ISPS Member Poems
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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.
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A Message from the President, February, 2017
by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President
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.
Susan T. Moss
"Last Sunday" Reading, May 28, 2017
May 28 will be the 11th anniversary of the poetry readings sponsored by the Illinois State Poetry Society and Brewed Awakening, the coffee shop in Westmont. Georgiann Foley, a long time ISPS member and fine poet, will be a featured poet. In lieu of a second feature poet, we have invited winners of our Manningham Poetry Contest for students in middle and high school to read their winning poems. 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.
Georgiann Foley is a writer and teacher. She thanks her parents and grandparents for introducing her to storytelling. She thanks her 5th grade teacher, Mr. Sueoka, for bringing the drama of poetry forth. Within Georgiann's twenty years of teaching children she made the spoken word and literature as important as problem solving. She organized poetry readings for her junior high students at a local bookstore providing a venue for them to perform their own work. A member of ISPS since the 1990s she also is a member of the Arbor Hill group. Contest wins include The Poetry Center of Chicago (2000), Poets and Patrons (2004), and Highland Park Poetry (2014). Her work has appeared in such publications as DuPage Arts Life, Byline, Möbius, Seeding the Snow, and the anthologies Distilled Lives (volumes 2 and 3).
On June 25, Bakul Banerjee will be one of two featured poets (the second featured poet will be announced later). An award winning author and poet, Bakul Banerjee 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.
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 3, ISPS Poetry AnthologyDistilled 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 AnthologyDistilled 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 AnthologySeventy-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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