Illinois State Poetry Society
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Benefactors ($50)
Mary Jo Balistreri
Robert Coté
Joe Glaser
Chris Holaves
Cathy Lou Pearson
Ina Perlmuter
Conrad Selznick
Myron Stokes

Patrons ($30)
David LaRue Alexander
William Carey
Christine Cianciosi
Dan Fitzgerald
Georgiann Foley
Marilyn Giese
John Gordon
Lynne Handy
Larry Hays
Katherine Hutchinson
Sheila Kirscher
Jim Lambert
Pam Larson
Tom Moran
Jenene Ravesloot
Marjorie Rissman
Tom Roby
Rick Sadler
Nancy Schaefer
Irfanulla Shariff
Richard Shaw
Judith Tullis

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
Doyle Raymond Vines
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 December 2016 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, January, 2017

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss

As we begin another year, we have the opportunity to shake off any residual sadness and disappointments and gather the opportunity of abundant joy and creative possibilities. The past three hundred and sixty-five days have been filled with exciting ISPS events including the third volume of Distilled Lives and another Gala on November 5. Brewed Awakening has continued to be a success every month as has been our newest haiku chapter in Northbrook, among other gatherings throughout the state.

With a growing number of members, there are more voices sharing their talents and energy as noted at chapter meetings, the NFSPS and ISPS poetry contests plus poems that appear on our website. The Gala this year offered a chance for some of the newer as well as long established members to share a day filled with programs and readings from our newest anthology. The panel presentation on publishing evoked some good questions and encouraged several unpublished poets to more seriously consider sending out their work. Lee Gurga’s commentaries on contemporary haiku also prompted interest and good questions. Morning music and poetry relating to Carl Sandburg added lively entertainment by Mark Dvorak. The day was complete with members reading their poems from our anthology.

The ISPS board is discussing some more events in this coming year including at least two shared reading opportunities with other poetry groups and again sponsoring April Poetry Month library displays. It is not too early to start working on poems about “travel” as this year’s theme. Many more plans will be forthcoming as the new year progresses.

Those of us who live in a colder climate may start to feel a sense of drawing in and disappearing from even ourselves. This might be a good time to observe from the inside out and then record a different outlook around and within us. As we wrap ourselves in sweaters and warm blankets, we can become more removed from life as we freely live it when not encumbered by boots, mittens and other such apparel. What might be hiding in the shadows of our inner selves that call to greater insights, fresh approaches and creative growth in our poetry? With more time to stay indoors and travel quiet places, we have the opportunity to begin a new poetic journey that lasts throughout the coming year.

Happy writing and may good health and inspiration surround you during 2017.

Susan T. Moss

Archive of Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Reading, January 29, 2017

Curt Vevang will be one of the featured poets at Brewed Awakening in Westmont on Sunday, January 29. Curt is a Chicago native. He is a product of Chicago Public Schools and the University of Illinois. He and his bride of over 50 years reside in Palatine. Curt has recently published his first full length poetry book, A Scant Bagatelle. He has also published two rhyming children's books illustrated by 6th grade students. His books are available at Amazon or can be downloaded for free at his website, Curt's poetry has been published in anthologies, poetry magazines, newspapers, newsletters and various poetry websites. Along the way his poems have won honors from the Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets and Patrons and the Journal of Modern Poetry. Many would-be poets say they are encouraged to write poetry by their friends. His friends encourage him not to. (Curt is especially known for the subtle humor in his poems.)

Bring a couple of your poems to share on January 29th. The event runs from 12:30-2:00 p.m. The cover charge of $10 covers coffee (or other beverage) and a muffin (or other snack) – and an afternoon of good poetry. Brewed Awakening is located at 10 West Quincy, directly across the street from the Westmont train station.

Sheila Elliott, Tom Roby, Janette Ravesloot, and Georgian Foley are among the poets who will be appearing at Brewed Awakening later this year. ISPS members are invited to recommend poets they would like to see featured at Brewed Awakening.

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
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.
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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
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