As a member of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, KSPS is committed to the support of many programs, including the acknowledgement of the accomplishments of various state members and opportunities for recognition in poetry–most importantly, perhaps, to student writers. KSPS is committed to supporting the writers of America’s future and joins NFSPS in that goal.  For more information about NFSPS, click here for the current issue of Strophes, the national society’s official newsletter.

KSPS supports poetry locally and regionally through its adult and student poetry contests, the publication of its poetry journal Pegasus, and through activities which promote poetry throughout the Commonwealth, including our annual poetry conference.

Officers, Chairs, & Regional Directors

KSPS is made up of individuals who volunteer their time and efforts for the furtherance of poetry.

Sarah McCartt-Jackson


Kentucky poet, folklorist, and naturalist Sarah McCartt-Jackson has been published by Indiana Review, Journal of American Folklore, The Maine Review, and others. Her work has received honors from the Academy of American Poets, Kentucky Arts Council, Kentucky Foundation for Women, and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women. She has served as artist-in-residence for the Acadia National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Shotpouch Cabin in Oregon. Her books include: Stonelight, Calf Canyon, Vein of Stone, and Children Born on the Wrong Side of the River.


Amelia Martens

Vice President

Amelia Martens is the author of The Spoons in the Grass are There To Dig a Moat (Sarabande Books, 2016), and four chapbooks. In 2019, she received an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. She co-curates the Rivertown Reading Series, Exit 7, and two awesome daughters.


Kathleen Gregg


Kathleen Gregg lives with her husband and one cat on five acres just outside Wilmore.  She writes poetry, does endless yard work and spoils her grandkids every chance she gets.  She is a proud  graduate of the Author Academy program at Carnegie Center, where she was mentored by Jeff Worley, current poet laureate of Kentucky.  Her poetry has been published in such literary journals as Lady Literary Journal, Gyroscope Review, Fly on the Wall Press, and Highland Park Poetry.  She is currently working on her first book of poems.

Jennifer Barricklow


Jennifer Barricklow is a writer and freelance editor in Lexington KY. In addition to writing poetry, she studies tarot, putters in the garden, and makes stuff out of yarn. She participates in the literary ecosystem, locally and globally, as much as possible.


Tom C. Hunley

West Regional Director

Tom C. Hunley is a professor in the MFA/BA Creative Writing programs at Western Kentucky University, where he has taught since 2003. He won the 2020 Rattle Chapbook Prize for Adjusting To The LIghts and the 2020 SmokeLong Quarterly AWP Microfiction Award for “Notes For Further Study”. What Feels Like Love: New and Selected Poems is forthcoming in March 2021 from C&R Press.

Matt Birkenhauer

Member at Large

Matt Birkenhauer teaches at NKU, mostly composition and rhetoric as well as developmental education.  His love of poetry goes way back—to at least high school when, ragged and a little hungover, he sat down and read Allen Ginsburg’s “Howl” in his brother’s college lit. text.  He’s never looked back.

Mary Allen

Membership Chair

Mary Allen comes to poetry after a career in teaching and university administration. Her poetry has been published in Pegasus and the anthologies associated with Lexington Poetry Month. She lives in Lexington with two cats and a big white dog and enjoys Kentucky’s community of poets.

Kelly Vance

Student Contest Chair

Kelly Vance
is currently enrolled in Eastern Kentucky University’s MFA in creative writing program, the Bluegrass Writers Studio. She is a reader for EKU’s publication, Jelly Bucket, was the 2018 Jelly Bucket Poetry Section editor, and is a 2019 graduate of the Women Writing for (a) Change Conscious Feminine Leadership Academy.

Lorie Zientiara, East Regional Director

Becky Lindsay, Pegasus Editor

Tasha Cotter, Immediate Past President

Leadership positions available!

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