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March 2024

The Sunflower Poets' Roundtable

Sunflower Poets' Roundtable haiku introduction/ discussion Sunday 3 March 2024 at 2pm CST online via Microsoft Teams

Poetry Workshop 17 March 2024

Members will gather to share a poem and receive feedback. All poems to be shared and discussed should be emailed to .  The workshop will be facilitated on  Sunday 17 March 2024 at 2pm CST online via Microsoft Teams. It is important that you verify/coordinate the start time according to your time zone. To provide time for review, Admin would like to email the poems to the group on Friday prior to the Sunday meeting. Poems should be emailed by Thursday at midnight prior to the Sunday meeting. As a reminder, SPSK workshops are a safe space for poetic expression. We have members of varying skill levels. Everyone is encouraged to participate regardless of submission. Constructive criticism is key. Our workshops aim to nurture creative expression and elevate the importance of embracing your poetic voice. Works in progress are encouraged. You do not need to submit the “perfect poem” or “award-winning” caliber. The idea is to answer your questions about your own work: are my ideas clear? Is there too much imagery? Does it flow? Are the themes clear? Does my poem convey the right tone?, etc. As a community, we thrive by listening, discussing, considering and commenting. At its heart, poetry is about community and how we view the world around us. You do not have to submit a poem to participate and provide feedback. However, the workshop is most productive when there are four poems or more to discuss. Your fellow poets need your support. Honing one’s craft can be a difficult journey and input from community is vital in that pursuit. It is also important to provide an embracing space for exploration, errors, challenging themes, conflicting ideologies, etc. All participants are encouraged to provide respectful and constructive feedback that will improve the quality of the poem and assist the poet in achieving their goal. Be mindful, poets in this group come from various backgrounds. Sensitivity, empathy, being open-minded and allowing for a shift in perspective benefits the community as a whole.


Poetry workshop 18 July 2023

The poetry workshop will be held via online platform on Tuesday 18 July 2023 at 7pm (CST). If you are planning to attend (you do not have to submit a poem), please respond in the affirmative and keep in mind that the workshop works best with at least four poems to discuss/review. If you wish to submit a poem for the workshop, please email me at and I will make sure that your work is made available prior to our gathering. I wish to emphasize that participation is encouraged. Participation and contribution are key to creating community and enhancing your poetic experience.  However, no one needs to ever feel pressure in this group to submit poems or attend workshops. We are an all-volunteer group. In that spirit, you may be as active or inactive as time permits. I will email a reminder for submissions on Wednesday and include a guide for how we approach our workshops to ensure that everyone is experiencing a supportive environment, constructive feedback and a safe space for poetic expression. I encourage anyone who wishes to share a poem for feedback to do so no later than Thursday evening prior to the week of the workshop. I wish to emphasize that this is a supportive, welcoming and constructive workshop. Please consider this when providing observations and commentary. We welcome and encourage poets of all skill levels. Do not hesitate to contribute because you feel that your work is “not ready” or “polished”. We are here to encourage, support and advise/provide direction but only at the poet’s request. Some of our goals for this workshop are to share poetic expression, creativity, honing of the poetic vision/voice for your piece, facilitate confidence and become more comfortable with presentation (reading for an audience). I look forward to reading the poem that you submit and sharing the camaraderie of a poetry community.

 I leave you with a little poetry for inspiration, thank you for being a part of this poetic journey.


An Hymn To The Morning

Attend my lays, ye ever honour'd nine,
Assist my labours, and my strains refine;
In smoothest numbers pour the notes along,
For bright Aurora now demands my song.
Aurora hail, and all the thousand dies,
Which deck thy progress through the vaulted skies:
The morn awakes, and wide extends her rays,
On ev'ry leaf the gentle zephyr plays;
Harmonious lays the feather'd race resume,
Dart the bright eye, and shake the painted plume.
Ye shady groves, your verdant gloom display
To shield your poet from the burning day:
Calliope awake the sacred lyre,
While thy fair sisters fan the pleasing fire:
The bow'rs, the gales, the variegated skies
In all their pleasures in my bosom rise.
See in the east th' illustrious king of day!
His rising radiance drives the shades away—
But Oh! I feel his fervid beams too strong,
And scarce begun, concludes th' abortive song.


A poem by Phyllis Wheatley

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Link for contest results NFSPS June Convention

2023 National Federation of State Poetry Societies, Inc. with The Iowa Poetry Association presents the results from the annual convention June 21 to June 26 in West Des Moines, IA

May Activities

Poetry Workshop

I am extending the deadline for the poetry workshop submissions. In an effort to provide more poets an opportunity to participate, the deadline is now Saturday 13 May 2023 by 6pm. If you have a poem in progress, one that you wish to receive feedback, one that is challenging, trying to find quite the right way/words to express your theme, etc., please share the poem with the group. It doesn’t have to be completed. “Diamonds in the rough” are encouraged and welcomed. We are here to encourage and support each other. This is a safe space for poetic expression. I hope that this extension will sway those who are on the fence about sharing. Don’t have a poem prepared? No worries, sit down with pen, paper, tablet, computer, cell phone, etc., be still, observe, give in to the muse and the words will come. I encourage you to write a poem today, let your feelings flow, be inspired and share with the group.

Member Poetry Share

We will hold a members'  poetry reading at 2pm CST on 28 May 2023.  I will provide the link on Friday.  This will be a gathering of community and  camaraderie, an opportunity to get know each other through poetry. Please come prepared to share and discuss poems from your favorite poets. I am looking forward to experiencing some of the poetry from poets who inspire you.


Event: Members sharing a few favorite poems


Start Times:

* 3 pm Eastern
* 2 pm Central
* 1 pm Mountain
* 12 Noon Pacific (West Coast)


I leave you with the following poem:




Poem recited at John F. Kennedy's Inauguration by Robert Frost


The land was ours before we were the land’s 
She was our land more than a hundred years 
Before we were her people. She was ours 
In Massachusetts, in Virginia, 
But we were England’s, still colonials, 
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by, 
Possessed by what we now no more possessed. 
Something we were withholding made us weak 
Until we found out that it was ourselves 
We were withholding from our land of living, 
And forthwith found salvation in surrender. 
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright 
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war) 
To the land vaguely realizing westward, 
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced, 
Such as she was, such as she will become.

Robert Frost was the first poet to speak at the inauguration of a president, reciting from memory “The Gift Outright,” when the glare of the sun prevented him from reading “Dedication,” a poem he had written specially for the occasion.

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April Poetry Workshop

We will meet via the online link provided in the member's email. We will follow a version of The Peter Elbow method as an approach to writing critique. Briefly, I will present the tenets of this approach. Firstly, the reader or writer of the poem presents their poem, a short piece or work in progress.  Having read their work or a poem aloud, the writer/reader remains silent and allows the others to discuss it. This is when having the poems available prior to the reading can benefit reader and listener. The listeners/commentators would consider possible observations, considerations and questions:


  1. Tell what happens to you as you hear the work

  2. Identify a word, phrase, issue, concept, etc. that you identify or connect with. All comments should be positive and constructive

  3. Try to summarize the work in one sentence or word

  4. Ask the writer questions: Why this? What does this mean? And so forth.

  5. This discussion time can range from 10 to 15 minutes

  6. The writer or reader of the poem responds with a reply (approximately 5 minutes)

  7. Most importantly, those who are reading or listening do not try to rewrite the work or suggests words for revision or ways to reorganize (always a temptation for writers)


The goal of this approach allows the poet/writer to experience their poem or poems selected through others. This brings a fresh perspective and additional insight. It is important to be cautious realizing that both the

poet and the listener can be wrong and right. The key is honesty and openness with no hurt feelings. Furthermore, we will avoid discussion of writing mechanics because those observations can be shared via email for those who wish to make their email available to the group for feedback. There will be future workshops for those who wish to focus on the rules of written language (capitalization, abbreviations, punctuation, spelling, etc.) and effective ways to clearly communicate through cadence/rhythm. Please keep in mind that we are always looking for more ideas regarding workshops and creating poetry readings focused on sharing/enjoying poems without the workshop approach.


Guidelines for listener response: (as stated previously, writing mechanics can be addressed via email. We will focus on the “spirit” of the piece and what the poet wishes to convey)


  1. Pointing: state what words or phrases stick in your mind as pleasing or important. If nothing strikes you listen to the responses of others.

  2. Summarizing: In one sentence; tell what you think the writing is about. Then summarize in one word: first word from the poem; then one word of your own

  3. Showing: which one or ones of the senses does the writing touch you ( ex. Seeing? {e.g. color} hearing? Smell, taste, touch?) Does the reading aloud of the poem or prose suggest movement? (ex. March, skip, slog).

  4. Voice: Does it whisper, drone, lecture, complain? Is it male or female? Singular or plural? Other?

  5. Questions: what would you like to ask the author? Are there parts you don’t understand? What caused the writer to use a particular word?

Poetry Reading

On Sunday 30 April 2023, we will gather for a poetry reading.  A link for the event will be provided for to members via email. This reading will be an opportunity for members to share their favorite poems and discuss what inspires them to write poetry. This event encourages camaraderie and strengthens our poetic community.

Spring Poetry Festival on 22 April 2023

Greetings fellow poets


I am sharing information copied from the Facebook post about the poetry fair in Lawrence for those who wish to attend. Some of our members will be present to read and share poetry with other poets in the Kansas literary community. Toby and I will be present. This is a great opportunity for camaraderie and community. If you are available and would love to celebrate spring and poetry with other poets/aficionados, please consider dropping by or participating, sending good vibes and keep writing.

22 April 2023



Verbal Transformations | Poetry, Spoken Word & Open Mic

Lawrence Arts Center










101 people responded

Event by BLACK Lawrence and Lawrence Arts Center

Lawrence Arts Center



Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

Celebrate National Poetry Month at this all-ages event that brings together poetry, spoken word, live performance and open mic! In Partnership with Black Lawrence & the Poetry Fair, Downtown Underground Concert Series presents Verbal Transformations.


Poetry, Spoken Word & Open Mic

Saturday, April 22 | 2:30 - 8 pm

Poetry Fair | 2:30-4:00 pm

Performances & Open Mic | 4:00-8:00 pm

4:30pm: Cynthia Colbert
5pm: Anthony Boynton
5:30pm: Barry Barnes
6-7 pm: open mic, OPEN MIC SIGN UP HERE:

7:30pm: Tai Amri Spann-Ryan

10th & Mass Studios

All ages welcome

$10 suggested donation

Performances, Poets, Authors, Activities, & Vendors

Hosts: Ronda Miller & Alex Kimbell Williams
Kevin Rabas
Eric McHenry
William (Bill) Karnowski
Annette Billings
Barry Washboard Barnes
The Silver Lion Poet
Kerry Moyer
Kimberly Ann Stiles
Duane Johnson
Curtis Becker – live stream master!
Beth Gulley
Joan Koromantee
Ande Johnson
Maureen Carroll
Fable Briggs
Ian Cook
Perry Shepard
Brian Daldorph
Andy Connolly
Diane Silver
Iris Craver
Sandy Hazlett
Tai Amri Spann-Ryan
Anthony Boynton

BLACK-OUT Poetry Activity
CUT-UP Poetry Activity
Poetry Fair Book Sale
Open Mic, All Ages

Get Your Fleek On by Sarah Ngoh
Food Vendor: Native Chef, LLC

Special thanks to
BLACK Lawrence, The Poetry Fair, Alex Kimball Williams, and Poetrondamiller
Elizabeth Shultz 



Electronic Submission NOW available for ALL contests ( if you do not currently have a Submittable Account you must create one in order to submit your works, this is a free service of Submittablecom) Please read contest rules before submitting

The NFSPS conducts poetry contests in the spring of each year Given below are descriptions of the contests These contests have a March 15, 2023, postmark for their deadline.
Note: contests  are  NFSPS *Members Only. please note that you may also mail your submissions but be sure to follow the postmark requirements. This is the link or go to

Poetry meeting

The Sunflower Poetry Society of Kansas on Sunday 5 March 2023 beginning at 2pm CT/3pm ET/12pm PT.  The goals of this meeting will be to receive an update from our treasurer, to share ideas about the direction of our group, should all email correspondence continue to be shared via blind copy, ways to increase involvement/membership, your expectations, what you would like to see going forward, possible changes, etc. I will conduct this meeting with a Town Hall approach. All ideas and suggestions will be welcomed. In an effort to keep things moving expeditiously, I ask that you email your suggestions for me to present to the group by no later than Thursday at 8pm. I will compile the suggestions and create an agenda from your input. I look forward to brainstorming with everyone. Also, we are in search of a secretary for our group. If you are interested, please email us at Your feedback is very important.

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Poetry Workshop

Our next poetry workshop will be held on Tuesday 14 February 2023 (7pmCST/ 8pmEST/ 5pm PST). The link for Google Meet will be emailed along with the submitted poems. . When you are ready to share your poem with the group for feedback, please email to by midnight on Thursday 9 Thursday 2023. By sending your poem in advance, we can make it available to the group prior to your reading on 14 February 2023. If the poem you wish to read is sent to , I will make sure that the group receives the work via email ahead of time. This method can help facilitate discussion and active contribution. 

Community Outreach/ Black History Month

M Palowski Moore will represent The Sunflower Poetry Society of Kansas while reading and sharing his poems about the Black experience during a Black History event at Bishop Ward High School ( 708 N 18th St, Kansas City, KS 66102 ). The event will take place on 23 February 2023 at 10 AM CST.

ARTHEALS exhibition (poetry and art)

M Palowski Moore is one of the artists featured in this exhibition at InterUrban Arthouse in Overland Park, Kansas. The artists reception will be held on Friday 17 February 2023 from 5 to 8 pm CST. All are welcome to attend and experience the healing power of art.



This is the link to the digital catalog 

for InterUrban ArtHouse


You can view the digital catalogue and shop for the 2023 ArtHeals Exhibition at

Poetry Contests February

National Federation of state Poetry Societies

2023 Convention Host Competition:

Convention Madness Poem Contest

Prize: Win Expenses for NSFPS Convention June 21 – June 25,2023

Entry Fee:

NSFPS Members: $10 per every 3 poems

Non-Members: $18 per every 3 Poems


1st - 5 Night stay at convention hotel ($745 Value)

2nd – Convention meals package (approximately $200 Value)

3rd – Convention Registration ($75 Value)

  • No Cash equivalent – MUST attend 2023 convention to receive these prizes

Submit: Any form, any subject, limit one page, 12-point type.  May be previously published.  Simultaneous submissions acceptable.

DEADLINE: February 28, 2023

Complete Guidelines available at:

National Federation of State Poetry Societies

2023 Convention Host Competition


Invocational Poems contest

Eligibility: Open to All Poets

Form: Any, name the form on your entry

Lines: 30 Maximum

Recognition: Entry grants NFSPS permission to read willing poems at the 2023 NFSPS Convention at the beginning of meals.  No cash prize equivalent.  Poems will not be published.

Subject: invocational poems – poetic value not religious orthodoxy. Poems should be suitable to a religiously diverse membership, should use gender inclusive, contemporary language, and should have equal value for the religious and the non-religious. 

May submit up to 4 poems.

Deadline: February 28, 2023 (Postmark)

Complete guidelines available at





1st Place - $1,000

2nd Place - $500

3rd Place - $250

Winners will be published nationally in Book Form, as Audio on, in a video on, and will qualify  to compete in the National BlackBerry Peach Poetry Slam at the NFSPS Convention June 21-26, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Submissions Accepted:

January 1st – March 15th 2023

  • Submit your best 4 Original Poems as both Text and Audio

  • Guidelines at – Follow “ Contest” link to enter


Celebration of William Stafford: Living a Poetic Life

M Palowski Moore will represent SPSK as one of those reading poems. The Writers Place invites you to the Watkins for the annual birthday celebration of famed Kansas poet William Stafford. This in-person, drop-in event will feature original readings by Kansas Authors Club and Writers Place members.

January 28th SATURDAY AT 1 PM – 4 PM

 Watkins Museum of History

1047 Massachusetts Street

Lawrence, Kansas

SPSK Online Poetry Workshop

SPSK will host a a poetry workshop on Tuesday 14 February 2023 at 7pm. This is a safe space to share your poetry and receive constructive feedback. Details will be sent via email. As always you may email questions to 

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Using Mobile Phones

At the Library
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