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Recent and Upcoming Workshops and Events

IPA Fall Workshop - Sat. Oct. 27th, 2018

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.

Critics: Kyle McCord and Isaac Pressnell

Kyle McCord is the author of five books of poetry including National Poetry Series Finalist, Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders (Trio House Press 2016). He has work featured in AGNI, Blackbird, Boston Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. He is married to the visual artist Lydia McCord.

Isaac Pressnell received an MFA in poetry from West Virginia University in 2008. His poems have appeared in Best American Experimental Writing 2015, Hotel Amerika, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, Southern Indiana Review, and many other publications. He teaches at Graceland University in Lamoni, IA where he lives with his wife and dog.

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 Oct. 1st, 2018 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.



Signal Poetry Festival - Sat. Oct. 13th and Sun. Oct. 14th, 2018

At Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Ave., Ames; 7:00-9:00 p.m. both days

Oct. 13th: Marc Smith (founder of Slam Poetry) and Courtney Smith. Hosted by Jim Coppoc and Mary Logsdon.
It is incredibly rare in human experience to be able to share a room with the founder of a major and historic movement in literature and pop culture, but on October 13, 2018 Ames Public Library will offer exactly that. Marc Smith is coming to Ames, and he is bringing his poems and his wisdom with him.
Smith will be joined by Courtney Smith (no relation), a rapidly emerging Des Moines poet in the confessional strain, with prosody and musicality every bit as moving as her story. Smith (Courtney) is also a mentor for Half Pints Poetry, and will speak to her experience helping young children grow a love of language and performance.

Oct. 14th: Mary Swander (Iowa Poet Laureate) and Movement 515. Hosted by Jim Coppoc.
The final event of the Signal Poetry Festival will bring the youth of Movement 515 to the Farwell T. Brown stage to join Iowa Poet Mary Swander in a celebration of community and possibility and poetry out loud!

Provided in partnership with Ames Public Library and Iowa Poetry Association. Supported by the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation.

IPA Youth Poetry Celebration - Sat. June 9th, 2018

Iowa Poetry Association Student Contest Winners of the 2018 Lyrical Iowa Poetry Competition were invited to read their winning poems in a Special Celebration of Iowa Youth Poetry at the State Historical Museum of Iowa Auditorium 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday June 9th, 2018. Fourteen students participated, reading their winning poems to an audience of about seventy (family, friends, teachers, IPA board members). The complete list of student winners is available here.



NFSPS Annual Convention - May 31 - June 3rd, 2018

This year's National Federation of State Poetry Societies Annual Convention was held in Denver, Colorado, hosted by the Columbine Poets of Colorado (Julie Cummings, President). Six IPA members, Maxine Carlson, Frank Kutchen, Virginia Mortenson, 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 Maxine Carlson)

IPA members attending: Linda Harris, Frank Kutchen, Lucille Morgan Wilson, Pat Underwood, Maxine Carlson, Virginia Mortenson
Lucille and Pat
Presenter Rosemerry Trommel during a workshop

Congratulations to the following Iowan poets who won at total of 18 awards in the 2018 NFSPS Contests announced during the convention: John McBride, Virginia Mortenson, Pat Underwood, Lucille Morgan Wilson and Mary Zachmeyer. Two Iowa students ranked in Contest #50: Lindsey Zuideman, Hull (1st place), and Josie Jones, Cedar Rapids (4th HM).

Please consider joining the Iowa delegation to the 2019 NFSPS Convention in Santa Fe, NM, June 23-26, 2019. Start working now and enter your best poems before the March 15, 2019 contest deadline. Check the NFSPS website and IPA mailings for more information


IPA Spring Workshop - Sat. April 28th, 2018

Critics: Jim Coppoc and Debra Marquart. Both Jim and Debra have been IPA critics in the past, and we are happy to have them return.

Jim Coppoc is an award-winning writer, teacher and performer and the author of two books and three chapbooks of poetry, a blended-genre lyric memoir and several plays. Coppoc has recently been getting a lot of good attention from the literary world, with four Pushcart nominations for both poetry and nonfiction. Among other projects, Jim teacher Film, Literature and American Indian Studies at Iowa State University; plays bass in the Gatehouse Saints and huitar/keys/vocals in Love Rhino; blogs for Coal Hill Review; and lives in Ames, Iowa with his two sons.

Debra Marquart is the author of six books including,Small Buried Things: Poems (2015), The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere (2007), and a co-edited anthology of experimental writing, Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Prose Sequence(2016). She teaches nonfiction in the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine, and directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. The Senior Editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, Marquart has delivered over 250 invited readings and keynotes at universities and conferences from New York and Washington to Greece and Ireland. Her work has been featured on three NPR programs-- em>Morning Edition, The Writer's Almanac, and On Poiny--and the BBC.  She is the recipient of over 50 grants and awards including an NEA Fellowship, a PEN USA Nonfiction Award, and Elle Magazine's Elle Lettres Award.  Her environmental poem, "Lament," was recently honored by inclusion in Best American Poetry 2016.


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


Critics Rustin Larson and Barbara Lau with readers Virginia Mortenson and Max Molleston.


"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.


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