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
Arthur Voellinger

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

Illinois State Poetry Society
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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 2017 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, 2017

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss

The public library poetry displays were a big success this April. With the theme of travel, many interesting and varied interpretations gave observers a variety of poems about places and ideas related to the topic. This yearly project, which sometimes drifts into May, offers members an opportunity to address a larger audience and thereby put work out into the world. Many thanks to Sheila Kirscher for collecting, collating and dispensing all the submissions. Thank you also to all those who created the various displays in libraries throughout the state.

I recently had the privilege of judging a contest that included three youth categories. What I found in many of the poems was a vivid and thoughtful chronicling of concerns about justice toward refugees, gender-related issues, racial prejudice, respect for self and others, establishing one’s place in the world, as well as recognizing the beauty in nature and our relation to the planet.

These entries had the capacity to provoke controversy as well as joy. Each of them offered insight as to what young people can and do think about as they mature. Youthful angst, fears, confusion, love and compassion were among the emotions often succinctly expressed. Hopefully, their endeavors will evolve into lifelong passionate efforts to capture life in imaginative connections between topic and expression.

When reading adult poetry, some of the questions posed in youth have been resolved while other concerns linger to be contemplated more deeply as we experience and examine life. Some of the topics reflect the greater human endeavor to resolve difficult situations that have always haunted humanity. In any event, our poetry can be a journal of our personal existence—a record of varying stages of discovery and a way to break the silence of our lives.

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss

Archive of Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Reading, June 25, 2017

On Sunday, June 25, Bakul Banerjee and David Nekinkem will be reading their poems at an event sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society and Brewed Awakening, the coffee shop in Westmont. The event is 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.

Bakul Banerjee

Bakul Banerjee is an award winning author and poet who has been writing poems, short stories and essays for literary magazines, both in the US and India for the past two decades. Her second collection, titled Bathymetry: Poems, was published in April 2017. Her first poetry collection is Synchronicity: Poems. She is a member of the Illinois State Poetry Society, Poets and Patrons, and Naperville Writing Group. She also enjoys conducting poetry workshops and organizing reading events. Bakul received her Ph.D. degree from The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland and worked as a scientist at facilities operated by the US Department of Energy.

David Nekinkem

David Nekimken is senior citizen who has been a poet most of his life. He has published some of his poems and won awards with others. He self-published a book of his poems under the title Anything and Everything Goes. He is a grandfather with three wonderful grandchildren. David currently lives in a housing co-op in Hyde Park.

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.
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