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 February 2018 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

Archive of Presidents' Messages

"Last Sunday" Poetry Reading, Feb. 25, 2018

Poets Judith Tullis and Jim Green will be featured readers at Brewed Awakening, 19 West Quincy (across from the METRA station), Westmont, on Sunday, February 25, 2018, 12:30-2:00 p.m. Cover charge of $10.00 includes beverage and snack. There will also be an open mic.

Judith Tullis

Judith Tullis was born in Chicago and lives in Indian Head Park with her husband, Lee. She raised three sons and now enjoys learning about life from her grandchildren. Retired from the secretarial business she owned for years, she loves to work not only in the flower garden outside her home but also in the word garden that is Poetry. She is former Vice President and current Treasurer for the Illinois State Poetry Society. Her poems have appeared in several print and online venues.

Virginia Bell

Jim Green has worked as a naval officer, deputy sheriff, high school English teacher, professor of education, and administrator in both public schools and universities. His poetry has appeared in literary magazines in England, Ireland, and the USA, and his sonnet series, Stations of the Cross, was nominated by the publisher for the Modern Language Association's Conference on Christianity 2009 Book of the Year. His academic publications include three books. Recipient of two Fulbright grants, he has served as a visiting scholar at the University of Limerick in Ireland and the National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan. He and his wife, Sheryl, divide their time between homes in Tinley Park, Illinois, and County Clare, Ireland.

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
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