MOST RECENT OPA NEWS
- OPA’s 2014 Spring Conference to be in Bend, Oregon
The Oregon Poetry Association Spring Conference will be held April 11-13, 2014 in Bend, Oregon at the Doubletree/Hilton on Franklin Ave. downtown. This will be a terrific location to just park your car and walk (or if you need to drive, the trip will be only two or three blocks). The Doubletree/Hilton is close to restaurants, several coffee shops, Townshend’s tea shop, Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe, the Deschutes County Library, and much more!
More information will be posted, as it becomes available. “Follow” OPA’s website (click the “Follow+” at the lower right of your browser window) to have Conference and other OPA news emailed to you as it’s posted.
The OPA Spring Conference theme is HUMOR.
EARLY REGISTRATION POSTMARK DEADLINE March 28th
Tiel Aisha Ansari
1724 NE Prescott
Portland OR 97211
Dates: April 11th (Friday evening) through 13th (Sunday morning)
Place and Lodging:
300 NW Franklin Ave.
Bend, OR 97701
Group rate: $109.00 per night. Deadline for group rate is March 28th. Mention “Oregon Poetry Association conference” to claim group rate.
April 11th – 7 PM – 10 PM: keynote and open mic
April 12th – 8 AM: Registration opens
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM: general membership meeting
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: first workshop block
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Lunch and awards
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM: second workshop block
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Featured readers and open mic
April 13th consultations only, starting at 9:00 AM
All events will be held in the Mt. Bachelor and Drake Rooms.
$55.00 registration (including lunch) for members postmark on or before March 28th
$65.00 registration (including lunch) non-members or members after March 28th
$15.00 for consulting session if desired. Please send first and second choice of consultant and up to 6 poems, email preferred or use address above. 20 consultations are available, and will be filled first-come first-served. Consultants TBA.
WORKSHOP LEADERS [Titles TBA]
View or (right-click the link to) download: OPA Spring Conference 2014 – Preliminary Schedule
All OPA News Posts
LATEST UNIT NEWS (EXCERPT)
- Eugene/Springfield Unit News The Eugene/Springfield Unit of OPA presents their Spring Poetry Reading on Tuesday April 1, 2013, 7:00 p.m., at the Springfield Public Library, 225 Fifth Street, 97477. The readers will be: Daniel Anderson, Anita Sullivan, and Stephanie Lenox. Like this: Like Loading…
- Rachel Barton's poem, "This is not a Drill" will be published in the next issue of the Oregon English Journal. She has also been approved to teach a poetry workshop at LBCC, Benton Center, beginning Jan. 9. It will run Thursday afternoons, 1:-2:50, and will finish on March 13th. (Posted December 7, 2013, 11:13 am.)
LATEST BOOK REVIEW (EXCERPT)
- Still Life with Judas and Lightning by Dawn Diez Willis, reviewed by Kelly Eastlund Review by Kelly Eastlund Still Life with Judas and Lightning by Dawn Diez Willis Airlie Press ISBN 978-0-9821066-8-6 2013, 71 pp, $15 http://airliepress.org/still-life When the title of a poetry book feels like a poem in itself, you know you are in for an enriching read. Still Life with Judas and Lightning, Dawn Diez Willis’s first full-length collection, ...
MOST RECENT POET’S SPOTLIGHT
- Ruth Harrison: An Appreciation
At the Fall 2013 OPA Conference in Forest Grove, Ruth F. Harrison was honored with a lifetime membership. In tribute to her, “Ruth Harrison: An Appreciation” was presented by Eleanor Berry, OPA President Emerita.
Over the past dozen or so years in which I have been active in O(S)PA, it has been my privilege to get to know many fine poets and capable workers on behalf of Oregon poets and poetry. One who has seemed to me—and to many others—an extraordinarily luminous presence is Ruth Harrison.
To the best of my recollection, it was at one of the first OSPA conferences I attended that I met Ruth. I remember that she was standing by me in the lunch line, and that we fell into conversation. I remember being drawn to her quiet intelligence and warmth.
All the subsequent occasions I’ve spent time with Ruth or her poetry have reinforced that first impression. When I met her, she had retired from her career as a teacher of medieval literature and was fully immersed in poetry and deeply at home on the Oregon coast, where she lived with her husband, Fred, who shared both those passions.
As I came to know Ruth and her work, I realized that, for her, poetry has been strongly associated both with the coast and with community—with a creative community that she has fostered there and a dispersed community in which she has participated. She has been the central energy of the exceptionally long-running writing group Tuesday, which has been an almost legendary nursery of creative verbal work.
When OSPA held one of its conferences in Ruth’s hometown of Waldport, she assisted with the arrangements and at the conference itself led a group of local poets in a delightful presentation conveying their perspective as “coasties.”
Ruth has also been active in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS), submitting to and winning its contests—including the top one, the prestigious Founder’s Award—and often serving as a judge. She has also corresponded with and contributed to publications edited by poets across the country, among them, Florida poet and past NFSPS president Madelyn Eastlund and well-known expert in poetic forms Lewis Turco. Through her own poetry, she enters into lively conversations with past poets as well.
Ruth’s poetry is often in fixed traditional forms, but that doesn’t mean that it expresses worn-out sentiments in archaic diction. Far from it. In her hands, these forms become vehicles for fresh observations and connections articulated in contemporary colloquial language. Who except Ruth would think to write an Italian sonnet on the laundromat as a refuge from life’s ordinary disappointments and frustrations? Who except Ruth could pull it off? Who except Ruth would think to write of a lone stray or feral cat in Sapphics—and produce a cat poem marvelous and memorable enough to rival William Carlos Williams’s entirely different small masterpiece, “As the cat …“?
Some years ago, I invited Ruth to be one of the featured poets at a Stafford birthday celebration in Salem. I think it was then that I learned that Ruth, like Stafford, had grown up in Kansas. On the evidence of these two poets, Kansas seems to be a place that breeds a long gaze and a wide imagination and that allows no shred of pretension. At first blush, the central Oregon coast may seem a long way from Kansas, but it strikes me that it is an environment that would tend to reinforce that breadth of vision and modesty of manner. Certainly, Ruth, in her poetry and her person, suggests as much.
Recordings of Ruth reading several of her poems, together with texts of the poems and a brief biographical note, can be found at http://oregonpoeticvoices.org/
poet/294/. Her more recent work includes How Singular and Fine (2012) and West of 101 (2013), and also the most recent of the anthologies produced by her writing group, Tuesday: An Anthology from the Central Oregon Coast Writers Group (Vol. 5, Winter-Spring 2010-2011).
Photo credit: Katie Eberhart