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Benefactors ($50)
Mary Jo Balistreri
Mary Beth Bretzlauf
Dan Fitzgerald
Joe Glaser
Lee Johnson
Donald Lyles
Jenene Ravesloot
Tom Roby
Joe Solberg
Arthur Voellinger

Patrons ($30)
Jocelyn Ajami
David LaRue Alexander
Candace Armstrong
Diane Lotko Baker
Mary Jo Balistreri
Camille Balla
Eva Boczon
William T. Carey
Thomas Chockley
Patrice Claeys
Jennifer Dotson
Dan Fitzgerald
Georgiann Foley
Michael Freveletti
Karen Fullett-Christensen
Leo Gehr
John J. Gordon
Susan Gundlach
Larry Hays
Joris Heise
M. E. Hope
Melissa Huff
Phyllis Janik
Steven Kappes
Sheila Kirscher
S. Michael Kozubek
Jim Lambert
Jill Langlois
William Lederer
G. Jordan Maclay
Carol Marcus
Karian Markos
Georgina Milsted
Tom Moran
Wilda Morris
Leslie A. Peet
Marcia Pradzinski
Marjorie Rissman
Nancy Schaefer
Irfanulla Shariff
Ruth Siburt
Judith Tullis
Maggie Van Dyke
Arthur Voellinger
Linda Wallin

In Memoriam
Sally Hanson Calhoun
Nancy Jean Carrigan
David Christensen
Don Cornwell
Carol Dooley
Phillip Egelston
Jonathan Foster, OFM
Michael Galati
Patricia Gangas
Chris Holaves
Glenna Holloway
Usha Mahisekar
John Mahoney
Marguerite McClelland
Martha S. Moss
Hugh Muldoon
John Pawlik
Ina Perlmuter
John Quinn
James Reiss
Kathleen Robinson
Marge Samuel
Doyle Raymond Vines
Paul J. Wolf
Marvin R. Young (2017)


Illinois State Poetry Society
New ISPS Poems
New ISPS Haiga
Random ISPS Poem
from our 22-year collection
Random ISPS Haiga
from our haiga collection


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 (monthly since 2021) editions of poetry written by ISPS members. ISPS members are invited to submit a poem each monthly submission period (according to last initial). (How and when to submit) You are invited to read the ISPS member poems and haiga posted in September 2022 as well as previous postings. In March, 2020 (beginning of the pandemic) we published a special edition of poems on the theme of "water".

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


A Message from the ISPS President, September/October, 2022

by Susan T. Moss, ISPS President

Susan T. Moss

The editing of ISPS poets' work for Distilled Lives vol. 6 anthology is nearing completion and will next be formatted and readied for publication. The process takes time and planning which will ultimately result in a collection of sixty-one members' poems.

In September we can concentrate on submitting poems for our annual contest. The entry timeline is from September 1 to October 31, 2022. Our website has all the printable information including guidelines. Contact Mary Beth Bretzlauf at ISPS.manningham@gmail.com with any questions.

Another event is the September 24 workshop presented by Charlotte Digregorio. The program will focus on haiku and senryu with handouts sent in advance to those who register. More information will be forthcoming about the 2-4 p.m. Zoom.

With so many sources to read poetry and submit it as well, we often find ourselves thinking about why we write it and what does it offer us when we read it. The answers are many and varied. Words, when assembled on a page, can tell a story of yearning, childhood, observations, and many other concerns and delights. It's our need to find answers or perhaps guide others, share hopes or fears that lead to a condensed creation. Our poetry can serve as a diary of our personal lives with the poems relating some event or phase as time goes on. It also holds its own energy which we give back to ourselves and others. Whether it's a poem that urges "Hold fast to dreams" as Langston Hughes wrote or lines from Louise Gluck: "Language was filling my head, wild exhilaration/alternated with profound despair," we cradle humanity in our words and attempt to make sense of our lives.

Happy writing,

Susan T. Moss
stm48@hotmail.com

Archive of Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Poetry Reading, October 30, 2022

ISPS and Brewed Awakening will offer another diverse poetry reading from two featured poets on Sunday, October 30. You may listen or participate by going to Brewed Awakening (19 W Quincy Street, Westmont, IL, just off Cass Avenue, across the street from the train station), where the $12 cover charge will get you a beverage and snack to enjoy while you listen to poetry, or by joining us on Zoom. You can participate in the open mic in person or via Zoom.


Order Remember: Poems for the 20th Anniversary of 9/11
remember Remember: Poems for the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 offers a two-decade look back at the terrorist attack. Set in 30 poems interspersed with photos and news notes, the collection closes with a chapter of peace poems. In diverse styles and forms, 18 members of the Illinois State Poetry Society Southern Chapter bring to these pages personal reflections on the horrific event, the nation's aftermath of loss and grief, and, still, our longing for peace.
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Order The First Six Months - Poems During a Pandemic
The First Six Months The First Six Months, a pandemic snapshot of March through August 2020, features work by 22 diverse southern Illinois poets as they learned to sequester, social-distance, mask, and deal with both uniquely personal and worldwide challenges. Though the anthology's themes of COVID-19 and racial justice protests reflect this period, the in-the-moment viewpoints are as individual as the poets themselves. Photos, art, and snippets of news reports accompany the poetry, adding to a creative record of the unprecedented months of one spring, one summer.
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Order Distilled Lives, Volume 5, ISPS Poetry Anthology
Distilled Lives, volume 5 Distilled Lives, Volume 5 presents recent poems from 70+ writers new and established, all members of the Illinois State Poetry Society. The observations, memories, triumphs, laments—yes, and comic moments, too—presented by the assembled pieces reflect the diversity of the members and the breadth of interests they represent.
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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
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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.
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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.
Sneak Peek
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