The Society of Great River Poets exists to bring poets together in a supportive environment, irrespective of gender, age, ethnic origins, social background, sexual orientation, or level of ability and gives them the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on their work.
Members usually meet every Saturday at 2:00 PM, alternating between Burlington Public Library and Mount Pleasant Public Library in Eastern Iowa. After reading and listening to submitted work, members discuss possible improvements. Emotional works are handled with great sensitivity. The Society of Great River Poet’s greatest attribute is in its listening.
The Society of Great River Poets publishes and annual anthology, Stand Forth, and a quarterly publication, A Step Between, of members works. It works with other groups to bring outstanding poets into the area and to support open mic events. It also sponsors creative weekends at a campground every spring and fall.
The Society of Great River Poets does not charge dues.
In 1999 a group of poets and other writers from southeast Iowa and West Central Illinois met for the first time. They learned that there were many poets in the area, but that they had little audience and that some of their poems needed refinement. The group viewed videos of some of the most famous English-speaking poets for study and discussion. Books on and about the established poets were also studied and discussed. These poets’ work, lifestyles, methods, reasons, and motivations became so well known that members spoke of them as if they were old friends. The diversity of The Society of Great River Poets is now so broad that poets of the past would smile and nod their approval.