Illinois State Poetry Society
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Benefactors ($50)
Jocelyn Ajami
Mary Jo Balistreri
Joe Glaser
Chris Holaves
Lee Johnson
Farouk Masud
Myron Stokes

Patrons ($30)
David LaRue Alexander
Camille Balla
William Carey
Debbie Crawford
Carole Croll
Michael Freveletti
Dan Fitzgerald
Georgiann Foley
John J. Gordon
Larry Hays
Melissa Huff
Sheila Kirscher
Emma A. Kowalenko
Jim Lambert
Bonnie Leer
Carol Marcus
Georgina Milsted
Tom Moran
Kathleen Robinson
Nancy Schaefer
Irfanulla Shariff
Rick Shaw
Ruth Siburt
Joe Solberg
Judith Tullis
Linda Wallin

In Memoriam
Sally Hanson Calhoun
Nancy Jean Carrigan
David Christensen
Don Cornwell
Phillip Egelston
Jonathan Foster, OFM
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
New Poems
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 February 2020 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, February, 2020

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss

Longer light and more bird chatter bring hope and inspiration surmounting snowflakes and lingering chill. I am assured that spring can't be too far away.

April is Poetry Month, and it brings opportunities to share poems in many public libraries throughout Illinois. This year's theme is "water," and the topic offers a broad spectrum of possible interpretations. Be sure to submit your one or two poems by the March 1 deadline. Libraries and members' work will be listed after the poems have been mounted. Also, there will be a poetry reading opportunity at the Evanston North Branch Library on Monday, April 13. Please let me know if you are interested in reading some of your poetry at this early evening event: stm48@hotmail.com.

This year ISPS will once again participate in the Poetry Fest held at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago on April 25 from 11:00 to 4:00. Members will have an opportunity to sell personal poetry books at a designated table space.

Mark your calendars for the June 11-14th National Federation of State Poetry Societies convention in Kansas City, Missouri. The keynote speaker will be the excellent poet Diane Glancy. Next year the rumor is that Ohio will host the event.

In the first stanza of Leonard Cohen's poem, "There Are Some Men," he states "There are some men/who should have mountains/to bear their names to time." Many poets share the desire to have their poetry carved on some metaphorical mountain—a book, plaque or on history's memory. There are others who feel that their work isn't good enough to share and submit to journals or other public outlets. Time passes as do our lives. William Stafford said in "Earth Dweller," "The world speaks everything to us./ It is our only friend." Perhaps what we seek is to express our own responses to being human—the desire to shout personal joy, angst, longing and wishes from a private mountain we carry within us and which beckons us to touch its pinnacle. Like the singing spring birds that will soon return, consider sending your voice into the world.

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss
stm48@hotmail.com

Archive of Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Poetry Reading, March 29, 2020

Two Chicago-area poets will be featured on Sunday, March 29, at Brewed Awakening in Westmont, IL. The event will run from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., and will include an open mic. The cover charge of $12 plus tax entitles each person to coffee or other beverage and a snack. Brewed Awakening is located at 19 West Quincy, across from the METRA station.


Order Distilled Lives, Volume 4, ISPS Poetry Anthology
Distilled Lives, volume 4 "What I love most about this wonderful 4th edition of Distilled Lives is its clarion call to pay thoughtful attention to the world around us and within us. For indeed, as these remarkable poets make clear in these poems, all of life is worthy of such sustained attention and creative response. In these pages, readers will be treated to unfamiliar experiences made viscerally accessible. So too, readers will be moved by fresh perspectives on familiar themes. Spanning a broad range of subject matter, style, and treatment, there are poems in this collection to appeal to every reader." —Arlyn Miller, Senior Editor of Poetic License Press
To Sample and Order at Amazon.com
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 Amazon.com
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 Amazon.com

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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