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Timmothy J. Holt
David LaRue Alexander
Nancy Jean Carrigan
Martha S. Moss
Paul J. Wolf, Ph.D
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, 2014
by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President
Several other ISPS members and I will be attending the NFSPS convention in Salt Lake City in late June. This yearly event, held in varying parts of the country, offers a variety of opportunities to hear informative speakers, meet new poets and visit with those already known from previous years. Energy runs high with anticipation of presentations by fine poets, possibly winning contest awards and sharing optional daily open mic readings.
Energy should also be part of our writing. Recently, I spent a week in a poetry workshop at The Clearing in Door County. Three other ISPS members were also there and shared their work and discussions about writing poetry. One topic was how we fill our poetry with vitality. Some of the ways include keeping a balance or tension such as between gain and loss, past and present, opposites of feelings, levity and seriousness, among many other themes, tones and approaches.
It can be a challenge to find new and fresh approaches to poetically transcribing something calling to us. Early drafts may be list-like in recording the event, feeling or observation and thereby, miss the underlying breath and subtext driving the desire to make a subject more elevated and inspirational. At this juncture, we need to evaluate what drew us to the initial idea and then delve deeper into our intimate self, and the motivating élan that needs to share something with a larger audience.
When I considered how I get energy into my poetry, I took a cause and effect approach. First the idea, thing, etc. emanates its vigor and kindles my interest. Then I write down these initial responses and try to capture the intention and goal to further discover yet a deeper purpose– the soul of the poem. Next, I step back, take a walk or do something else to provide a little time away in order to let the first thoughts marinate and form their own voice that often speaks to me if given a chance.
The following phase is the reworking of the structure, word choice and rhythm that help energize the poem. Eventually, the poem dances or in some way slips off the page into a broader realm of existence, thus combining the message and animation to deliver a poem. At completion, I have tried to capture, hold and then send out to the world a piece of myself that will perhaps also speak to others.
To be a poet is know what and how something affects us. Detecting and defining what motivates an idea, listening to its message and deciphering the code into poetic language become the ultimate challenges and creative joy.
Susan T. Moss
"Last Sunday" Reading, August 31, 2014
The next "Last Sunday" reading at Brewed Awakening on August 31 will feature readings by Al DeGenova and Larry Janowski. Brewed Awakening is located at 19 West Quincy (across from the train station), Westmont, IL. The event will begin at 12:00 noon with a half hour of music by Bill Johnson. The poetry readings will be from 12:30-2:00 PM. Cover charge of $7.00 includes coffee and a snack. There will be an open mic. These readings are sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society and Brewed Awakening.
Albert DeGenova is a poet, editor, teacher, and blues saxophonist. He is the author of two books of poetry and three chapbooks. Timberline Press published his latest book, A Good Hammer, in 2014. In June of 2000 he launched the literary/arts journal After Hours, for which he continues as publisher and editor. DeGenova received his MFA in Writing from Spalding University, Louisville.
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 1, ISPS Poetry Anthology
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