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A Brief History of ISFPC/PSI
Poetry Society of Indiana (PSI) was known as Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs (ISFPC) from 1941 to 2016, when our organization underwent a brand change.
ISFPC was inspired by June Winona Snyder of Indianapolis. Miss Snyder, a charter member of the local 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 conferences in the Spring and Fall. These conferences 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 organization's annual poetry contest began, and this continues with up to 25 sponsored contests yearly. These contests are open to poets in any country. Awards are announced and presented at our annual Fall Rendezvous conference.
The first bulletin of the Federation was published August 1, 1942. The bulletin was 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 Laureates 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 IFSPC'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.
In May 2016 at their Spring Fling Convention, ISFPC members voted to rebrand the organization as Poetry Society of Indiana (PSI). This change was to simplify the organization's name, as well as to reflect the shift in emphasis from local club membership to state membership.
PSI member Jenny Kalahar designed a new logo that celebrated both the organization's rebranding and the Indiana Bicentenniel.
During the Indiana Bicentennial Poetry Event event of Spring Fling 2016, PSI members and affiliate clubs celebrated Indiana poets and poetry focused on Indiana history. Through October 2016, PSI hosted bicenennial-themed workshops, public events, poetry presentations, partnered with Riley Boyhood Home and Museum, and educational projects, continuing the vision of the organization's founders to “keep poetry alive” in Indiana.
The mission of this non-profit organization is educational and literary; to, without prejudice or discrimination, unite Indiana’s poets, support Indiana’s local poetry groups, promote poetry writing, and encourage diverse poetic voices in Indiana through a variety of educational and
artistic events and opportunities. We welcome poet members year-round, and contine to support and encourage local poetry groups to become our affiliates. Ink to Paper is our annual publication featuring award-winning poems from our annual contest and sometimes other poems from other PSI members-only contests, events, and opportunities. Follow on Instagram @poetrysocietyin and Twitter @PoetrySocietyIN, Facebook @PoetrySocietyIN. Paid PSI members may request to join our Members-Only Closed Group Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/groups/2190927814364728.
Official colors: yellow and green
Official flower: yellow pom pom chrysanthemum
Motto: “Poetry is the crown of literature”
ISFPC / PSI has published the following anthologies. Many are available on Amazon.