This week, I wanted to write about something that would flow. I knew I wouldn’t have much time to construct a post. Fortunately, I came across Robert Lee Brewer’s post about the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Lately he has been spotlighting the goings on in the poetry world. The two previous posts were the Haiku Society of America and Button Poetry, a group with an extensive collection of poetry performances on YouTube.
I am going to piggy-back off Brewer’s post because I think this is a cause that should be celebrated and shouted far and wide! The mission of the NFSPS is “to recognize the importance of poetry with respect to national cultural heritage. It is dedicated solely to the furtherance of poetry on the national level and serves to unite poets in the bonds of fellowship and understanding.” The Federation publishes a quarterly newsletter and holds an annual convention. Additionally, they publish an anthology entitled Encore with member poems and winning poems from their 50 contests. Cash prizes for their contents total more then $6,000!
One of the great things about the NFSPS is that when you join a state society, your fees include the membership fee for the NFSPS. You are therefore eligible for all of the contests your state society hosts as well as the NFSPS contests. I only see one shortfall between the national and state societies and that is that there are only 31 states with societies and only 29 of those represented with websites linked to the NFSPS website. We need to get the other 19 states on board! By my count, the states without societies are: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
If you live in a state without representation from a poetry society, consider contacting the NFSPS President, Chancellor, Appointive Board, or Executive Board. They will be able to assist you with aligning any groups within your state. The first step may be to try persuading any local groups to partner up under the umbrella of a state society and affiliate with the NFSPS.