Illinois State Poetry Society
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Benefactors ($50)
Bruce Amble
Lampis Anagnostopoulos
Michael Eddie Anderson
Tim Breitzmann
Robert Coté
Georgiann Foley
Chris Holaves
Pam Larson
John Li
Usha Mahisekar
James Reiss

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

In Memoriam
Sally Hanson Calhoun
Nancy Jean Carrigan
David Christensen
Don Cornwell
Patricia Gangas
Chris Holaves
Martha S. Moss
John Pawlik
Paul J. Wolf
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 June 2015 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, April, 2015

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss

As we drift into warmer days and ease of moving beyond housebound routines, I hope that you are going to respond to a recent survey of ISPS members about a possible future gathering to celebrate poetry. The three possible locations include the Chicago area, Pontiac or Springfield. This event could be one day or could be over a couple of days. Workshops, opportunities to read poetry and many yet-to-be decided plans would be offered. Please respond by hardcopy to the ISPS secretary, Wilda Morris, 499 Falcon Ridge Way, Bolingbrook, IL 60440 or by email to

Another way to participate in sharing poetry is to attend this year’s National Federation of State Poetry Societies convention in St. Petersburg, Florida, from June 24-28. Several ISPS members plan to attend interesting workshops and enjoy camaraderie with new and known poets.

On the subject of sharing poetry, I was recently at two different events where cento poetry was written and presented. Cento is the Latin word for “patchwork,” and this type of poetry borrows lines from other poets to create a new poem. Variations of this could be phrases rather than a whole line, and even using your own work might be a good challenge. It’s important to clarify that the new poem is a cento or modification, however.

One more idea for trying something fresh for spring is to write a poem that will fit on a postcard and which relates to the picture on the card. It could be a persona poem from a traveler or a response to something observed or felt relating to the scene and perhaps include a salutation to a real or fictional reader.

Now that the blooming season has arrived, we might find new inspiration in the surprise of blue scilla waving like inland seascapes over lawns and parkways. Perhaps the call of cardinals and other birds awakens us from winter’s long nights. It’s surely a time when we find fresh reminders of life reinventing itself, just as we too discover ways and words to celebrate beginnings. As recently deceased poet Steve Kowit stated, "Let it all influence you."

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss

Archive of Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Reading, June 28, 2015

Two highly regarded Chicago-area poets, Charlotte Digregorio and Beth Staas, will be featured at Brewed Awakening, 19 West Quincy (across from the train station), Westmont, on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 12:30 PM. There will also be open mic. Cover charge of $7.00 includes coffee and a snack. The readings are sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society and Brewed Awakening.

Charlotte Digregorio is the author of six books including, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. Her books are sold in forty-four countries, and have been featured by book clubs. She has won thirty-three poetry awards and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She speaks at national writer's conferences, and is a writer-in-residence at universities. She hosted and produced, "Poetry Beat," a radio program on public broadcasting. She is the Second Vice President of the Haiku Society of America. She has given dozens of haiku workshops at libraries and schools, and judges national poetry contests. Her poems have been translated into six languages and are exhibited on public transit, in banks, supermarkets, museums, apparel shops, botanic gardens, restaurants, and libraries.

Beth Staas holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in English. She taught writing at the high school and college level for some twenty years and has been listed in Who’s Who among American Teachers. She has been published in numerous national periodicals. Her poetry has won or placed in numerous contests and has been included in several anthologies and websites. Three of her novels are listed on, the most recent entitled Beside the Golden Door, a family memoir. She is past president and current treasurer of Poets and Patrons and member of ISPS and Poets Club of Chicago.

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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