Lyrical Iowa Competition
IPA Poetry Slam
Pushcart Prize Nominees
Resources for Teachers
To Order Lyrical Iowa
Recent and Upcoming Workshops and Events
IPA News & President's Message
To Join IPA
Other Opportunities for Poets
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 Jan 2019), click here.
Contact us by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Jared Pearce, Oskaloosa
Jared Pearce's books include Down Their Spears (Cyberwit, 2021) and The Annotated
Murder of One (Aubade, 2018). Further:
Steve Rose, Indianola
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.
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, Adel
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, Colfax
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.
|Slam Poetry Co-chair:
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
|Slam Poetry Co-chair:
Laura Johnson, Marion
Laura Johnson is a poet and writer in Eastern Iowa who is a founding co-editor of
the literary journal Backchannels. Laura is an MFA candidate at the University of
New Orleans and is a graduate (Ba, MA) of the University of Iowa. Laura's poetry and short
fiction has appeared in Goat's Milk Magazine, The Dewdrop, Thimble Literary Magazine,
and Wild Roof Journal, among others. Laura has spent more than twenty years
teaching and facilitating creative writing courses and groups for teen and adult writers.
She is a literacy and writing specialist who believes everyone's story should be heard.
Laura's debut chapbook, Memento Vivere (Cabin Bear Books), is available at
http://laurajohnsonwriter.com and wherever you buy books.
|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.
Allison Berryhill, Atlantic
Allison Berryhill teaches at Atlantic High School. Allison taught in Exira and Audubon
before taking a 14-year hiatus to raise her six children with farmer-husband Dan Hoegh.
In 2003 she joined the staff at Atlantic High School where she advises the journalism
program and teaches freshman English and creative writing. As a board member of the
Iowa Council of Teachers of English, she hopes to strengthen the connections between
IPA and Iowa English teachers.
Allison is an accordion player, a front-porch poet, and a wedding officiant.
Follow her at @allisonberryhil for photos of #IowaSky and schoolblazing.blogspot.com
for random musings.