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

Patrons ($30)
David LaRue Alexander
William Carey
Christine Cianciosi
Debbie Crawford
Carole Croll
Dan Fitzgerald
Georgiann Foley
Marilyn Giese
Larry Hays
Katherine Hutchinson
Lee Johnson
Sheila Kirscher
Emma A. Kowalenko
Jim Lambert
Pam Larson
Georgina Milsted
Tom Moran
Jenene Ravesloot
Kathleen Robinson
Tom Roby
Irfanulla Shariff
Judith Tullis
Arthur Voellinger
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
James Reiss
Marge Samuel
Doyle Raymond Vines
Paul J. Wolf


Illinois State Poetry Society
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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 posted in December 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 website.


Upcoming ISPS Meetings


ISPS News Bulletins

A Message from the President, December, 2017

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss Greetings of the season and as we leave 2017 and start 2018. Many events took place during this past year. One was the first meeting of our seventh chapter on December 3. Several talented poets will be regularly attending from the Champaign-Urbana area. This group will gather every month in the Champaign Public Library. Readings at bookstores, art galleries, Brewed Awakening and a presentation on legal writing issues were some more of this year's special occasions.

In 2018 one of the goals is to produce a fourth volume of our anthology, Distilled Lives. There will be more information as details unfold. More opportunities to combine our poetry with artists and ongoing reading opportunities will also be available.

The poet C.K. Williams said, "The best poetry, when you're reading it, you hear two voices simultaneously—the voice of the poet and your own voice." This concept can also apply to reading our own poetry which contains the conversation we often have with ourselves while forming ideas and then the final more poetic voice on the page. This is often true, too, when we critique each other and learn about what the poet meant and what is actually presented in the poem. It's the melding of what the listener or reader brings to the piece and what the poet hopes comes across in the work. When the combination of creator and audience share and become immersed in the words, the confluence of voices meets to form a greater whole.

Thus, in order to hear "the voice of the poet," it must be clear and attainable. Then the reader has a better chance of understanding the poet's intention and completing the message with personal associations. The resulting chorus enriches the poem as each reader interprets it and interacts with her- or himself plus the poet.

May the coming year be filled with creativity and some new writing approaches as we continue to shape and share our poetry.

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss
stm48@hotmail.com

Archive of Presidents' Messages


"Last Sunday" Poetry Readings, Jan. 28, 2018

Two award-winning Chicago-area poets, Lennart Lundh and Virginia Bell will be featured readers at Brewed Awakening, 19 West Quincy (across from the METRA station), Westmont, on Sunday, January 28, 2018, 12:30-2:00 p.m. Cover charge of $10.00 includes beverage and snack. There will also be an open mic.

Lennart Lundh

Lennart Lundh is a poet, short-fictionist, historian, and photographer. He has read his poetry in various venues in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The most recent of his 13 poetry chapbooks and collections is Arbor and Winepress: Selected Poems 1967-2017. The limited-edition Poems Against Cancer chapbooks are an annual fundraiser in support of the St. Baldrick Foundation. He is also the author of two collections of short stories, plus six books and a score of articles on military aviation and vehicles. His photography has appeared in a dozen anthologies, and been included in several exhibits at the Rochester Community Arts Center in New York.


Virginia Bell

Virginia Bell is the author of From the Belly (Sibling Rivalry Press 2012). Her work has appeared in Hypertext Magazine, Fifth Wednesday, Cider Press Review, Gargoyle, Stirring: A Literary Collection, Rogue Agent, Cloudbank, Spoon River Poetry Review, Calyx, Poet Lore, Pebble Lake Review, and other journals and anthologies. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize nomination and Ragdale Foundation residency. She is also an editor with RHINO and an adjunct professor of English at Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, and The Chicago High School for the Arts.


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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