About MPS

The Waterville Poets Club and the Dover-Foxcroft Poetry Circle joined in 1936 to form the Poetry Fellowship of Maine. In 1993, the name was changed to Maine Poets Society to reflect the organization's changing emphasis on a statewide network of writers sharing their work.

The society is affiliated with the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS). Maine Poets Society membership fee includes NFSPS membership and allows our memebrs the opportunity to participate in a variety of contests and events each year. For more information, visit NFSPS online at www.nfsps.com.

Who's Who at MPS
Board Members

  • Jenny Doughty, President

  • James Breslin, Vice President and Program Chair

  • Gus Peterson, Treasurer & Membership

  • Bill Frayer, Secretary

  • Sally Joy, Stanza & Publicity

President's Ink

Greetings fellow poets, and a happy spring to everybody.

Winter is usually the time of year when we have time to hunker in and concentrate on writing, unless the snow needs shoveling or the wood needs fetching orÖ you know all those tasks that cause us to wander away from our desks. But spring is a time for renewed energy as well, and a time for new inspiration. Change Ė whether itís of scenery or weather or life in general Ė is a great wellspring for poetry.

We have made some significant changes to the Maine Poets Society over the past few years. We now have winter regional meetings, each with a different focus. Our meeting in Westbrook in January was a great success and all attendees enjoyed studying together the art of telling by showing, and then workshopping poems brought with them. Youíll find some of those in this edition of Stanza. Sadly, our February meeting did not attract enough people to justify renting the necessary space, but there is still our March regional meeting in Auburn to look forward to Ė youíll find the details elsewhere in this newsletter.

I do hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend our next all-Maine meeting in Auburn. As part of the changes to the way meetings are organized, we are focusing part of our meeting time on the craft of poetry, and we are looking forward to a presentation by Nate Amadon of the Portland based performance poetry organization Port Veritas. He has been host of Portland's longest running poetry slam for the past 6 years. Youíll find the details and the agenda here in Stanza.

We have a fascinating poetry contest this time, judged by a wonderful award-winning Maine poet, Lee Sharkey. I have certainly been casting around for an event I can connect with my own life and Iíve almost finished my draft. We have lived through such interesting times, havenít we? (And no, that isnít totally ďinterestingĒ in the sense of the Chinese curse.) Iím sure those of you whose memories, like mine, stretch back into the 1950s can remember events that had an impact on you Ė the nuclear bomb, Vietnam, Woodstock, 9/11Ö itís an endless list. Your event might be closer to home than some great world event Ė the year your high school football team won a trophy for example. Iím looking forward to hearing the poems at our April meeting. This contest is only open to MPS members, so if you havenít yet renewed your membership, please send a $20 check for this yearís membership to our treasurer, Gus Peterson, at 12 Middle Street Randolph, ME 04346. Remember that membership also entitles you to enter any of the other state poetry contests advertised in the NFSPS newsletter, Strophes. Check them out at http://nfsps.com/.

Speaking of contests, I do hope many MPS members are planning to enter our inaugural prize poem contest, judged by former Maine poet laureate Betsy Sholl and with a $100 prize (and only $5 to enter!) Sadly Iím not allowed to enter that one, and nor is any other member of the MPS board, but I have been reading the entries that have been sent to me so far, most of them so far not from our membership, and they are of a wonderful variety. The closing date for that contest is March 10th, so you still have time to polish up your best poems and send them in.

Off you goÖ

Jenny Doughty (President, MPS)

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