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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, January, 2016
by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President
Another year has drawn to a close, and many ongoing and new members have made a commitment to ISPS. We mourn the passing of several members who are listed on our website and look forward to the start of a haiku chapter on February 21, 2016, at the Northbrook Public Library. Some other exciting plans are also underway with more information forthcoming as they evolve.
We often take an accounting of the past year’s personal accomplishments, and as poets, our writing is one of those markers of time and intention. It is also an opportunity to consider what might be fresh approaches to writing as well. Here are a couple of ideas that might be interesting if you have not tried them already.
One suggestion relates to a recent Wisconsin Public Radio broadcast of Jean Sibelius’s music in celebration of his one hundred and fiftieth birthday. It made a pleasant drive through parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin back to Illinois. The program included sections of his choral symphony entitled Kullervo which was based on the Kalevala, Finland’s national epic. He also created tone poems, musical structures usually in a single continuous movement that evokes a poem’s content. These pieces were based on mythology and folklore and the music spoke for the original words. Both formats are interesting ways to reinvent our own poetry, perhaps in collaboration with a musician.
Another idea, which some of us have tried or are presently doing, is to write a series of poems that relate to one theme that runs through and informs a variety of these works. Both metaphorical and literal portrayals of the central idea can be applied as well as different forms. Examples of a central guiding idea could be journey, memory, loss, love, beginnings and endings among innumerable other possibilities. Perhaps a whole collection might result or a section of a collection. This challenge can allow for a variety of approaches, opinions and deeper research into self and observation that might not occur with only one poem on a given topic.
May the new year bring you inspiration and peace.
Susan T. Moss
"Last Sunday" Reading, February 28, 2016
Poets Kate Hutchinson and Marjorie Skelly will be featured at Brewed Awakening, 19 West Quincy (across from the train station), Westmont, on Sunday, February 28 at 12:30 PM. There will also be an open mic. Cover charge of $10.00 includes coffee and a snack. The event is sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society and Brewed Awakening.
Kate Hutchinson has taught English for 30 years at a large high school northwest of Chicago, and each summer she teaches poetry writing at a local university. Her new book of 50 poems and prose poems centered on the Midwest experience will be released in November of 2015, titled Map Making: Poems of Land and Identity. A chapbook of her poetry, The Gray Limbo of Perhaps, was published in 2012. Kate's poems and creative essays have appeared in dozens of literary magazines and anthologies over the last few years, including Shenandoah, The Sow's Ear, and The Doss Passos Review; she was a 2010 Pushcart prize nominee. Find more of her work at PoetKateHutchinson.wordpress.com.
Marjorie Skelly has won first-place in the Poets and Patrons and the Jo-Anne Hirshfield Poetry Memorial awards contests, along with reaching finalist status for the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Slam in Chicago and twice reaching semi-finalist status with the Word Works Washington Prize. Various incarnations of her short story “Standing in the Dark with my Family,” which appears in print for the first time in this book, were three times given finalist status with the prestigious Glimmer Train Journal, and her short story “Pass the Candied Yams,” not in this collection, won second place in a National Organization for Women contest. “Bus Fare,” also appearing in this book, was nominated for an Illinois Arts Council award. Skelly has taught English at Loyola University of Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University and poetry and fiction writing at a variety of venues.
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