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.

KSPS Leadership

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

Amelia Martens


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.


Danni Quintos

Danni Quintos

Vice President

Danni Quintos is a Kentuckian, a mom, an educator, and an Affrilachian Poet. She received her MFA in Poetry from Indiana University. Her work has appeared in Day One, Pluck!, Best New Poets 2015, Anthropoid, Salon, and elsewhere. Her knitting has appeared on the shoulders and heads of many writers and artists, who are also friends and teachers. Danni is the author of PYTHON (Argus House, 2017), an ekphrastic chapbook featuring photography by her sister, Shelli Quintos.


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, former 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

Member at Large

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.

Debbie Adams Cooper

Debbie Adams Cooper

Member at Large + Historian

Debbie Adams Cooper is a native of Letcher County who now lives in central Kentucky. She is the author of Images of America: Letcher County.  She began writing poetry in high school and has written, in earnest, since.  Debbie is a big fan of Lexington Poetry Month and has participated in it every year since its inception. 

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.

Jeremy Paden

Adult Contest Chair

Jeremy Paden is a Professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY. He is the author of several chapbooks of poems: Broken Tulips (Accents Press, 2013), ruina montium  (Broadstone Books, 2016), and prison recipes (Broadstone Books, 2018). His poems, translations, and critical essays have appeared in such places as: Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry JournalCalifornia QuarterlyCincinnati ReviewHampden-Sydney ReviewRomance QuarterlyColonial Latin American Review and other places. He is a recipient of a 2019 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.

Jon Thrower

Pegasus Editor

Jon Thrower has a long history in small press DIY publishing, and has worked as an editor for The LegendaryGirls with InsuranceBig Muddy and Univocal Publishing. He has published writing (mostly poetry) in Story SouthBlazeVoxThe Fiddleback, Country Music, Knock, Poetry Midwest, and Atropos Press among others. In whatever might be called spare time, he makes music, cooks, gardens, and reads heavily. He lives and works in Lexington, KY. 

Sarah McCartt-Jackson

Immediate Past President, Digital Media Coordinator, Conference Coordinator

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.


Leadership positions available!

%d bloggers like this: