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 Message

I hope all my fellow poets are having a wonderful summer.

Summer is a good time to be lazy and hang out in the shade or float in (or on!) a lake or the sea, thinking interesting thoughts, and how to express them in a poem. Sometimes the unlikeliest things crop up when you’re in the normal course of your day, so keep a notebook handy and jot down anything that feels like something you might write about – it doesn’t have to be heavy or profound.

I’m happy to report that our inaugural prize poem contest for Maine residents was a great success. We had a total of 95 entries, including entries from some of our members and some from poets who have since joined us and who I hope we will see at our fall meeting in Augusta. We were very honored by being allowed to present the prize at the MWPA Literary Awards evening in June. We will certainly repeat the contest next year, and we feel as a board that we have learned a lot from the exercise.

I would like to explain the judging process so that everybody understands how it works, for future reference. All the entries came to me, and I separated them into named and unnamed piles, matched by number. Three members of the MPS board then did a preliminary screening of the unnamed copies, and agreed on the best thirty for the shortlist, which we then sent to Betsy Sholl for judging. She chose the winner from that shortlist. As you may have heard, our winner was David Sloan, with his poem “Going Like Gaudi”. We can’t print it just yet, because he has sent it to various avenues for publication, but we hope to be able to print it in the future. It was a worthy winner.

We were very fortunate that Linda Aldrich, the new Poet Laureate of Portland, agreed to judge the contest for our next meeting before she knew of her appointment, because I’m fairly sure she will be a busy lady for the next couple of years! The topic is a fascinating one – a poem that deals with aspects of place or being displaced. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful state, and there is certainly much to write about if you choose to write about places in Maine, but there are also those like me who are immigrants and have things to say about being displaced. Immigration in all its aspects is front and center of the political scene this year, so there is plenty of material around to work with. Check the rest of this newsletter for details of the topic and the closing date.

In our next meeting we will have time for a mini-workshop about generating new work, so I hope as many of you as possible will be there. Seeing each other in person and sharing our work and our interests is the best possible stimulation for new work.

Yours in poetry

Jenny Doughty (President, MPS)

  2018 Maine Poets Society.
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