Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs was inspired by June Winona Snyder of Indianapolis. Miss Snyder, a charter member of the Indianapolis Poetry Society, felt Indiana poets needed to come together as an organization to connect poetry throughout the state and to encourage the formation of local poetry clubs to build a cohesive association between all poets in Indiana.
Miss. Snyder believed Indiana needed “to unite the various organized poetry groups in Indiana that were cultivating and promoting the appreciation of poetry, so that they might have the benefit of knowing one another through cooperation and friendly fraternization and should function as a Federation but never interfere with the internal affairs of management of an affiliated group.
“I decided that because poetry is such a beautiful thing, and gave such inspiration and comfort to so many, many people, it would be a valuable gesture to try to bring our state’s poets together. This would enable them to meet each other, and combine their effort for a larger good.”
On May 31, 1941, Ms. Snyder, along with twenty-four Indiana Poets, met at the Marott Hotel in Indianapolis (Lockerbie Court) and the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs was formed.
The first official meeting was held on October 11, 1941, at the Indiana World War Memorial building, boasting attendance of nearly eighty people. Miss Snyder’s mission to create “a state-wide organization to inspire appreciation of poetry” under the organizational title Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs was in motion.
ISFPC held monthly meetings in Indianapolis, and had three annual conventions where poets and representatives from clubs throughout the state gathered. To keep up with the needs of the organization and members who had to travel long distances, they discontinued the monthly meetings and conducted only two annual meetings in the spring and fall. These are held in different locations of the state each year.
Since its beginnings in 1941, the Federation has offered many opportunities for poets to share their works and to enter contests. In 1978, the annual Fall Rendezvous poetry contest began, and this continues with up to 25 sponsored contests yearly. These are open to poets in any country.
The first bulletin of the Federation was published August 1, 1942. The bulletin is published six times a year as the Indiana Poet. Affiliated clubs and ISFPC members share their poetry, activities, publications and contests, and information about upcoming Federation and National Federation of State Poetry Societies events.
The motto, “Poetry, the crown of literature,” was adopted in 1945. That same year the Federation began selecting a Poet Laureate.
The Indiana Senate created the official position of Indiana State Poet Laureate in 2005. To avoid confusion with the state’s Poet Laureate, in 2007 the Federation changed their title from Poet Laureate to Premier Poet. That year, Peggy Martin was selected as the first official Premier Poet, and previous living ISFPC Poets Laureate Glenna Glee Jenkins, Esther Towns, Carol Ogdon Floyd, Kay (Kinnaman) Sims, and Jeanne Losey were re-honored as Premier Poets.
On April 11, 2016, the Indiana Bicentennial Commission endorsed the Federation’s “Indiana Bicentennial Poetry Event” as an official Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project, beginning with the Spring Meet in May, 2016, and ending with the annual Fall Rendezvous in October, 2016. Federation members and affiliate clubs celebrated Indiana poets and poetry focused on Indiana history throughout the event. Through workshops, public events, poetry presentations, partnering with Riley Boyhood Home and Museum, and educational projects, the Federation’s legacy continued with the vision of its founders to “keep poetry alive” in Indiana.
In 2016 ISFPC voted to change their name to "Poetry Society of Indiana" or PSI. This was to simplify the organization's name as well as to reflect the shift in emphasis from local club membership to state membership. We accept local club members as well as many individuals who do not belong to a local club.
Official colors: yellow and green
Official flower: yellow pom pom chrysanthemum
Motto: “Poetry is the crown of literature”