Board Minutes December 17th, 2017

OREGON POETRY ASSOCIATION board meeting minutes: Sunday 12-3PM December 17, 2017

board members participating by SKYPE: Lisa, Joy, Shirley, Lynn, Erik, Charles, Diane, Bruce, Stella and Dale (alternate.)




REPORTS ON CURRENT PROJECTS: Discussion and unanimous vote to increase adult spring contest entry fee for members from $7 to $8 and non-members $10 to $15. Student Contest entries are arriving, most are from the high school level. Awards ceremony will be held in the Ken Long Room at the Bob Keefer Center in Springfield on Saturday, April 28 from 1 to 3 PM. We have budgeted $750 for refreshments.


The membership co-chairs will be sending out renewal information in the next two months. March 1 is our single renewal date. Postcards will be mailed to those members needing to renew. The deadline is approaching (mid-January) for OPA to submit our $3 per member dues to NFSPS. OPA must also send a current membership list by March 1 to keep our members eligible for the annual NFSPS contest


OPA has approximately 247 dues-paying members and 13 lifetime members for a total membership of 260. 95 members reside in greater Portland, 47 in S. Oregon, 43 in the Eugene/Springfield area, 35 in central-valley, 17 East of the Cascades, 12 on the coast and 9 out-of-state. 29 members identify themselves as willing to volunteer for OPA activities. Outreach by local units may help increase membership.


OPA will co-host with the Springfield Library two poets who will read April 7, 2018. Four poets associated with OPA will present a North Bend Poetry reading on February 10, 2018. The North Bend Library is hosting and doing the press for this event. The newsletter will publicize this reading online as an OPA event when details are made available.


The fall 2018 OPA conference is planned for Eugene on the last weekend of September when there is no conflict with a local football game. The plan is for a Saturday and Sunday conference. Shirley is working with Valley River Inn to reserve the dates. The conference room fee is $300, but we must spend at least $2000 in food and beverages with a 22% additional fee. A keynote speaker needs to be identified.


The OPA board must decide how much to raise the conference registration fee. Each board member was asked to research what other conferences charge.


The key for the OPA PO Box is held by Diane. Deposit procedure is working. Donor tabs were added to links for Submittable on Facebook and Web Page. We have already received donations. Tax letters have gone out to donors as part of the Submittable process.


The treasurer will prepare a financial report, in consultation with past-president Tiel Aisha Ansari, once she has access to the account, most likely in January. The treasurer will be sending out bank signature cards to the approved signers, and a certified resolution form for the secretary to sign and have notarized.


DISCUSSION: NEWSLETTER, WEBPAGE, FACEBOOK, COMMUNICATIONS: Group communications are an issue for OPA. Refining the process may be possible. There are different payoffs for Email versus Facebook modes. The value of a private Facebook page for OPA members was reviewed. Social media often appeals to younger poets and persons removed from population centers. Motion made and passed for OPA to explore a private Facebook page as a trial run. OPA Facebook traffic is up. The OPA webpage needs to be upgraded for navigation. Dale volunteered to work on this project. OPA newsletters currently do not go to members without email addresses. The newsletter chair plans to remedy this situation.


OPA will utilize bookmarks and letterhead to assist with branding for OPA events. Design and message for the bookmarks will be reviewed by Dale and presented to board members via email.


NFSPS contacted state associations to solicit contest judges. This is not an open call, but NFSPS would appreciate receiving names of qualified individuals.


The OPC representatives met to review OPA’s agreement with the Knight Library (U of 0) for the Oregon Poetry Collection. A meeting between OPA representatives and the Knight Library staff will take place in early January to smooth procedures for donations of books. The meeting will also explore a proposed poetry contest sponsored by OPA and the University and update the committee on cataloguing of the Oregon Poetry Collection and access to the collection. Special access during the 2018 fall conference will be requested.


NON-PROFIT ASSOCIATIONS OF OREGON: Non-profit Associations of Oregon is sponsoring a training workshop on February 3, 2018 in Corvallis. Lisa proposed OPA pay for three board members to attend. The per person fee is approximately $120 plus $10 if lunch provision is desired. A flyer will be mailed to all board members. If a board member is interested in attending, contact Lisa before the end of December. The early registration deadline is January 12, 2018. The OPA treasurer will check that we have a paid-up membership in NAO.


REGIONAL MINI CONFERENCES: Interest has been expressed for a mini-conference in Medford. OPA will assist if asked. Plans for regional mini conferences were discussed. OPA will explore small grant availability to underwrite a series of small conferences. Local volunteers would need to do the ground work.


POET LAUREATE SUGGESTIONS: Nominations can be made up to January 13, 2018. OPA discussed the Poet Laureate process. OPA will inquire for further information.


It is recommended by NAO that OPA review our organization and board policies every three years.


The next OPA board meeting (by SKYPE) is set for 1 to 4 PM Saturday, January 13, 2018.


Meeting adjourned. Minutes respectfully submitted by Joy McDowell, secretary

Board Minutes November 19th 2017

November 19, 2017


Oregon Poetry Association board meeting (done by SKYPE)

participating: Lisa Baldwin, Lynn Otto, Shirley Marc, Joy McDowell, Erik Muller, Charles Castle, Stella Jeng Guillory, Bruce Parker, Diane Corson, Dale Champlin


ELECTION OF OFFICERS (2017-18): Lisa Baldwin elected president of board. Joy McDowell elected as secretary. Lynn Otto elected treasurer. Shirley Marc elected as vice president. Bruce Parker will serve in a combined position of historian and as liaison for NFSPS. Shirley continues as conference coordinator. Erik Muller will serve with Joy as OPA representative for the Oregon Poetry Collection held at the University of Oregon Knight Library. Diane Corson and Charles Castle will act as co-chairs for membership. Tiel will assist with the transition of membership lists. Dale Champlin and Bruce Parker will take over work on the OPA newsletter.


OPA’s financial transactions must be updated. A motion was made and seconded to remove Tiel Jackson and Richard Cameron from the Oregon Poetry Association bank account number _________ at Bank of America. Lisa Baldwin, president, Lynn Otto, treasurer and Diane Corson, co-chair of membership, will be added to the account. Motion passed by unanimous vote.


FINANCIAL REPORT: Shirley corrected the hotel billing for conference costs to show an increase of approximately $500 to our projected account balance. She will continue to monitor this situation. Our current account balance is over $4000, but $1700 of that total is designated grant funding for the youth contest.


MOU FROM KNIGHT LIBRARY: OPA should assist writers by sharing information about donating chapbooks, anthologies and broadsides. Holding double copies of the collection is defeated by the locked collection not being easily available. Patrons must request books from the help desk. OPA will work to publicize the OPA collection and the William Stafford collection at Lewis & Clark College. Joy and Erik will follow up with the Knight Library on issues of concern.


SPRING 2018 CONTEST:  OPA board members are not allowed to enter OPA contests. The New Poets category eligibility needs to be adjusted. Recent winners have had extensive publications. Amy Miller, OPA contest chair, suggests refining eligibility or doing away with the category. The new definition for the new poet category will be: a poet with not more than two poems published in print or online journals and/or anthologies. Any number of self-publications would not disallow submission.


CONVERSATION PROJECTS: Oregon Humanities is the host organization for speakers. Last year OPA worked with Josephine Library and Springfield Library to present programs. We might be able to find a third location. OPA must apply for these speakers. Two programs with poet presenters are available this year. “Democracy from Inside Out-Listening to our Conscience and Our Neighbors” by Wendy Willis and “In Good Faith-Exploring Religious Difference in Oregon” by Elizabeth Harlan Ferlo. The cost is $75 for OPA to participate. These projects require legwork by locals. We could generate our own events. Lisa will explore these speakers and report to the OPA board at our next meeting.


DISCUSSION ON GROWING OPA MEMBERSHIP: Strophes printed an article about expanding youth membership. Many OPA members want to have more conferences. Mini conferences in different communities might be an answer. Online platforms assist our outreach. Facebook traffic is low for OPA. We will share content from web page to Facebook. Each board member needs to check the Facebook account and submit information. Kathy Pyle screens submissions to our website and OPA Facebook.

A suggestion was made to reactivate local OPA units. OPA membership forms should be available at local reading events. OPA could list open mic events for communities.


FUNDRAISING IDEAS: Increased dues must be voted on at the general membership meeting. Lifetime memberships might raise quick revenue. Many ideas were shared to raise revenue. Selling conference sponsorships for the brochure is a possibility. Allowing attendees at conferences to opt out of paying for a meal might draw more people. Additional ideas will be floated at the next meeting.


INSTRUCTIONS ON LOGGING HOURS: Instructions were shared for use of the spreadsheet to track volunteer hours. These hours translate to in-kind value in grant applications. Enter your hours, dates, and click enter to total hours. Save the link Lynn sends to reopen this spreadsheet with your browser.


NEXT MEETING DATE: Sunday, December 17 from noon to 3 PM.


Meeting adjourned at 4 PM. Minutes respectfully submitted by Joy McDowell, secretary OPA

General Membership Meeting Minutes: 10/14/2017


October 14, 2017 Portland, Oregon


Retiring OPA president Tiel Ansari called the meeting to order. She thanked the membership for attending and extended an invitation to any member to step forward and volunteer since the OPA board is below critical mass for accomplishing the tasks required to remain a strong functional organization.


Tiel recognized board members for their work on the board and to prepare the conference.


The financial health of OPA is not robust. A large donation is pending. More information will be shared near the end of the year. The conference budget was aided by several donations above the attendance fee. OPA is deeply grateful for those donations.


A grant has been received to cover the cost of the student contest for the current year. Mailings have gone out to high schools.


Eleanor Berry delivered an impromptu report on her participation in the NFSPS. She said that group is healthy and some states have a stronger connection to NFSPS than does Oregon. She was the only attendee from Oregon at the national conference this year. The next conference is in Colorado. She invited OPA members to consider attending.


Concern was raised about accessibility to the Oregon Poetry Collection at the University of Oregon. OPA will address this in the future.


Tiel reminded members to check the OPA website for information regarding our purpose, policies and organizational structure. More effort will be put into raising our Facebook profile.


Comments from the floor were received with suggestions for future conference locations, length and cost. The president briefly explained the challenge of booking space and food and beverage provision for our group. Costs are rising. An opportunity for further comment was provided on the sheets in each attendee’s packet.


A suggestion to utilize a past president committee to assist the board was voiced.


Current board members stood to speak to the invitation to volunteer. Six OPA members presented themselves to serve on the board. A unanimous ballot was cast since no position was opposed. (Erik Muller term to expire 2018, Charles Castle term to expire 2019, Stella Guillory, Diane Corson and Bruce Parker terms to expire 2020 and Dale Champlin as alternate with no fixed term)


The retiring president introduced the incoming president and thanked the membership for assisting her during her many years of service.


Meeting adjourned.


Respectfully submitted

Joy L. McDowell

OPA board secretary