Illinois State Poetry Society
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Benefactors ($50)
Mary Jo Balistreri
Joe Glaser
Chris Holaves
Farouk Masud
Ina Perlmuter
Conrad Selznick
Myron Stokes

Patrons ($30)
David LaRue Alexander
William Carey
Christine Cianciosi
Debbie Crawford
Carole Croll
Dan Fitzgerald
Georgiann Foley
Marilyn Giese
Larry Hays
Katherine Hutchinson
Lee Johnson
Sheila Kirscher
Emma A. Kowalenko
Jim Lambert
Pam Larson
Georgina Milsted
Tom Moran
Jenene Ravesloot
Kathleen Robinson
Tom Roby
Irfanulla Shariff
Judith Tullis
Arthur Voellinger
Donald Wier

In Memoriam
Sally Hanson Calhoun
Nancy Jean Carrigan
David Christensen
Don Cornwell
Phillip Egelston
Patricia Gangas
Chris Holaves
Glenna Holloway
Usha Mahisekar
John Mahoney
Marguerite McClelland
Martha S. Moss
John Pawlik
James Reiss
Marge Samuel
Doyle Raymond Vines
Paul J. Wolf


Illinois State Poetry Society
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Search only ISPS site
Welcome to this website 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 February 2018 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 website.


Upcoming ISPS Meetings


ISPS News Bulletins

A Message from the ISPS President, March, 2017

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss

First, happy and healthy 2018. This new year seems to be going fast, and the board has been planning some exciting future events. April's Poetry Month will once again be celebrated with displays in several libraries which will be updated closer to the time poems are mounted. As of this writing, they include: Aurora, Bloomington (May), Carbondale, Evanston North Branch, Glencoe, Highland Park, Hinsdale, Indian Prairie, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Wilmette, Pontiac, and more to come. The theme is "garden(s)," and the deadline is March 4.

Further events include a reading by members at the Evanston North Branch Library on April 16 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. If interested, you must contact Susan Moss at stm48@hotmail.com to be placed on the reader list. There will also be an event at the Lemont Art Center on April 6 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Poets will share their poems with artists at this reception. The annual Poetry Fest will be at the Harold Washington Library on April 28. ISPS will share a table with Poets and Patrons, and members' books can be sold at the table. Other possible occasions will be announced as April gets closer.

This year also includes the fourth volume of Distilled Lives, our anthology of members' poetry. Submissions and order forms should be sent to Judith Tullis. Two to four poems may be sent, and one or two will be selected for the book. There are separate directions for haiku-related poems. See page 2 of our newsletter for details. A book launch and gala is potentially going to be held in the fall.

We receive fragments of insights, glimmers of hope and despair, also surges of compelling ideas. When we have these calls to possible creativity, it's our duty to ourselves to answer and not put off the words and inspiration that will pass us by if not engaged. With another beginning on the calendar, perhaps our poetry would benefit from some new topics we haven't explored yet.

So many choices to consider include the topic of aging, a wish not yet realized, a nightmare, the stunning beauty of a full moon beaming light across a lake, reactions in a rearview mirror or a time when you realized that your memories are as creative as the way you choose to reformat them on the page. Let's gather the many precious gifts we can give ourselves and then share them with each other.

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss
stm48@hotmail.com

Archive of Presidents' Messages


"Last Sunday" Poetry Reading, April 29, 2018

Poets Faisal Mohyuddin and Naoko Fujimoto will be featured readers at Brewed Awakening, 19 West Quincy (across from the METRA station), Westmont, on Sunday, April 29, 2018, 12:30-2:00 p.m. Cover charge of $10.00 includes beverage and snack. There will also be an open mic.

Faisal Mohyuddin

Faisal Mohyuddin is the author of The Displaced Children of Displaced Children (Eyewear Publishing, 2018), winner of the 2017 Sexton Prize for Poetry, and of the chapbook, The Riddle of Longing (Backbone Press, 2017). His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, Narrative, RHINO, Tinderbox, and elsewhere. He teaches English at Highland Park High School in Illinois, serves as an educator adviser to the global not-for-profit Narrative 4. He lives with his family in Chicago.


Naoko Fujimoto

Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. She was an exchange student and received a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University. Her recent publications are in Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, RHINO, Cream City Review, and many other journals. Her first chapbook, Home, No Home, won the annual Oro Fino Chapbook Competition by Educe Press. Another short collection, Silver Seasons of Heartache, was released by Glass Lyre Press. She is working on her graphic poetry collection, which will be published by Tupelo Press (2019). Recently her first full-length manuscript was accepted by Willow Books in their editor's choice series.


Order Distilled Lives, Volume 3, ISPS Poetry Anthology
Distilled Lives, volume 3 Distilled 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 Anthology
Distilled Lives vol. 2 Distilled 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 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


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