A treasury of local poetry

JEFFERSON, Iowa, Aug. 22, 2016 — The Greene County Historical Society will be hosting local poets on Sunday, Aug. 28, for a free 2 p.m. “Poetry Out Loud” performance at the museum in Jefferson.

The poets have been meeting – their goal is monthly – since 2002 to share their work, always doing readings “aloud and with feeling,” which was the directive of their original convener, Colleen O’Brien.

This will be the fourth time they’ve come together for a public reading at the museum, the earlier events being in 2003, 2013 and 2014.

Our local poets reading in 2014 at our Greene County Historical Museum.
Poets reading during the Poetry Out Loud event held in 2014 at our Greene County Historical Museum.

Over the years, they’ve taken the name “First United Coven of Greene County,” which always requires local media to explain that a “coven” is actually any “assemblage,” not just a gathering of witches, with which most people associate the term. The local coven has restricted its membership to female poets, despite occasionally being questioned about that.

Six poets are scheduled to read in the Aug. 28 event – Teena Toliver, Tori Riley, Nancy Hanaman, Karen Voge-Perkins, Hollie Roberts and Mikki Schwarzkopf.

“We’ll be reading our own poems, as well as some of those written by other members of our group who can’t be there and others who are deceased,” said Schwarzkopf.

There will be free refreshments, and the historical society intends to have a “coffeehouse atmosphere” in the museum for the program.

Poets Tori Riley of Jefferson and Dennis Maulsby of Ames in 2014.
During the 2014 poetry reading, Tori Riley, of Jefferson, spoke afterward with Dennis Maulsby, of Ames, then the Iowa Poetry Association president, who attended our reading in Greene County.


  1. Right here in Greene County
    We have such a bounty
    Of people who write & speak verse.

    You can come hear ’em next Sunday,
    Which is bound to be a fun day,
    And decide who’s better and worse!

  2. After we posted the previous comment, Jerry Roberts, of Jefferson, who is another of our local poets, responded with this:

    Historically speaking it’s poetry season;
    No invite arrived, “What’s the reason?”
    When asked, their reply was “We’ll mail-ya.”
    Letter arrived, its message revealed … I was born with the wrong genitalia!

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


How To Get Involved
title tag Calendar of Events
title tag Membership & Donations
Help us grow! Donate, become a member, or renew your membership today!
see more arrow
title tag Historical Markers
Did you know there were so many historical sites in this county? See many of them on the map here!
see more arrow
title tag Videos
See interviews with historical figures, events and programs we have recorded, and much more!
see more arrow
title tag Historical Trivia

How many courthouse structures have been built on the site of the current Greene County Courthouse?



There have been three courthouses built where the Greene County Courthouse stands today.  Ground was broken on the current courthouse in November of 1915, the cornerstone was set in May 1916 and the new building was dedicated in October of 1917. The centennial celebration of the courthouse is already underway, with events being planned by the “Courthouse 100” committee, with support from the Greene County Historical Society.  You can learn more about the courthouse history and the celebration plans on the Facebook page “Courthouse 100: Greene County, Iowa.”


Sorry. Try Again!

title tag Featured Image Archive
This is a gallery of our featured images which are no longer viewable on the home page. See if you have missed any by clicking here!