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 members 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

President’s Message

As I write this, I am jerking and swaying on an Amtrak train on my way to New Jersey. My son has had an accident and fractured a vertebra, and I am going on grandma duty to help out.

This reminds me that we all write our poems in the interstices of time in an ordinary life in which we have to clean house, tend gardens, go to work or help children, sometimes all at once. Invariably an idea will strike when your hands are busy, and this is when it is helpful to carry a notebook or learn how to use a voice memo app on your phone. These random jottings are a fantastic resource when you are otherwise devoid of inspiration. Sometimes a note made years before acquires fresh importance when combined with something recent, and out comes a poem.

Another great resource is your own unsuccessful drafts - you know, the poems you wrote that didn’t work, that you abandoned unfinished or thought not good enough to send anywhere or even share. Save them either on your computer or in a paper file. I often tackle one of those poem-a-day challenges in months with 30 days. If I actually manage to write 30 poems, maybe 3 will be worth working on and developing at the time, but even years later I look back at the others and spot a good line or an interesting idea that I can haul out and reconsider.

I am rather a fan of prompts when I do one of those challenges. Like the prompts set by our judges for our members-only contests, they can turn my thoughts in an unexpected direction and get me out of a rut of topics. There are books of prompts, and Facebook groups, and there is always the tactic of opening a poetry anthology and plunking your finger on a line to use as a prompt.

You will all have had an email from Gus Peterson and Sally Joy recently asking for your thoughts on whether you would be likely to attend an in-person meeting for our September meeting in Augusta or whether you are more likely to stay on Zoom. Please respond to that as soon as possible, so your board can make decisions about what size room to rent and spending the society’s money on equipment for a hybrid Zoom/in-person meeting, and figure out the hospitality required. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there, and hearing your contest entries and hearing the response of our wonderful judge, Dawn Potter, as well as hearing her own work.

Our election schedule has been thrown off course by the exigencies of Covid 19, and the next meeting involves an overdue election. Some of the board are happy to stay on board for the next couple of years, but we are in need of a new secretary as Linda DeSantis is having hand surgery which will make it impossible for her. Please consider if you would like to help out that way (and many thanks to Bill Frayer for temporarily stepping into the breach). We have already had a much-appreciated offer of help with hospitality, and are very thankful indeed to Darlene Glover for her fantastic bakery in the last few years, and for the work of setting things up. James Breslin is also stepping down after a good number of years as an active board member. We thank James very much for all his work for MPS over the years. Anybody who would like to join in with the work of planning and organising and being a general back-up person will be very welcome.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in September, and I hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable summer in the meantime.

Jenny Doughty

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