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

Patrons ($30)
David LaRue Alexander
William Carey
Christine Cianciosi
Debbie Crawford
Carole Croll
Goldie Ann Farkonas
Dan Fitzgerald
Georgiann Foley
Marilyn Giese
John Gordon
Larry Hays
Katherine Hutchinson
Lee Johnson
Sheila Kirscher
Emma A. Kowalenko
Jim Lambert
Pam Larson
Bonnie Leer
Georgina Milsted
Tom Moran
Jenene Ravesloot
Kathleen Robinson
Tom Roby
Irfanulla Shariff
Ruth Siburt
Keith Skilling
Joe Solberg
Judith Tullis
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
Ina Perlmuter
James Reiss
Marge Samuel
Doyle Raymond Vines
Paul J. Wolf

Illinois State Poetry Society
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New Haiga

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 and haiga posted in October 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, September, 2018

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss

With summer soon ending, editors are busy getting ready for publication of our anthology, Distilled Lives volume four. The third Gala plans are also underway for this fall.

As I write this regular President's Message, I am missing the usual accompanying newsletter that offers insights into new members who have recently joined, their views and poetry, events around the state, and other pertinent information. Mostly, I miss a sense of camaraderie that our newsletter builds and shares with our poets all over the country. I am constantly reminded that each of us brings something new and creative to our society. As we build an ever-increasing membership with various opportunities to share poetry and friendship, the need for a newsletter editor is very important. Please let me know if you are interested.

Welcome and thank you to our new Manningham Contest Chair, Ida Kotyuk. Two past chairs, Caroline Johnson and Tom Moran, are mentoring Ida. They are off to a wonderful start getting out contest information to junior and senior high schools throughout the state.

As noted earlier, there will be a fall Gala. Save Saturday, November 3, 2018, for a day, starting at 9:00 and ending at 3:00, that will include a continental breakfast, hot lunch, three presenters and poets reading their work from our new anthology. We are pleased to offer two programs related to writing, the first on haibun and second about poetry as memoir. The third event will be a Robert Frost interpreter and performer. We shall again meet at the Park Ridge Country Club. The cost of $35 will be the same as two years ago, and ordered anthologies can be picked up then or at a chapter meeting unless prepaid for mailing.

Often we think of our poems as outlets for impressions, longings, creative ideas, among other subjects, and they are seen on the written page or heard at readings like cafés or bookstores. Other opportunities, however, can include birthdays, funerals, anniversaries and at the bedside of the sick or dying. Poetry can be a way of communicating joy, sorrow, hope and a recognition of something greater than just words. When the grandnieces and nephews were born into my family, I started the tradition of writing a poem about each child and gave it as a gift. At funeral and memorial services, I have read a poem about the deceased loved one. Clearly, sharing our work can also be for less eventful situations as well. Poetry is an adaptable venue and a way of making the world a better place. Let's harvest more poetry in preparation for the next season.

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss

Archive of Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Poetry Reading, January 27, 2019

On Sunday, January 27, 2019, two poets will be featured at Brewed Awakening, the coffee shop in Westmont. The event runs from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and includes an open mic. The $10 cover charge entitles each person to coffee or other beverage and a snack. Brewed Awakening is located at 19 West Quincy, across from the METRA station in Westmont. The "Last Sunday of the Month Readings" have been held at Brewed Awakening since May, 2006.

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.
To Sample and Order at

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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