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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, June, 2016
by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President
The NFSPS convention in Chaska, Minnesota, ended on June 13 and was filled with several thought-provoking presentations and writing activities. Among those who attended were four of us from Illinois and two at-large ISPS members from other states. Next year the national convention will be held in Texas at the Hilton Fort Worth Hotel from June 29-July 2, 2017.
One of the recent convention options was a panel discussion on “The Craft of Poetry.” Although we are already poets, it can be interesting to hear from other accomplished wordsmiths about what makes a poem. Some of the thoughts included the style of how a piece is written, such as staccato or lyrical, and whether it offers a universal theme or one of a more personal narrative. Even in the latter approach, the poem fits somewhere in the human condition but perhaps how is less obvious. Some poets hide in poetry and remain shy with their message while others provide a quicker and more immediate connection. Another panelist’s comment was about lying and truth telling in poetry. There is an emotional truth we often consciously or unconsciously embellish, and Wallace Stevens believed that “A poem is the supreme fiction.”
One presentation offered suggestions on ways to “Build Your Brand” by getting your name and work out into the world. Other ideas included creating a word wheel to spin new combinations of words for a poem, the benefits of using a small press publisher, and how American poetry often reflects place and our national identity. Another session focused on doing free writes to get potential ideas for a poem. This technique requires that the writer’s pen never leaves the paper for at least two minutes, and pausing and self-editing are not allowed.
With much to think about on our own poetry journeys, consider the next ISPS opportunity to appear in our anthology, Distilled Lives Volume 3. The deadline is July 15, and information is available on our website. Also, check your membership status which should be renewed for the next year starting July 1. Last but not least, it is not too soon to start writing or selecting which poems you might want to submit for the 23rd ISPS poetry contest with an October 15 deadline.
As summer drifts forward, may we join in the camaraderie of expectation and grow poems that bloom into potential bouquets.
Susan T. Moss
"Last Sunday" Reading, July 31, 2016
Poets Christine Swanberg and Dave Gecic will be featured at Brewed Awakening, 19 West Quincy (across from the train station), Westmont, on Sunday, July 31, 2016, at 12:30 PM. There will also be an open mic. Cover charge of $10.00 includes coffee (even the special ones) and a snack. The event is sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society and Brewed Awakening.
Christine Swanberg has published several books of poetry, including Tonight on This Late Road, Invisible String, Bread Upon the Waters and Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity. Her work appears in numerous anthologies. She has published hundreds of poems in journals such as The Beloit Poetry Journal, Spoon River Quarterly, Amelia, Chiron, Kansas Quarterly, Creative Woman, Earth's Daughters, Mid-America Review, Powatan Review, Midnight Mind, Sow's Ear, Wind, and others. Swanberg's awards include a featured reading at Seattle’s Frye Museum through Poetswest, first and second place in Peninsula Pulse, first place in Midwest Poetry Review and the Womanspirit Award from Womanspace. She received a merit scholarship to attend the post-graduate seminar at Vermont College, where she worked with the late Lynda Hull. In addition, several of her poems were selected by the Poetry Center of Chicago for a juried readings. She has edited Korone; Confluence: A Legacy of Rock River Valley; Land Connections: Writers of North Central Illinois. She founded the Rock River Poetry Contest and has judged many contests including Pen Women and Illinois Emerging Writers. She has been a teacher for over thirty years.
Dave Gecic is the publisher of The Puddin'head Press which started publishing books in 1985. He has been the host of several poetry venues including, Estelle's, The Gallery Cabaret, and The Oak Park Teen Coffeehouse. His writings have been published in anthologies, literary magazines, and technical journals. By day he does science stuff.
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 1, ISPS Poetry Anthology
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