Product Manager

Poetry Foundation

61 West Superior Street Chicago, IL 60654
Chicago, IL 60611




Oct 08, 2020

Product Manager

While we are currently working remotely, the Product Manager should be based in Chicago and will be expected to work in our River North office once our building reopens.

At the Poetry Foundation, we exist to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. Poetry Magazine, published by the Poetry Foundation, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. The Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry.

As the Product Manager reporting to the Chief Technical Officer and Director of Digital Programs, you’ll be responsible for bringing our vision to life by ensuring the success, efficiency, and continued improvement of and our digital projects.

The Objectives You Will Meet As the Product Manager, you will be responsible for product management and forward-thinking innovation across our digital enterprise. In this role, you will meet several key objectives.

Product Management for All Digital Platforms: Oversee the launch of new features and projects, manage existing features and projects, and ensure all are scoped and run effectively.

Project Management Across Teams and Tools: Collaborate with internal teammates and external vendors and manage workflows to achieve outcomes.

Digital Development: Participate in the organization’s digital development in the long-term while also being thoughtful, data-driven, and results-driven in managing immediate needs.

How You Will Meet These Objectives

Product Management for All Digital Platforms

Oversee online management for original media publication delivery including audio
poems, videos, and podcasts

Monitor site performance for all sites and apps

Manage site updates

Prioritize and track maintenance tickets

Write project requirements

Track project schedules and budgets, monitor project scope, and process invoices

Digital Development

Review project scope documents to ensure they reflect the Foundation’s long-term digital strategy goals and immediate technology needs

Collaborate with the Chief Technical Officer and Director of Digital Programs to develop and roadmap long-term digital goals with an emphasis on evolving to meet changing user needs

Project Management Across Teams and Tools:

Collaborate with, and project manage a variety of third-party vendors

Collaborate with the Web Producer in the day-to-day activities necessary for the timely publication of all the website content

Propose workflow improvements based on the evolving technological landscape

Develop, organize, and support training for team members inside and across teams to improve outcomes within our publishing environment and technical stack

Six Month Roadmap

Over the past six months you have become the go-to person for website and publishing support across the foundation. You are a well-respected and supportive team member having developed strong relationships with both managers and staff throughout the organization.

At the same time you’ve become the trusted partner and collaborator for the CTO and Director of Digital Programs, both supporting and providing innovative solutions to meet its key mission to ”discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience”.

You have become deeply knowledgeable of the systems, vendors and processes to effectively manage the main website, our website sub brands and mobile applications: The Poetry Foundation Website (, the Poetry Out Loud website (, and American Life in Poetry (

You are on top of all the technical and communication needs associated with maintaining our high profile websites, managing outages, scheduling and following up on infrastructure maintenance windows and appropriate communication with our internal and external teams.

You have effectively managed in close collaboration with the CTO and Director of Digital Programs and internal and external stakeholders the redesign and launch of the new American Life in Poetry website, the Harriet blog refresh, initiated the process to reimagine the Poetry Foundation mobile app, and stayed on top of managing cost-saving changes to our processes to stay to budget and keep our online publishing world as efficient as possible.

Who You Are

At the Poetry Foundation, we welcome and embrace a host of different backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches to work. We also understand the importance of being transparent in our expectations. We do not expect candidates to “check-the-box” on all the below.

A well-matched candidate will bring:

A holistic view of the technical landscape. The Product Manager will have exposure to and experience with back-end development and front-end user experience, with an ability to look at the big picture when making decisions and executing on projects. The Product Manager will have experience in common content management systems, and ticketing and tracking systems for managing remote teams of technical support engineers and client managers will be very valuable.

Fluency in communicating with software developers. The Product Manager will have an easy fluency in communicating with software engineers inside and outside the team, and a strong understanding of current technology trends. The ability to speak technically and with authority to software development teams, while being able to communicate without jargon and with clarity for non-technical staff is a huge advantage for this role.

An understanding of navigating change and ambiguity. The organization is experiencing change and growth in several ways. The Product Manager will find transitions, pivots, and growth spurts exciting, manageable, and an opportunity to structure chaos and embrace innovation.

Commitment to poetry and the arts. The Product Manager will be committed to the Poetry Foundation’s mission of celebrating poetry, creating a home and space for it, and ensuring it reaches as many people as possible.

How We Invest in You

Compensation: We offer competitive compensation ranging from $77,000 – $84,000.

The provisions of the benefit plan are subject to change.

Health Insurance: Medical, Dental, Vision, and Prescription drug insurance are available to full-time employees. The Foundation pays 100% of employee premiums.

Retirement Plan: After one year of service and 1,000 hours worked, the Foundation will contribute 10% of the employee’s regular salary to the employee’s retirement plan account, and the employee must contribute 5% of their regular salary. All employees may contribute non-matched pre-tax earnings at any time.

PTO Policy: All full-time employees are eligible for two weeks of vacation and six personal/sick days. Those employees with management responsibilities are eligible for three weeks of vacation. Additionally, the Foundation is closed for nine holidays per calendar year.

FSA Benefits: Full-time employees have the opportunity to set aside pre-tax dollars for a Healthcare FSA, Dependent Care, Transit Expense, and Parking Expenses.
Technology: All employees are provided with the hardware needed to perform their duties. This includes a laptop and accessories.

Perks: All employees receive a complimentary subscription to Poetry magazine and special borrowing privileges from the non-circulating library collection.

Equal Opportunity: The Poetry Foundation values the perspectives and talents of a diverse staff and is committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and employs personnel without regard to race, color, age, pregnancy, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, veteran status, marital status, disability, or any other bases protected by law.


Physical Requirements and Work Environment:

Remaining in a stationary position, often sitting for prolonged periods in an indoor office environment

Must be able to navigate throughout various offices of the building

Communicating with others to exchange information and perform duties

Ability to read materials on a computer screen

Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers

Moderate noise level consistent with an office environment

More About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation pursues its mission to celebrate and share the best poetry with the largest audiences through a family of programs. Learn more about them here: