Space Coast Poets looking for more members


Some of the members of Space Coast Poets are, front row from left, Janna Schledorn, Anne-Marie Derouault and Shirley Hill. Back row, from left, club president Jim Peterson and club secretary Anne-Marie Simonton.

Ernest Arico

Space Coast Poets, a chapter of the Florida State Poets Association, has moved its meetings to the Suntree/Viera Library with hopes of increasing its membership and bringing a greater appreciation to poetry.

Members will meet from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. every third Tuesday of the month. The library is located at 902 Jordan Blass Drive in Suntree.

Prior to the meeting place change, the group gathered at the Melbourne campus of Eastern Florida State College in the Building 10 cafeteria.

“We wanted to move because the library offers better parking accommodations,” club president Jim Peterson said.

Peterson also hopes the new meeting location will increase membership and meeting attendance. Now, there are about 30 members, of which six to eight people regularly attend meetings.

The Florida State Poets Association (FSPA) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization founded in October 1974 and chartered by the state of Florida in July 1979.

Their goal is to provide opportunities for writing, reading, enjoying and learning about the art of poetry.

FSPA chapters, like Space Coast Poets, meet throughout the state for poetry readings, workshops and events. The organization hosts two annual conventions each year and provides several contest opportunities. Through its social media accounts, it strives to connect its members with one another and also with the world-wide community of poets.

FSPA is a member of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS).

FSPA is holding its next annual convention Oct. 25 to 29 at the Plaza Resort & Spa, 600 N. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach.

Peterson is a retired U.S. Army officer, a former 10-year employee at Kennedy Space Center and a former English teacher at West Shore Junior/Senior High School.

“I started writing poetry when I was a child,” he said. “Now, it’s like a hobby for me. It’s also motivated me to submit poems to a variety of contests.”

Last month, Peterson’s poem "Intention" earned second place in the 2019 Poetry Society of Michigan's contest, in the category Margo LaGattuta Memorial Award.

Peterson said members get the opportunity to read an original poem on any topic. “We ask members to bring a poem to share or critique,” he said.  “We provide the voice and feedback.”

Some of the publications that have published works by Space Coast Poets include Lamar Magazine, Pointer View, Revelry and Florida Writers Magazine.

For more information about FSPA, go to

For more information about Space Coast Poets, call Peterson at 321-213-3332 or by email at