Mary Jo Balistreri
Mary Beth Bretzlauf
David LaRue Alexander
Diane Lotko Baker
Mary Jo Balistreri
William T. Carey
John J. Gordon
M. E. Hope
S. Michael Kozubek
G. Jordan Maclay
Leslie A. Peet
Maggie Van Dyke
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
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.firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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: 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. To Sample and Order at Amazon.com
Order The First Six Months - Poems During a Pandemic
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. To Sample and Order at Amazon.com
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 5, ISPS Poetry Anthology
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. To Sample and Order at Amazon.com
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 4, ISPS Poetry Anthology
"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 To Sample and Order at Amazon.com
Order Distilled Lives, Volume 3, ISPS Poetry Anthology
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, 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
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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