Illinois State Poetry Society
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Benefactors ($50)
Bruce Amble
Michael Eddie Anderson
Tim Breitzmann
Georgiann Foley
Timmothy J. Holt
Jim Lambert
Pam Larson
Usha Mahisekar
Diann Martin
James Reiss

Patrons ($30)
David LaRue Alexander
Ann Carlson
David Christensen
Christine Cianciosi
Joan Colby
Robert Coté
Joe Glaser
John Gordon
Larry Hays
Dan Kenny
Sheila Kirscher
Tom Moran
Marcia Pradzinski
John Quinn
Jenine Ravesloot
Marjorie Rissman
Tom Roby
Ryan Sauers
Nancy Schaefer
Irfanulla Shariff
Judith Tullis
Gail Vescovi

In Memoriam
Nancy Jean Carrigan
David Christensen
Don Cornwell
Patricia Gangas
Chris Holaves
Martha S. Moss
John Pawlik
Paul J. Wolf, Ph.D
New Poems

Search only ISPS site
Welcome to this Web site for the Illinois State Poetry Society, connecting ISPS members with each other and with the general public. Here you'll find information for and about this group of serious poets. Since June of 2000 we have been posting bimonthly editions of poetry written by ISPS members. All ISPS members are invited to submit a poem each two-month period. (How and when to submit) You are invited to read the ISPS member poems posted in October 2014 as well as previous postings.

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

ISPS News Bulletins

A Message from the President, August, 2014

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

The big news is the publication of our second volume of Distilled Lives containing eighty-one of our members' poetry. It also has wonderful blurbs by Kevin Stein, Illinois Poet Laureate; Estella Lauter, Door County Poet Laureate; Jeremy Downes, most recent past President of NFSPS; and Ralph Hamilton, Rhino Poetry Editor. If you didn't submit this year, consider the next opportunity and in the meantime, get an anthology to enjoy reading an exciting variety of poems.

Now that the annual NFSPS convention is over, Judith Tullis, Kathy Cotton, Jim Lambert, Gary Ketchum, Amy Jo Zook and I have several good poetry-related ideas and also ways that might enrich what ISPS could offer its members. Next year's gathering sounds very promising and will be held in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Some highlights of this year's presentations might be useful or at least interesting. For example, Rob Carney mentioned that our poems could help deconstruct myths, but we should consider creating our own primal myths and origin stories. Poems can also make someone or something special. They offer ways to turn a complex idea into the familiar and find a name for the shadows of our lives. Each effort should incorporate action verbs and avoid "flourish."

Diane Glancy stated that we need to "order the disorder" of our ideas and express the heartbeat of a poem. The outcome is a mediation between "a hostile world and us" as Picasso also tried to achieve in his art.

A lecture by Joel Long emphasized reaching beyond self to write something new and then discover what we didn't know before the poem took us there. We gather the things we need and refer to them through images, ideas, theme and story details. Follow the sound of the poem to attain the music it holds.

Good poems, according to Lance Larson, need a "volta" (turn). This is a sudden leap to a different terrain – the heart that reconfigures the poem. Shakespeare's sonnets offer examples with pithy moments as does haiku in the second or possibly third line. The juxtaposition of two opposites often work to setup a turn, and there can be more than one in longer poems.

Perhaps, as the proverbial saying states, "there is nothing new under the sun"; however, there is much to learn, construct and enjoy in the forging of poetry.

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss

Archive of Past Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Reading, Ocober 26, 2014
Distilled Lives Volume 2

On Sunday, October 26, come celebrate the publication of Distilled Lives, Volume 2. Contributors who attend will be able to read the poems published in the book. If time allows, contributors to Volume 1 will read their poems from that volume. If more time remains, there will be open mic. 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. These readings are sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society and Brewed Awakening.

Order Distilled Lives, Volume 1, ISPS Poetry Anthology

book cover
Seventy-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.
Sneak Peek
To Order

Contact Us

If you have questions or feedback regarding this Web site, please click a link below to send an e-mail to a member of the ISPS Web Committee. We welcome your thoughts.

Alan Harris
Larry Turner
William Marr

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