Mic

1/10 LTAB Practice/Club

1/24 LTAB Practice/Club

2/7 LTAB Practice/Club

2/21 Final LTAB Practice/Club (Good luck competitors!)

2/22 “Crossing the Street” Writing Workshop

3/6 Poetry Club

TBD LTAB Preliminaries in Chicago

3/20 Poetry Club

4/17 Poetry Club

5/1 End of the Year Celebration