Residency Guide

What is a Writer in Residence?

Writers in Residence are teaching artists specializing in creative writing (poetry, fiction, non-fiction) in the K-12 classroom. The creative writing residencies taught by these writers help students engage with writing as an art form. Engaging students creatively gives them the opportunity to experience writing as a tool for self-expression rather than seeing it as an adversary. Through the inspiration of wordplay, literary models, forms, mixed media, and other arts, students can shape and play with language to create unique, and often poignant, writing.

How does the Poetry Center fit in?

The Poetry Center is dedicated to connecting classroom teachers and teaching artists with each other and providing each with the resources necessary to develop and create their own residency experiences. Creative writing residency experiences can be varied and customized to meet the needs of your community. Some particularly successful projects we’ve helped to facilitate in the past include:

• Students at Sam Hughes elementary school worked with teaching artist, writer, dancer, and choreographer Kimi Eisele to write concrete poems and then sandblast them into the sidewalks of their school.
• Students have worked with local poets to create their own stories and poems, compile an anthology, and present their work at a final performance. (See the Poetry Center’s 2008-2012 K-8 Imaginative Writing Residency Program.)
• Local poets have visited classrooms throughout the city to give special poetry readings, answer questions for students exploring careers in the writing field, or provide other specialized services around National Poetry Month or Heritage months.

Do-it-yourself Residency Guide

Our Residency Guide is designed to make it easier for teachers to bring a Writer in Residence into the classroom. 

How to Make the Most of Your Residency

Step-by-step instructions on how to arrange for a residency, what to expect, how teaching artists and classroom teachers can collaborate. More.

Funding a Residency

The national standard for Teaching Artist’s wages is $50/hour. While schools are often strapped for cash, there are several grants for which individual teachers can apply. More.

Find a Writer (Teaching Artist)

The Tucson Pima Arts Council has compiled a database of qualified teaching artists in Pima County, called the TPAC Teaching Artist’s Roster. Several of the Imaginative Writing Residency graduates are on this roster. The Poetry Center only hires and recommends rostered artists, who are experienced teachers and writers who complete professional development training on a regular basis and have proven themselves as experienced practitioners of their discipline. Click here to view the TPAC Teaching Artist’s Roster.

Arizona Board of Regents