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Well, it isn't really the newest, because it was in operation a few years ago and then went on hiatus, but it is back and going strong. So far we have 8 members, with more in the offing. We meet at Books-a-Million in Tallahassee the 3rd Tuesday of each month, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Our president is Michael Carducci.

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We had a great time at the HeyDay in May, La Playa Resort & Suites, Daytona Beach Oceanfront, May 4-5, 2007

Activities included presentations by Ann Williams, Coleen Ward, and Larry Gross; a panel discussion by the New River Poets moderated by Stephanie Andrews; announcement of winners in the three Heyday in May poetry contests; and the always enjoyable open readings.

Caroline Walton had this to say:

Thanks again to Coleen and Stephanie for hosting the fun meeting for FSPA. The speakers and workshops were informational and challenging, visiting with fellow poets is always like coming home, and especially seeing Dorothea Dubler out and about again was a joy. For those who missed it, I hope you will be with us in October at the convention hosted by the Live Poets.

And this from Gail Teachworth:

I have always thought that the best part of Conventions or Spring meetings was the "family reunion feeling"--getting to see old friends again was the highlight for me.

And Larry Gross:

Great Hey Day in May this past weekend in Daytona Beach. Many thanks-yous to Stephanie and Coleen for a fine meeting. It was a special treat to see Dorothea Dubler and Gail Teachworth again, as well as other old friends and new friends. I'm still digesting the biggest slice of meatloaf I have ever encountered!

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The October 2007 Annual FSPA Convention will be hosted in Daytona Beach by the Live Poets Society of Daytona Beach on October 26-28. The theme will be Psychoprosody. Check Of Poets and Poetry or the fspaforum for more details.

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Reports and comments from the FSPA Convention, Hernando FL, Oct 21-22, 2006.

From Loretta Rogers:

Sunshine Poets are so glad you enjoyed the convention, and hope others did as well. Thank you for posting your compliments on the forum loop. So many new ideas for pumping new life into FSPA made this convention especially exciting. I am certain that all who attended this year's convention went away with their poetic muse recharged.

I cannot say enough about Coleen Ward's keynote presentation. She was spectacular with poems written from different points of view: serious, comedic, erotic, mysterious. Oh my, she is so talented. For those who didn't attend the convention, I can only say, you missed a delightful keynote presentation. It will be difficult to fill Coleen's shoes for next year's keynote speaker.

Many Kudos to all of my fellow Sunshine Poets who worked tirelessly to make the 2006 convention in Hernando a success. Thanks to all of you.

Loretta Rogers
FSPA Recording/Corresponding Secretary
Sunshine Poets

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News from the 2006 NFSPS Convention, Airport Hotel, San Antonio TX

From Madelyn Eastlund:

Just back from the NFSPS convention. There were 4 of us: Coleen Ward, Stephanie Andrews, Deborah Halstead-Johnson and me to cheer for Florida.

San Antonio is an exciting place and the convention had great speakers. Thursday evening was a gala evening of fiesta snack food, mariachis, Flamingo dancers ... brilliant color, exciting sound and the spirit of Mexico. A great way for a San Antonio convention to begin.

Between the Welcome Fiesta and the keynote speaker there were many speakers, workshops, panels ... as well as every morning and evening open readings for the conventioneers. Of course there were many "old friends” to greet and "new friends” to meet.

My favorite workshop was Beverly Monestier's "Instruments in the Hands of Higher Power Creativity Workshop" during which she reinforced that it takes more than experience and productivity to create a poem. And the meat in the workshop was how to turn that experience and desire to produce into the creation of a good poem. Brilliant workshop. I am going to try to get her workbook (which she did not have at convention).

There was a haiku segment ... with flutist. The flutist was excellent! The poems by the haikuist were interesting but very few were really haiku. I was talking to one of the officers of the Fort Worth Haiku Society (they are also members of PS of TEXAS) and she said every so often Marvin comes and "entertains" ... and they like him and always enjoy the program he and Stan put on even "if it isn't haiku." Most of his poems seem more philosophical; I enjoyed listening to them; it was a pleasant workshop.

Naomi Shihab Nye was an exciting speaker. So very animated and so bubbling with her love for poets and poetry that we could have continued listening and enjoying even after her talk was over. Incidentally, she finished her talk by playing the guitar and "singing" a poem for us—Just delightful.

The big draw at the convention is not only the speakers but the announcement (a few at each lunch and dinner) of winners in the annual 50-category poetry contest. Even when we are not winners we cheer our friends and especially those from our state. So I was listening not only for my name and the name of my Citrus county poet friends but for other poets in our Florida State Poets Association. A total of 524 poets from 42 states entered a total of 9,739 poems. Florida's share in that total (591 poems) came from 27 poets. Of the 32 winning poems by Florida poets, 12 received place awards and 20 received honorable mentions.

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From Coleen Ward:

Stephanie and I are back from San Antonio. We had a great time.
Naomi Shahib Nye was excellent! Florida really shone with all of its contest winners! I have attached a list of Florida winners below. I apologize, in advance, if I overlooked anyone. Florida did a great job in the contests! Congratulations to everyone.

Some interesting statistics:

Texas had 80 poets enter 2,164 poems with 31 places and 87 honorable mentions,
Utah had 57 poets enter 1,256 poems with 37 places and 65 honorable mentions,
Florida had 27 poets enter 591 poems with 12 places and 20 honorable mentions, and
Minnesota had 27 poets enter 517 poems with 8 places and 15 honorable mentions.

Yea, Florida!

I would love to see Florida poets enter a lot more poems next year, because we have such excellent poets!

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Here is a list of 2006 NFSPS Contest Winners from Florida:

(Note from Larry: Though the above accounts indicate that 20 poems from Florida won Honorable Mention, a recount suggests that there were really 19. Those 19 are listed below. Please report any inaccuracies.)

Category #2: Winners Circle Award, 7HM, Peggy C. Hall, So. Miami

Category #5: Futuristic Award, 6HM, Joyce Shiver, Crystal River

Category #6: Power of Woman Award, 1HM, Maggie Schwartz, Miami; 3HM, Valerie Esker, Beverly Hills; 4HM, Caroline Walton, Crystal River; 6HM, Madelyn Eastlund, Beverly Hills

Category #8: J V Hickey Mem. Award, 7HM, Gail Teachworth, Crystal River

Category #11: Music Award, 3rd Place, Joyce Shiver, Crystal River

Category #14: Wm. Stafford Mem. Award, 2nd Place, Coleen T. Ward, Melbourne

Category #15: NV Poetry Soc. Award, 1HM, Coleen T. Ward, Melbourne

Category #16: All Poets Award, 1HM, Joyce Shiver, Crystal River

Category #21: GA Poetry Soc. Award, 6HM, Caroline Walton, Crystal River

Category #26: Prouty Mem. Award, 2nd Place, Coleen T. Ward, Melbourne

Category #27: Ohio Award, 1st Place, Coleen T. Ward, Melbourne

Category #28: Humorous Poem Award, 7HM, Robert S. Shelford, Deland

Category #29: Amer. Ind. Heritage Award, 3HM, BettyAnn Whitney, Zephyrhills

Category #30: MO State Poetry Award, 2HM, Pame Boseman, Bunnell

Category #31: LA State Poetry Award, 4HM, Patricia Whiting, West Palm Beach

Category #32: B. Stevens Mem. Award, 5HM, Coleen T. Ward, Melbourne

Category #35: Poetry Soc. of OK Award, 4HM, Pame Boseman, Bunnell

Category #36: Minute Award, 3rd Place, Sybella Beyer-Snyder, Inverness

Category #37: Save Our Earth Award, 3rd Place, Madelyn Eastlund, Beverly Hills

Category #38: Ben Lomond Poets Award, 1st Place, Gail Teachworth, Crystal River; 2nd Place, Maxine S. Nicholson, Dunnellon

Category #39: MA State Poetry Award, 3HM, Madelyn Eastlund, Beverly Hills

Category #40: Poetry Soc of MI Award, 1st Place, Joyce Shiver, Crystal River; 5HM, Maxine S. Nicholson, Dunnellon

Category #45: NJ Poetry Soc. Award, 1st Place, Robert E. Blenheim, Daytona Beach; 2nd Place, Robert S. Shelford, Deland

Category #46: CT Poetry Soc. Award, 3rd Place, Valerie Esker, Beverly Hills

Category #47: WY Poets Award, 7HM, Ann Williams, Melbourne

Category #48: NE State Poetry Award, 3rd Place, Valerie Esker, Beverly Hills

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