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IPA News

  • Cedar Rapids Prairie High School Student Johnnie Each was selected to serve as 2022 Iowa Student Poet Ambassador. Read full article.
  • Many of you have already received the sad news that our beloved Lucille Morgan Wilson, 95, passed away on Monday June 21st. Among the many other responsibilities in her career and her prodigious volunteer work, Lucille served as IPA Treasurer 1973-76, IPA President 1976-78, and IPA Editor-in-chief 1988-2016. Lucille will be greatly missed. Please feel free to share this information with all who knew her. You may find her obituary here.
  • NEW Resources for Teachers, Parents and Students. We have asked teachers to share some ideas for poetry assignments you can use in preparing student submissions.
  • For information on Shreya Khullar, the inaugural Iowa Student Poet Ambassador, see Ms. Kullar's bio. You can read her poem "The Hindi Word for Prayer" published in The Rising Phoenix Review. Ms. Khullar participated in our IPA LIVE! program this past July.

President's Message

Participation "Everyone is a poet, only a few foolhardy ones admit it" - Jon

I think it is safe to assume that if you are reading this you have an interest in poetry, at least read it, probably write some. I pose the question, how far does your involvement go? Have you attended any readings in the last week? Month? Year? When was the last time you gave a public reading of your poetry? Are you an active member of a poetry or writing group? Do you seek out learning resources?? Have you regularly submitted your work for publication? If you are missing out on the social aspects of writing, meeting and mixing with other poets, getting feedback on your work through critique and audience response, learning through courses and workshops, you are short changing yourself of valuable help to improve your skills with the craft.

For myself, and I suspect most others, the genesis of a poem is solitary work. Bringing images and sensations to a sheet of paper and then fine-tuning the word choices is best done within yourself. When the time comes that you have reached the point of "nothing left to improve", then is the time to see the effect of your words on readers. Be prepared for surprises. While it may be that your poem takes the reader where you wanted them to go, occasionally one will find entirely different images and meanings. Not necessarily a bad thing, possibly an indication your work will have a broader appeal than you imagined. A poem like a painting is viewed from the observer' s perspective.

The bottom line of all this is take your poems out into the world, share them, learn from what they evoke in others, and apply these lessons to future efforts.

Read the best of what you wish to write and ever, keep writing.
Jerry
"Solitude vivifies, isolation kills." - Philibert Joseph Roux
October 2022

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