Mississippi Poetry Society
Mississippi Poetry Society  


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Affiliated with the National Federation of State Poetry Societies

Mississippi Poetry Society is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and is the official poetry society of Mississippi.  

The MPS is a group of professional and aspiring poets dedicated to promoting poetry, educating the public, assisting our poet and writer members in areas of greater writing skill and publication awareness.   Among our activities and opportunities are meetings, readings, workshops, contests, festivals and community outreach.

MPS was founded in 1932 with eleven charter members at Belhaven College in Jackson, and was first called Belhaven Poetry Society. Miss Elizabeth Newman, head of the English Department at Belhaven, was the first (honorary) president. Its objectives were: “to make citizens’ poetry conscious, to awaken in young people the desire to write poetry, to collect and preserve in anthologies the best poetry produced in Mississippi, and to bring it to the attention of readers outside our own borders.” The first elected president was Anne-Elise Roane Winter, who designed the MPS emblem, a shield with three silver stars on a dark blue vaulted sky, bearing the Latin phrase, “Ad Astra,” (toward the stars). The first meetings were held in the Municipal Art Gallery in Jackson. William Alexander Percy of Greenville, cousin and adoptive father of Walker Percy, was an early member.

Mississippi Poetry Society holds an annual Spring Contest each year. Cash awards are provided by sponsors who donate prize money and specify the particulars of the contest they wish to sponsor.  The contests are open to the public, and prizes are awarded at our Spring Festival.  We invite sponsors for our annual spring contest.  

Each year MPS publishes a journal of its winning contest poetry.

A highlight of Spring Fest 2019 was the awarding of “Poet of the Year” to member Judy Davies, who debuted her collection of delightful poems, Inkspirations. Contest Chair and Central Branch President, Jeanne Kelly, presented Judy with the coveted award. Judy’s many talents and contributions of service to the Mississippi Poetry Society are widely known and appreciated. Inkspirations is available from the author.

Inkspiratios You can order direct from Kenvad Music
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Inkspirations - by Judy Davies (2019) - size 5.5 X 8.5 inches, 68 pages.

This book shares glimpses of nature, love, friendship and death along with the occasional humor that ties those experiences of life together and makes them bearable. Visual imagery, music, and variations in meter and rhyme are skillfully crafted into Judy's poetry. Sit back, relax, and travel as she leads you on an exciting armchair tour of images that will stir your senses from gentle tears to hearty laughter.
Judy Davies
Mississippi Poetry Society
2019 Poet of the Year

Judy Davies

Mississippi Poetry Society President, Linda Owen, has announced MPS-South Branch member Judy Davies as its 2019 Poet of the Year, granting her the privilege of having a chapbook of her poems published by the society.

A semi-retired professional French hornist, Judy became a Gautier, MS resident in 1998. She holds degrees from Otterbein College and the University of Southern Mississippi. She writes poetry in her spare time while handling the music/book publishing business for her composer husband, Ken, and preparing for concert tours.

A blend of the arts is a comfortable fit in this family with children and grandchildren involved in writing and/or music, including the cat, Darius Meow, named for a French composer (Darius Milhaud). Introduced to writing poetry by her British grandmother, a busy schedule set poetry writing aside until Ken needed a poem crafted on which to base a new musical work.

As a four time Mississippi Senior Poet Laureate and a National Honor Scroll winner, Judy has been recognized for her poetry by the United Poets Laureate International. The winner of several awards and internationally published in the U.S., Europe and the Far East, she released Poetic Images in 2011 followed in 2012 by the collaborative Poetic Soundscapes CD of her poetry with her husband's custom crafted music. Her poem Artistry, a grand prize winner in the 2014 Dancing Poetry Festival in San Francisco, was choreographed, danced and toured throughout California by Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theater Company. Several of her poems have also been set to music and performed in concerts across the country as art songs.

Judy's poetry offers a unique blend of tears and laughter, spirit and soul, reminding us that our lives can be enriched through poetry with the power of the pen. Her chapbook, Inkspirations, will be released at the MPS Spring Festival on April 6, 2019.


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