The Poetry Society of Tennessee
A member of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies

By: Blog Post | January 06, 2018

"Cleaning House"

20 lines max, Lori Goetz, Sponsor

1st, Ann Carolyn Cates - "Hoarding"
2nd, Russell H. Strauss - "Modern Household Solution"
3rd, Pete Harris - "Christmas Mourn"

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, December, 2017 

By: Blog Post | November 11, 2017

Russell needs more entries for his Minute Poem entries. He’s going to extend his deadline.

He is sweetening the pot with some additional cash, so get your entries in! You can enter up to 3 of them; remember to rate your poems 1, 2, or 3 based on how you feel, and add $1, $2, or $3 as appropriate for your “bet.” Use the poem samples blog ( as the go-by for technique! Send by 11/20.

Category: Contests 

Tags: 2017 

By: Blog Post | November 11, 2017

Remember all monthly contest submittals are due to Pete Harris no later than the 20th of the month.


December - "Cleaning House" 20 Lines max. Lori Goetz, sponsor.

January – Elevators, any/20 lines max. Randy Stoker, sponsor.

February – "When I'm 64" or "When I Was 64" whichever is appropriate. Any form. 10-40 lines. Russell H. Strauss, sponsor.

March – Patriotic Theme, any form. 10-40 lines. Janet Qually, sponsor.

April – Any subject, any rhymed and metered form, 30 lines max. Pete Harris, sponsor.

May - Dorsimbra. Sarah Hull Gurley, sponsor.

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, Monthly, 2017, 2018 

By: Blog Post | November 11, 2017




1. The deadline for Grades 6-12 is December 5, 2017; Elementary and Eye-Poem is February 5, 2018.  No exceptions.

2. The competition is open to all TENNESSE students in grades 2-12. Public, private, and homeschools are eligible.

3. Submit two copies of each poem. Put the division (elementary, junior or senior) in the upper left corner of both copies. One copy must have student's ID in upper right corner. The ID information is student name, school name and address, student grade level, and the student's language arts/English teacher's. No font larger than 12 point should be used.

4. Each poem must be neatly typed o...

By: Blog Post | November 11, 2017

Just a reminder that Russell holds his monthly critiquing sessions prior to the meeting; the purpose of the critiquing sessions is to help improve writing skills. These sessions focus on select 2018 NFSPS contests. These sessions are shown below:

November: #3 NFSPS Board Award

Subject: Any
Form: Rondeau (NFSPS brochure has a description of this form)

December: #2 The Diamond T Award

Subject: Cowboy Poetry detailing the life of a cowboy at work. Past or present cowboys. (See Baxter Black for examples)
Form: Any/50 line limit

January: A guest host will be chosen to direct this critiquing. The contest chosen will be that person’s choice.

February: #40 Poetry Society of Oklahoma Award
Subject: Any
Form: Trimetric/13 line limit

March: #46 San Antonio Poets...

By: Blog Post | November 11, 2017

Subject: "Cleaning House"

Form: Any, 20 lines max

Sponsor: Lori Goetz

These need to be sent to Pete Harris by 11/20.

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, 2017 

By: Blog Post | October 15, 2017

The 2016 Mid-South Poetry Festival took place on October 7, 2017

Please click here to see the Winner's List!

Category: Festival 

Tags: Festival, Contests, 2017 

By: Blog Post | July 29, 2017

September - "Humor on the Dance Floor" Any form. 40 lines max. Karen Kestner, sponsor.

November - Any subject. Any form. 40 lines max. William H. King, sponsor.

December - "Cleaning House" 20 Lines max. Lori Goetz, sponsor.

January - Details to be announced. Randy Stoker, sponsor.

February - "When I'm 64" or "When I Was 64" whichever is appropriate. Any form. 10-40 lines. Russell H. Strauss, sponsor.

March - Blank Verse. Any subject. 40 lines max. Janet Qually, sponsor.

April - Details to be announced. Pete Harris, sponsor.

May - Details to be announced. Sarah Hull Gurley, sponsor. 

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, 2017, 2018 

By: Blog Post | June 03, 2017

The 2017 Poetry Society of Tennessee Festival Brochure is now available. Download a copy and find a contest that is calling you! Our Festival will be held October 7, 2017 and our guest speaker will be Ron Whitehead. Please join us at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn for a great day!

See details in the brochure link:

2017 Poetry Society of Tennessee Festival Brochure

By: Blog Post | June 03, 2017

Date: June 4

Time: 4:00 pm

Place: Celtic Crossing


Our June Poetry Reading will be held on Sunday June 4 at 4 pm at Celtic Crossing at the corner of Cooper and Oliver Streets. Celtic Crossing has one of the best restaurant patios in town that we can use this time of year. This location should please those who want an outside reading this year. The patio is partially covered, so rain is not be a problem. If it rains, we will be in the covered section of the patio. Celtic Crossing has no music on Sunday afternoon at this time, and because we will be outside (and away from the bar) the noise level will be low.


Both restrooms and food are available. We have set this reading at 4:00 so that that when we have our half time break, th...

Category: Readings 

Tags: Meetings, 2017, Readings, Events, June 

By: Blog Post | May 07, 2017

Criteria: Beauty of Nature. Any Form. 40 line limit.

Sponsor: Sarah Hull Gurley

1st: Barbara Blanks, Garland, TX - "Of Cabbage Crowns and Dreams"

2nd: Frances Cowden, Cordova, TN - "Searching for Beauty"

3rd: Russell H. Strauss, Memphis, TN - "Late Afternoon Wedding, Hot Springs"

1HM: J. Pompford "Pete" Harris, Memphis, TN - "Bits of Beauty"

2HM: Lori Goetz, Germantown, TN - "One Hundred Wings"

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, May, 2017 

By: Blog Post | March 30, 2017

don’t fade

Jarvis Johnson, Shelby Oaks Elementary, Amelia Bodgal, teacher

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, 2017, Eye Poems 

By: Blog Post | March 26, 2017


Judge: Whitney Brinkley Wright

1st: Balloon, Ella Gamble, Edmondson Elementary School, A. Long

2nd: A Girlie Girl Color, Allison Totty, Richland Elementary, Louise Clark

3rd: Forest, Trinity Crowder, Shelby Oaks Elementary, Amelia  Bogdal

4th: Tiger, A’Marion Bolden, Shelby Oaks Elementary, Amelia Bogdal

HM: A Forest of Thought, Crosswind Elementary, Mrs. Sludor

HM: Basketball, Tiyana Warren, Shelby Oaks Elementary, Amelia Bogdal

Merit: Eyes,  Alan Cheng, Dogwood Elementary, Michelle Sludor

Middle School:

Judge: Lori Goetz

1st: Ars Poetica, Connor Chockley, Snowden School, Elaine Waters

2nd: Another, Minnathi Reddivari, White Station Middle School, Karla Varriano...

By: Blog Post | March 26, 2017

Criteria: Any subject. Any Form. 10-40 lines

Sponsor: Beverly Seaton

1st: Russell H. Strauss, Memphis, TN - "Mule Cart"

2nd: Pete Harris, Memphis, TN - "Love of Life"

3rd: Janice Hornburg, Johnson City, TN - "Last Maple"

1HM: Frances Cowden - Cordova, TN "The Spirit Speaks"

2HM: Sara Gipson, Scott, AR - "Finding Peace"

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, April, 2017 

By: Blog Post | March 18, 2017

Subject: America the Beautiful

Any Form. 40 lines.

Sponsor: Russell Strauss

1st: Janet Qually, Memphis, TN - "Standing Together"
2nd: Barbara Blanks, Garland, TX - "Highways"
3rd: Lori Anne Goetz, Germantown, TN - "Wilderness"
1HM: Jeanine Mah, Memphis, TN - "One National Indivisible"
2HM: Gail Denham, Sunriver, OR - "Flying Our Flag"
3HM: Sara Gipson, Scott, AR - "A Land Blessed"

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, 2017, February 

By: Blog Post | March 18, 2017

Criteria: Any Subject. Blank verse. 40 lines.

Sponsored by Janet Qually

1st: Barbara Blanks, Garland, TX -“Quilting Memories”

2nd: Sara Gipson, Scott, AR”- From Farm Beginnings”

3rd: Florence Bruce, Memphis –  “Pathological”

Category: Contests 

Tags: Contests, 2017, January