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About IPA

The Iowa Poetry Association is a non-profit organization whose sole objective is to promote interest in and appreciation for better poetry by Iowans. Each year, IPA offers two workshops in the Des Moines area, where poems are critiqued by eminent teachers, editors or publishers. In addition, the IPA LIVE! online program of monthly mini-workshops and readings brings poetry learning and reading opportunities to IPA members across the state. The quarterly newsletter connects members to important updates and events, as does our Iowa Poetry Association Facebook group. Membership is open to any individual or group with an Iowa address.

We are an affiliate society of The Academy of American Poets and The National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Inc.

To read IPA's Constitution and Bylaws (revised Feb 2024), click here.

Contact us by E-mail at ipa@iowapoetry.com

Executive board members:

Dawn Terpstra
, Lynnville
Dawn Terpstra is a Pushcart nominated poet, writer, and hobbyist beekeeper, who lives along a quiet gravel road in rural Iowa. She enjoys finding topics, speakers, and connections with IPA members as she schedules and hosts IPA LIVE! Her poetry appears in current and forthcoming publications including Verse Daily, Plainsongs, Briar Cliff Review, Midwest Review, The North Dakota Quarterly, Quartet, Ekphrastic Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, SWWIM, and Lyrical Iowa. She is the author of a chapbook, Songs from the Summer Kitchen from Finishing Line Press. Dawn is working on her MFA in Creative Writing at Pacific Lutheran University's Rainer Writing Workshop. To learn more, visit www.dawnterpstra.com.
First Vice President:
Rodney G. Reeves
, Burlington
Now retired from working after a varied life that included twelve years as a movie theatre manager in three different Iowa towns and twenty five years making corrugated boxes for a local company in Burlington, Rod is involved in church life at Zion United Church of Christ in Burlington where he has served on the council several times and currently is an elder. In addition to The Society of Great River Poets (SGRP) and IPA, he works with the Des Moines County Historical Society, the Players Workshop community theater, Burlington Art Center and the Des Moines County Genealogical Society. As current 1st vice-president of IPA, Rod hopes to encourage development of more local writing groups around the state so more poets can find the encouragement he has with SGRP.
Second Vice President / Historian:
Heather Ann Clark
, Winterset
Heather Ann Clark holds degrees from Drake University in BFA Theatre Directing and BA Writing, with Poetry and Playwriting concentrations. She is currently finishing a Master of Arts in Communication - Public Affairs and Advocacy from Drake University. Heather lives in Madison County, where she enjoys awe-inspiring sunsets, summer nights of meteor showers, and her Bald Eagle neighbors.
Barbara Edler
, Keokuk
Barbara Edler currently works part time teaching college composition courses at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. After teaching English for forty years, and TAG for four, she retired in 2020. A lifelong Iowan, she enjoys exploring the beauty of nature, especially in her back yard where she can view the Mississippi River each day. She is an active participant of the Ethical ELA five day write and has a few of her poems published in Bridge the Distance. When she isn't reading student work, books for pleasure, or writing poetry, you can most likely find her rooting for the Hawkeyes or playing cards.
Shelly Hamlin-Rodrick
, Ankeny
Shelly's first literary loves were Louisa May Alcott and Kurt Vonnegut. She's a little bit Emily Dickinson, a little Annie Dillard, and has been recognized for her short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She's an Iowa native who's lived in Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Illinois. A former lifestyle editor and library paraprofessional, she authored a set of rules for alphabetizing, and is strongly team Oxford comma. She hikes, bikes, runs, and believes poetry can save the world.


Marilyn J. Baszczynski
, Earlham
Marilyn Baszczynski is a retired French teacher, originally from Ontario, Canada. Writing since childhood and largely inspired by living in the country, she weaves life's journeys and detours into her poems. Marilyn joined IPA in 1999, is Past-president, and helms IPA's Lyrical Iowa anthology as Editor-in-chief and contest coordinator since 2017. Marilyn's book, Gyuri. A poem of wartime Hungary (Whistling Shade) was published in 2015. A second chapbook, daughter, while i'm still here, is forthcoming in April 2024 (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry has also appeared in various journals and anthologies.
Associate Editor:
Jared Pearce,
Jared Pearce's books include Down Their Spears (Cyberwit, 2021) and The Annotated Murder of One (Aubade, 2018). Further: https://jaredpearcepoetry.weebly.com.
Associate Editor:
Steve Rose,
Steve Rose has published numerous poems and a little flash fiction in a bunch of places. To name some: The Midwest Review; And So it Goes (A literary anthology devoted to the memory of Kurt Vonnegut), Sun Beams, the Joan Ramseyer 2020 Memorial Anthology; Voices of the Plains; Lyrical Iowa and (the best title ever given to a literary journal) The Dime Bag of Poetry. He has published two books of poetry: Hard Papas and Nebraska and Other States. He has also published a scad of scholarly work that no one should have to read ever again. If wishes were horses, he would have been born as Townes Van Zandt or Leonard Cohen, or, even better, Will Rogers.
College Editor:
Rustin Larson
, Fairfield
Rustin Larson's poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, and North American Review. He is a poetry professor at Maharishi University. Among his published books are Library Rain, Conestoga Zen Press, 2019 which was named a February 2019 Exemplar by Grace Cavalieri and reviewed in The Washington Independent Review of Book.
High School Editor:
Joy Lyle
, Keota
A graduate of the University of Iowa, Joy Lyle earned the B.A. and M.F.A. degrees in English with an emphasis in Poetry from the internationally acclaimed Writers' Workshop. She teaches composition, communications, and poetry writing for Indian Hills Community College using various delivery methods, including online. Her poetry has been published in several journals, including Lyrical Iowa, Cutbank, Poetry Northwest, Mid-America Poetry Review, Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, and the anthology Leaves by Night, Flowers by Day. She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, serves as the high school editor for the Iowa Poetry Association, and edits a journal of student poetry for Indian Hills Community College and organizes poetry readings. She has lived on a farm her entire life and enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, reading, and spending time with her family.
Grade School Editor:
Della Weems,
Della Weems is a person who loves words. As a kid she wrote stories and poetry, and luckily, received so much positive feedback that she never gave up on the power of expression. It made perfect sense for her to major in English and become an English teacher. She continues to read and write and hopefully influence others. Della is married and has six adult children who are also wordsmiths in their various careers.

Standing Committee Chairpersons:

Allison Bartholmey,
Allison Bartholmey teaches TAG (Talented and Gifted) for the Baxter and West Marshall school districts. She found out about the Iowa Poetry Association through a student's family a few years ago and has been excited to learn more about writing and see students published in Lyrical Iowa. Allison lives in Colfax with her husband Aaron, and she loves piano, poems, and parks (and also alliteration!).
IPA LIVE! Coordinator:
Dawn Terpstra
, Lynnville
See bio and photo above.
Rodney G. Reeves
, Burlington
See bio and photo above.
Poetry Palooza Chairperson:
Pat Boddy,
Des Moines
Pat Boddy's poetry often foregrounds the need for conservation policy and climate justice. In retirement, Pat hiked the Dark Divide of the Cascade Mountains as writer-in-residence with Portland-based Signal Fire. She has a passion for the transformative power of poetry, enjoys reading her work aloud and even more so hearing and reading the work of others. Along with Diane Glass and other supportive friends, she hosted a new poetry group's inaugural pop-up event: Poetry & Pie in the Park. She's a professional engineer, former deputy and interim director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, past director of Polk County Conservation, Sr. Partner Emeritus of RDG Planning & Design and in an earlier life, an award-winning broadcast journalist. Pat holds a B.J. (Journalism) from the University of MO-Columbia and B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering and water resources from ISU. She is one of the many founders of Poetry&, a non-profit dedicated to nurturing community, creativity and healing through poetry.
Poetry Palooza Liaison:
Diane Glass,
Des Moines
Diane Glass is a poet, teacher, storyteller, and community volunteer. Her book of poetry, The Heart Hungers for Wildness, draws from her life experience and her work as a spiritual director in paying attention to and celebrating what truly matters and endures. Her career history includes serving as Vice President of Marketing for the Des Moines Register, teaching at the Mind & Spirit Counseling Center, (formerly the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center), and founding Tending Your Inner Garden for women. She lives in Des Moines with her husband Jeff Means and cat Penny.
Slam Poetry:
Kelsey Bigelow,
Des Moines
Kelsey Bigelow is a spoken word and page poet based in Des Moines. She aims to be the motivator and mentor people don't always get in life. In her work, she molds incredibly specific emotions into something human, digestible, and cathartic. She believes we grow in empathy by talking about our shared experiences, no matter how difficult. As a professional spoken word poet, multi-slam champion, published author, workshop leader, and more, Kelsey is on a mission to show others two things: 1. You can live the life you dream, and 2. It does get better. Find Kelsey's work at kelkaybpoetry.com.
Spring/Fall Workshop Coordinator:
Julie Allyn Johnson
, Norwalk
Julie Allyn Johnson, a sawyer's daughter - the eldest of six girls - lives in Norwalk and loves long walks in the woods, any time of year. She adores Halloween, photography, gravel-travel, art, poetry and haiku, reading, linocut printing and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Her current obsession is tackling the rough and tumble sport of quilting and the accumulation of fabric. Julie's poetry can be found in various journals including Lyrical Iowa, The Briar Cliff Review, Phantom Kangaroo, The Disappointed Housewife, Anti-Heroin Chic, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Better Than Starbucks and Chestnut Review.
Teacher Liaison:
Teresa Lawler,
Teresa Lawler taught high school language arts for thirty-six years in Carroll, Melcher-Dallas, Jefferson-Scranton, Ankeny, and Ankeny Centennial. After retiring from Centennial in 2022, Teresa became an adjunct professor for Iowa Central and Iowa Western. She is also the individual speech coach for Glenwood since she simply could not stop coaching with the Iowa High School Speech Association. In her spare time, you can find Teresa listening to U2, traveling to places where U2 is performing, and hanging out with her family, especially her two grandchildren, Brody and Brynn.

Home| About IPA| Lyrical Iowa| IPA Poetry Slam| Pushcart Prize Nominees| Resources for Teachers| Iowa Student Poet Ambassador| To Order Books| IPA LIVE!| Recent and Upcoming Workshops and Events| IPA News & President's Message| To Join IPA| Other Opportunities for Poets|