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Recent and Upcoming Workshops and Events

IPA Fall Workshop - Sat. Oct. 28th, 2017

At Wesley United Methodist Church - 800 E. 12th Street, Des Moines

If you are new to IPA or have not yet attended one of our semi-annual workshops, here's our usual format:

Any member or non-member planning to attend the workshop may submit a single poem, up to 20 lines, no name on poem sheet, please. Non-members may do so on a first-time visitor basis. One of two qualified critics receives your poem in advance, studies it, writes comments -- some of which may be in addition to those he/she gives verbally at the workshop. Your original poem is returned to you at the end of the day.

Workshop starts promptly at 9:00 a.m. (Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Coffee & juice will be ready.) Cost of the noon meal is included in your $10.00 fee. If you prefer NOT to eat on site, or if you must cancel--at least 24 hours ahead of time--a workshop fee of $4.00 applies, whether or not you have sent in a poem. However, we encourage you to stay the whole day to get the most benefit from comments on upwards of fifty poems in a variety of forms and content. We usually finish between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m.

A brief business meeting, as necessary, follows the noon recess: Secretary's, Treasurer's, Editor's reports, etc.

You are welcome to bring your own publications for display and/or sale. Each author will be responsible for collecting money and unsold items. Each critic will be invited to read from his/her own work for about 10 minutes after the lunch hour, before workshop is resumed.

Suggestions: You will benefit most from the workshop if you 1) send a poem that you are struggling with, not a "finished" piece of work; 2) come with expectation, prepared to learn from comments about others' poems, too; 3) know that comments by either critics or workshoppers can be sifted and applied, or not, as YOU choose.

Submissions must be postmarked October 4th, 2017 remembering:

  • no identification on the poem sheet
  • 20-line limit
  • include check (made out to Iowa Poetry Association) for lunch/workshop reservation

Send poem and check to Marilyn J Baszczynski, 16096 320th Way, Earlham IA 50072.

NEW: You may also submit your poem electronically to ipa@iowapoetry.com. Type or copy your poem into the body of the email (NO ATTACHMENTS). Include your name, address and phone number and you may pay the $10 workshop fee at registration.

Critics: Rustin Larson and Barbara Lau

Rustin Larson's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry East, and The American Entomologist Poet's Guide to the Orders of Insects. He is the author of The Wine-Dark House (Blue Light Press, 2009), Crazy Star (selected for the Loess Hills Book's Poetry Series in 2005), Bum Cantos, Winter Jazz, & The Collected Discography of Morning, winner of the 2013 Blue Light Book Award (Blue Light Press, San Francisco), The Philosopher Savant (Glass Lyre Press, 2015) and Pavement, winner of the 2016 Blue Light Poetry Prize. He has also published fiction in The Wapsipinicon Almanac. He teaches Composition and Elements of Writing at Kirkwood Community College.

Barbara Lau is a playwright, poet and educator living in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Her full-length drama, Raising Medusa, is infused with poetry (plus a Greek Chorus). Its premiere at Riverside Theatre, Iowa City, was partially supported by an NEA Artistic Excellence Award. Barbara's book of poetry, The Long Surprise, won of the 2000 X.J. Kennedy National Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Iowa Review, Southern Review, Spoon River, Karamu, Natural Bridges, plus When I Grow Old I Shall Wear Purple. Lau teaches writing and Drama as Lit part-time at Kirkwood Community College, and workshops including "The Habit Of Haiku."


"Thank-you Lucille" Celebration, Saturday September 16th 2017

A big THANK YOU to all who attended our open house in appreciation of Lucille Morgan Wilson's dedication to Iowa Poetry Association, to thank her for over 28 years as Editor-in-Chief of Lyrical Iowa, not to mention a stint as IPA Hospitality Chair, Treasurer and President. Her contribution in support of poetry in Iowa is huge.


NFSPS Annual Convention - June 29-July 2, 2017

This year's National Federation of State Poetry Societies Annual Convention was held in Fort Worth, Texas, hosted by the Poetry Society of Texas (Budd Powell Mahan, President). Three IPA members, Linda Harris, Pat Underwood and Lucille Morgan Wilson attended the numerous panels, discussions, writing workshops, readings, dinners and other activities organized for the convention. (Photos by Pat Underwood)

Poetree: reading haiku to each other and hanging them in a tree
Some of the unusual sights while touring around the convention.

Congratulations to the following Iowan poets who won at total of 14 awards in the 2017 NFSPS Contests announced during the convention: Marjorie Dohlman, John McBride, Gloria Milbrath, Virginia Mortenson, Pat Underwood, Brian Volz, Lucille Morgan Wilson and Mary Zachmeyer.

Please consider joining the Iowa delegation to Denver for the 2018 NFSPS Convention, May 31-June 3. Start working now and enter your best poems before the March 15, 2018 contest deadline. Check the NFSPS website and IPA mailings for more information


IPA Spring Workshop - Sat. Apr. 29th, 2017


Critics Jeanne Emmons and Kyle McCord with readers Virginia Mortenson and Max Molleston.


IPA Fall Workshop - Sat. Oct. 29th, 2016

Readers Virginia Mortenson and Max Molleston with critics Heather Derr-Smith and Paul Brooke
Editor-in-Chief Lucille Morgan Wilson

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