Arlyn Miller of Glencoe Keeps Poetry Alive in Our Kids’ Classrooms

When poetry submissions from kids rolled in for Make It Better’s 2010 Poetry Contest, poet and guest judge Arlyn Miller started to tingle. “That’s my heart-grabber,” she says of kids writing poetry.

A former lawyer and mother of three, Miller found a new calling in the last decade as a poet and a poetry teacher. Through her company, Poetic License, Inc., she leads poetry workshops in schools and communities that get youth, teachers and families excited about verse by exposing them to poems and getting them writing.

“My primary interest is kids writing, and having them see that there is so much great poetry that is meaningful and accessible,” Miller says.

So it’s no surprise that Miller, a North Shore native, found her writing mentor in a classroom, at a young age. She keeps in touch with her creative writing teacher at Glenbrook South High School, Judy Adams.

When she decided to commit herself full-time to poetry and teaching, Miller earned a certificate in creative writing, specializing in poetry, from Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies.

She has taught in numerous North Shore schools and was the poet-in-residence at Sager Solomon Schechter Middle School in Northbrook. She currently volunteers her time in Oakton Community College’s ESL program at the Skokie Public Library.

Miller’s poems have been published in numerous print and online journals, including CALYX, Freefall, Literary Mama, and the Highland Park online journal Muses’ Gallery, and she has served as a judge for poetry contests.

Miller approached Make It Better and suggested a poetry contest as a way to celebrate National Poetry Month, April. “That’s always a month that I get excited about,” she says.

To learn more about Arlyn Miller’s poetry workshops, visit