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Recent and Upcoming Workshops and Events

IMPORTANT: IPA's 75th Anniversary Celebrations Cancelled until further notice

Due to the continuing spread of COVID-19 and concerns regarding large gatherings, the IPA executive board has decided to cancel our 75th Anniversary celebrations for the time being. We regret the disappointment but hope we will again have a more joyous in-person gathering of all our members and invited guests sometime in the not too distant future. For 2021, we will still plan for an online workshop with Iowa Poet Laureate Deb Marquart and Jared Pearce as our honored critics on Oct. 23rd.

We will still hold the Panel discussion, poetry conversations and readings with guests Iowa Poet Laureate Deb Marquart, Ray Young Bear and Rustin Laurson now on Wed. Oct. 20th 7:00 - 9:00pm as a featured event online in our IPA LIVE! program. We will post more details on this page, on the IPA LIVE! page and members will receive updates in future newsletters.

IPA Spring 2021 Online Workshop

IPA's Spring Workshop will be held on Saturday, April 24. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., our workshop schedule be will divided into morning and afternoon sessions with a break for lunch.

The Deadline for submitting poems will be March 26. Critics will prepare written critiques, which will be returned to the authors (either online or USPS) in advance of the workshop. We will also email a pdf of the set of workshop poems to participants. A detailed schedule for the workshop day, along with the Zoom credentials, will be sent on April 19.

Not regularly connected to the internet? You may still participate in the workshop by email or mail, as you may have previously.

The cost for workshop is $4, which is the regular cost without lunch. Critics will receive a stipend and will prepare written critiques and participate in our workshop day.

As you consider which poem you might submit (20 lines or shorter), remember you will benefit most if you 1) send a poem that you are struggling with, not a "finished" piece; 2) come 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.

We are pleased to announce the critics for the fall workshop are Dr. Paul Brooke and Allison Boyd Justus.

Paul Brooke returns for a third time as IPA workshop critic. Dr. Paul Brooke is a Professor of English at Grand View University in Des Moines, IA. His poetry has been featured in such journals as the North American Review, The Antioch Review, Rocky Mountain Review, Flyway, International Poetry Review, Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, and the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature and the Environment. His work has won numerous awards including being nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. His long poem, "The Skald and Drukken Trollaukin," an interconnected series of Norse form poems, was selected second place and included in the 64 Best Poets of 2018. Read more at Paul's website.

Allison Boyd Justus grew up in the shadow of Ben Lomand Mountain in Warren County, Tennessee. She once spent a year watching sunrises. Previously a public school gifted education facilitator, Allison is teacher, consultant, and MFA candidate at Iowa State University. She is the author of Solstice to Solstice to Solstice (Alternating Current Press, 2017), has work featured Darkness is as Light from Park End Press, and is a finalist for the 2017 Rita Dove Prize in Poetry. See her poetry and more at www.allisonboyjustus.com.

If you have questions and/or comments, please connect at ipa@iowapoetry.com or dterp@me.com or call Dawn Terpstra at 641-521-1837.

Poems may be emailed to ipa@iowapoetry.com and checks for $4 made out to "Iowa Poetry Association" may be mailed to IPA c/o Marilyn Baszczynski, 16096 320th Way, Earlham, IA 50072. If you do not have email, you may mail your poem by USPS with check included. Submission deadline: March 26.

IPA Fall 2020 Online Workshop

Our Fall Online Workshop was a success with a total of thirty poems, read by Dennis Maulsby and Shelly Reed Thieman, and discussed by our two critics, Margaret LeMay and Kyle McCord. The session began with brief introductions of participants, then readings, commentaries and discussions of the first half of the poems submitted. After breaking for lunch, we resumed at 12:45 with a brief business meeting, followed by readings by our two critics. Discussion and readings of the remaining poems then continued. Thank you to Dawn Terpstra, IPA's workshop chair, for taking care of the technical details for our Zoom workshop and organizing a great day of poetry!

Here are poems referenced by Kyle McCord during his discussions:

Kyle McCord returned for a third time as IPA workshop critic. He is the author of five books of poetry including National Poetry Series Finalist, Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders (Trio House Press 2016). Kyle has work featured or forthcoming in AGNI, Blackbird, Boston Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly and elsewhere. He was received grants or awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Baltic Writing Residency. He holds an M.F.A. from University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. He served as associate poetry editor of The Nation and currently serves as Co-Executive Editor of Gold Wake Press. He is married to the visual artist Lydia McCord. Kyle teaches in Des Moines, Iowa.

Margaret LeMay has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, the East Harlem Tutorial Project, and elsewhere. She is the founding director of the Examined Life Conference and the Writing and Humanities Program at the Carver College of Medicine. Her poems have appeared in publications that include Another Chicago Magazine, The Asian Pacific American Journal, Better, The Cortland Review, Little Village and Transom, and her work was among semi-finalists for the Discovery/Boston Review prize and finalists for the Four Way Books Levis Prize. Her poem "The Heart Wakes Into" served as title and six movement subtitles for a piano quintet commissioned by and performed at the Library of Congress. She currently teaches poetry and creative writing at Coe College and she is a freelance writer in medicine and healthcare. Margaret holds a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.F.A. in poetry writing from The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.


Please read the following letter from NFSPS President Julie Cummings:

Dear State Presidents and members,
I am presenting to you, my poetry family, a timeline of events pertaining to the 2020 Convention.

In February, I wrote my article for the Strophes and submitted all the information I had for convention. Paul completed the April issue of Strophes and waited for me to visit the hotel on March 16th. I left Kansas City unsure as the Pandemic was starting to gear up and later that week everything started to be cancelled across the nation, even scheduled events in April and May.

Strophes went to print.

Then, my hotel contact called me. I was trying to be hopeful, but she interrupted me and informed me the hotel was closing, not just for the pandemic, but permanently. She also told me that our contract would then be null and void with all monies/reservations being fully refunded. I was disappointed, and honestly somewhat relieved, considering the state of the state. I immediately contacted the board with the news. We had to vote to cancel the scheduled convention (according to the bylaws.) It is also an election year. The board also voted to allow me the decision to hold the election electronically. This voting system will be shared by May 1 to allow for states to prepare for casting votes.

Besides amazing workshops and speakers, we have several awards we present at convention. The 2 CUP manuscripts, the Stevens Manuscript, the Blackberry Peach Awards, and the 53 annual contests. I know the CUP and Stevens winners have been notified. The BBP is being judged right now (online), and the 53 contest entries are still being processed. They will be sent to judges by mid-April if not before. The contest awards will still be presented and the Encore will still be published, as will the CUP, Stevens, and BBP books. All entries submitted for 2020 will still be considered as normally planned. The difference is, there will not be a face to face convention in Kansas City this year for the winners to be announced.

This is a difficult time for us all as we are all in unchartered water, floating in an ever changing world. The Convention Committee is currently holding discussions regarding all aspects of the convention and our viable options. I will keep you informed of the results and decisions regarding these discussions.

My local chapter has been meeting online every Saturday using Slack. Poets are finding a way to connect. I have been watching poets from all over the world read their work on Facebook, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and You Tube to name a few ways I've connected.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions or comments and above all else, stay safe, stay healthy, stay home.

Your sister in words,

Julie Cummings
33rd President NFSPS


Due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in our community, we did not hold the physical meeting of our workshop this April 25th, but continued with a critique of poems.

Poems submitted for critique by the April 1st deadline were sent out to our two critics, whose written comments on the poems were returned to the authors. The cost was $4 (regular cost of workshop without lunch).

Critics: Jeanne Emmons and Rustin Larson

Jeanne Emmons has published four collections of poetry: The Red Canoe (Finishing Line Press); The Glove of the World,winner of the Backwaters Press Reader's Choice Award; Baseball Nights and DDT (Pecan Grove Press); and Rootbound, winner of the New Rivers Press Minnesota Voices Competition. Her poems have won the Comstock poetry prize, the South Coast Review Poetry Award, the James Hearst Poetry Award, and the Sow's Ear poetry award, among others. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Scholar, Carolina Quarterly, Louisiana Literature, North American Review, River Styx,South Carolina Review, South Dakota Review, and other journals. She is poetry editor of The Briar Cliff Review.

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 among other journals. 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 is Professor in the MFA Creative Writing program at Maharishi University and teaches Composition and Elements of Writing at Kirkwood Community College.

IPA Fall Workshop - Sat. Oct. 26th, 2019

At Windsor Heights Lutheran Church - 1240 66th St., Windsor Heights

Critics: Rachel Morgan and Bill Rudolph

Rachel Morgan is the author of the chapbook, Honey & Blood, Blood & Honey (Final Thursday Press 2017). She is a co-editor of Fire Under the Moon: An Anthology of Contemporary Slovene Poetry (Black Dirt Press, 1999) and her work is included in the anthology, Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press 2016). Recent poems appear in Crazyhorse, Fence, Prairie Schooner, Boulevard, Denver Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. Currently she teaches at the University of Northern Iowa and is the Poetry Editor for the North American Reviewwww.rachelmorganpoet.com
Bill Rudolph, former IPA president, earned his MFA from Vermont College--studying under mentors Mark Cox, Jody Glading, Leslie Ullman, and Roger Weingarten. Bill’s poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, The English Journal, The Nebraska Review, The North American Review, Quarterly West, Rattle, Rosebud, Slant, The South Dakota Review, Steam Ticket, and other literary journals. Bill enjoys good jazz, good poetry, good tennis, good libations, good conversation, and that never-ending quest for an adjective more apt than "good." For over twenty years, Bill taught secondary writing and literature; now, he coaches student writers at Grinnell College and in GC's Liberal Arts in Prison Program.
Julie Sharp Emmons, Jeff Grimes, Pat Underwood, IPA Secretary Maggie Westvold and Joyce Allen, Lynn Robbins in back
Delia Ralston, Virginia Mortenson, Lucy Ringold, Heather Ann Clark, Joan Jessen Waske in back
Warren Reinecke, Norman Wolfe, Debbie Miller, Myrna Sandvik in back

Reader Dennis Maulsby

Reader Dawn Sly-Terpstra

IPA Communications Shelly Reed Thieman
and IPA Hospitality Stephanie Novotny

Thank you to Maxine Carlson for providing the photos of our Fall Workshop 2019.

IPA Youth Poetry Celebration - Sat. June 15th, 2019

Iowa Poetry Association Student Contest Winners of the 2019 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 15th, 2019. Fourteen students participated, reading their winning poems to an audience of about seventy (family, friends, teachers, IPA board members).

IPA Spring Workshop - Sat. Apr. 27th, 2019

At Windsor Heights Lutheran Church - 1240 66th St., Windsor Heights

Critics: Crystal Stone and Robert Tremmel

Thank you to Maxine Carlson for providing the following photos of our Spring Workshop 2019.

President Jerry Narland with Crystal Stone, Dawn Sly-Terpstra, Robert Tremmel and Dennis Maulsby
Stephanie Novotny, Hospitality, Shelly Thieman, Communications, Jerry Narland, President
Lucille Morgan Wilson, Past-Editor, IPA members Virginia Mortenson, Frank Kutchen, Mike Wilson
IPA member James Sandin, Maxine Carlson, 2nd Vice-President and Historian, Marilyn Baszczynski, Editor
Maggie Westvold, Secretary, far left, members Joyce Allen, Wally Moll (foreground). Rodney Reeves, Nominations (far back center), Linda Harris, Treasurer (standing back right). Other IPA members: Joan Waske, Lucy Ringold, Kay Herring, Pat Underwood

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