IOWA — The Iowa Poetry Association will soon release its 74th edition of "Lyrical Iowa," the annual anthology comprised of poems by Iowa writers of all ages.

According to Editor Marilyn Baszczynski, this year's volume contains 381 poems chosen from 1,845 entries in their contest held earlier this year. Entries came from 77 of Iowa's 99 counties, sent by persons ranging in age from kindergartners to near-centenarians in well over 100 cities and towns.

The Iowa Poetry Association has over 350 members across the state, but membership is not a requirement for having poetry included in the anthology. 

The not-for-profit organization's stated purpose is "to promote interest in and appreciation of poetry among Iowans" and to encourage and improve the art of self-expression through verse of varied styles. Within the pages of this year's "Lyrical Iowa," readers can explore a five-year-old's dreams of riding a rocket to the sky, or a 95-year-old's assurance of love's triumph over time. Other poems call on readers to writhe with animals through paintings, or maybe race with them across Iowa landscapes; they lament loss, replenish hope, give voice to what is not easily shared. Readers are invited to enter into their stories.

Association board officers are: Jerrold J. Narland of Winterset, president; Max Molleston of Coralville, first vice-president; Maxine Carlson of Iowa City, 2nd vice-president and historian; Margaret Westvold of Ames, secretary; Linda S. Harris of Altoona, Treasurer; Shelly Reed Thieman of West Des Moines as communications officer; and Marilyn J. Baszczynski of Earlham as Editor and Contest Chair. 

For the Lyrical Iowa Competition 2020, entries may be sent Jan. 1–Feb. 28, 2020. Please consult the complete contest rules for adult, college, high school and grade school entries on our website at www.iowapoetry.com. The contest will be announced in January and a direct mailing is being sent to public and private schools across the state. There is no entry fee and modest cash prizes are offered.

While the supply lasts, books may be ordered from the editor. Cost is $10 per copy, postpaid, to anywhere in the United States. Books from some previous years are also available. See our website for more info or contact the Editor at ipa@iowapoetry.com

The Iowa Poetry Association will be celebrating its 75th Anniversary in October 2020 with events planned in Des Moines for the weekend of Oct. 17-18, 2020; a special category will also be added in the adult contests with an anniversary theme and cash award. Details will be announced Oct. 1, 2019 on our website at www.iowapoetry.com.

Local participants of the Lyrical Iowa competition, 2019 include:

MAHASKA: Pamela J. Blomgren, Iola Powell Cadwallader, Fred De Jong, Rob Hoskinson; all of Oskaloosa

SCHOOL: DeShawn Stepter, 11th grade, Oskaloosa High School