ISPS Member Poems
Poem Index by Poet
Poem Index by Title
ISPS Member Books
To Join ISPS
Mary Jo Balistreri
Cathy Lou Pearson
David LaRue Alexander
Sally Hanson Calhoun
Nancy Jean Carrigan
Martha S. Moss
Doyle Raymond Vines
Paul J. Wolf
To join ISPS through June, , please fill out our Membership Form and mail it with a check for $20.00. You don't have to be an Illinois resident to join ISPS, but you do need to be an ISPS member to have your poems posted in this Web site.
Upcoming ISPS Meetings
A Message from the President, July, 2017
by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President
July 1 marked the beginning of a new two-year term for ISPS board members including chapter facilitators who will be chosen at upcoming chapter meetings. We shall be keeping the same officers with the exception of Wilda Morris who retired and contributed a great deal as the past secretary. We welcome our new secretary, Melissa Huff, who will attend her first board meeting in August. Tom Moran will continue as the Manningham contest chairman but has stepped down as a member-at-large. Thank you to all who have served these past two years.
I recently participated in a week-long poetry workshop in Wisconsin and had the opportunity to join with others who also wanted to hone their work and share ideas. While it can be difficult to write poetry in twelve-minute exercises, work might evolve from those “on demand” sketches. As the week progressed, it became a little easier when able to give myself over to the creative process and supportive group energy. At the end of the session, I had three new poems.
However, it’s important to seek one’s own company and discover new slants on ideas and wordplay. Those many solitary hours are necessary for contemplation that comes with talking to oneself. For many poets, the combination of sharing critique sessions or even attending short workshops lasting just a couple of hours plus alone time can be rewarding.
Besides taking in the warmth of the season, we need to be good keepers of our poetic gardens and consider what the poet Robert Herrick suggested: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may/Old Time is still a-flying.”
Susan T. Moss
"Last Sunday" Reading, July 30, 2017
On Sunday, July 30, Jocelyn Ajami and Elbert Tavon Briggs will be reading their poems at the "Last Sunday" reading sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society and Brewed Awakening, the coffee shop in Westmont. The event will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and includes an open mic. The $10 cover charge entitles each person to coffee or other beverage and a snack. Brewed Awakening is located at 19 West Quincy, across from the METRA station in Westmont.
Jocelyn Ajami is an award winning painter, independent documentary filmmaker and writer. She is the founder of Gypsy Heart Productions, which specializes in documentary projects related to cultural awareness and social justice. Among her award-winning films are Gypsy Heart, Oasis of Peace, and Queen of the Gypsies. Jocelyn has been the recipient of numerous awards, including major grants from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Leadership Foundation, International Women's Forum, and the Goethe Institute. Born in Caracas, Venezuela and educated in Italy and France, Jocelyn speaks five languages. She works and lives in Chicago, USA. You can learn more about her at www.gypsyheartproductions.com.
Elbert Tavon Briggs was born 1952 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He studied at Arizona State University and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. His poems have been published in New Verse News, Caravel Journal, and Seeds Literary & Visual Arts Journal. Elbert served two years in AmeriCorps*VISTA fighting the war on poverty in the Lower Delta.
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 3, ISPS Poetry AnthologyDistilled Lives, Volume 3, showcases the talented voices of sixty-seven Illinois State Poetry Society member poets who deal in a variety of styles about personal catastrophes and triumphs, grounded by the seasons and values of America’s heartland. Quiet pleasures along with quiet griefs are given the same dose of wit and wisdom honed by the work of those with rolled-up sleeves in overalls as well as those with daily commuter passes in briefcases. This is a collection of powerful human stories lived with uniquely Midwestern ethics.
To Sample and Order at Amazon.com
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 2, ISPS Poetry AnthologyDistilled Lives, Volume 2, is a rich and diverse collection of poetry from members of the Illinois State Poetry Society. Represented in the anthology are new word-crafters alongside poets in their nineties who have been writing throughout their lives. There are first-timers as well as Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominee James Reiss and the prolific Joan Colby and Jacob Erin-Cilberto, each with more than a dozen volumes to their credit. You will find formal forms, poems with stylized messages, rhymed lines, and prose-poem paragraphs.The lives distilled here offer a panoply of poetic style and individual creativity, a challenging and comforting gift of words offered by eighty-one representatives of ISPS.
To Sample and Order at Amazon.com
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 1, ISPS Poetry AnthologySeventy-five members of Illinois State Poetry Society have, as their 20th anniversary anthology's title promises, distilled life with its vicissitudes and revelations. Poems weave universal themes in rhyme and free verse while presenting fresh, provocative and sometimes metaphysical insights. Humor, pathos, reverie and existentialism, among other diverse tones, combine in this entertaining and insightful collection.
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