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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

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
New Poems

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 February 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, February, 2017

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss

With the new year now underway, ISPS is busy gathering poetry submissions for April Poetry Month’s library displays centered on “travel.” Be sure to send your three poems no later than February 28, 2017, to and your bylaw changes vote to Wilda Morris. Also consider joining with Poets and Patrons for an evening of reading personal work at After-Words Bookstore in Chicago on April 13. The owner is offering to sell our own books that evening from 5:30-8:00 p.m. This year ISPS will share a table at the Chicago Poetry Fest held on April 29 at the Harold Washington Library. Several interesting programs will be offered that day, and members’ books can be sold. Another future event will be in June with a joint art and poetry project sponsored by the Downers Grove Art League. More creative possibilities will be announced as time goes by. Members are invited to submit ideas for other opportunities to share poetry among ourselves and with the public.

In this politically charged time no matter what our personal beliefs, it is quite likely that our poetry has been affected. As we go forward flipping through calendar pages and tiptoeing through time, we can help record preferred outcomes and characteristics that improve the wellbeing of us all. Ron Asheton, punk guitarist of the Stooges, stated that “You take a little of the truth from everyone and mix it with a little of your blood and it comes out with your music.”

We are being challenged to make good observations and listen to a variety of information in order to write with an open mind and inquiring spirit. Through- out history, poets have been a source people turn to and can be influenced by when other voices are ignored or drowned out. Poetry can also be a powerful tool for guidance and restoring equilibrium. Thus, like so many poets who have gone before us and who live among us, we are part of a national and world project to make this a better place through the written and spoken word. As Adam Zagajewski’s poem, Poetry Searches For Radiance states, “Poetry searches for radiance,/poetry is the kingly road/that leads us farthest.”

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss

Archive of Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Reading, February 26, 2017

Marjorie Rissman and George David Miller will be featured poetry readers at Brewed Awakening, 19 West Quincy (across from the METRA station), Westmont, on Sunday, February 26, 2017, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Cover charge of $10.00 includes beverage and snack. There will also be an open mic.

Marjorie Rissman

Marjorie Rissman was born on the South Shore of Eastern Long Island. She attended high school at Emma Willard School in Troy, New York, the oldest girl’s school in the United States, graduating in the 150th class in 1964. Then Sarah Lawrence College was her home followed by the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. After working as a social worker, managing a mail order business and raising her two sons, she returned to her passionate writing only six years ago while maintaining her fulltime career as a residential Realtor. She has been active with Highland Park, Deerfield Poets, Poets and Patrons, as well as Illinois State Poetry Society. You can read her best work in East on Central, A Midnight Snack, Distilled Lives (2015 and 2016) and on line and in chapbooks published by HP

George David Miller

George David Miller, a performance poet who especially enjoys working with young people, received a grant from the Southern Poverty Law Center to finance his program for using slam poetry to combat youth violence. He has served artist-in-residence at several high schools. Recipient of numerous awards for his poetry and short stories and for his teaching, George heads the Philosophy Department at Lewis University, and has taught courses at 5 other colleges. At both Lewis and CASE, he was voted Teacher of the Year, and he was given the Award of Honor for his teaching at Soka University in Japan. George has published a volume of poetry and ten other books on such topics as ethics and the philosophy of education. He has led workshops on interactive teaching methods at over 250 venues and has edited three special series for the Value Inquiry Book series.

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
To Order

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