Board Minutes May 15, 2018

Oregon Poetry Association Board meeting May 15, 2018 (SKYPE)

Participating: Lisa, Shirley, Joy, Lynn, Charles, Erik, Stella


President’s Report: Both the 2016 and 2017 Verseweavers are printed and will be mailed in one envelope near the first of June. The board discussed and selected a new theme for the fall contest theme category. Unanimous vote to use “Harvest” for the fall contest theme. Unanimous vote to use “rondeau” for the contest form category. Winners from the spring contest are having their work displayed on the OPA website.  The Cascadia Student Contest Award Ceremony was well-received. Oregon Senior and junior division poems resulted in four of ten winners in the Manningham national contest. OPA voted to produce future Cascadia anthologies in time for distribution at the award ceremony without delaying production if the Manningham results are not available by our printing deadline.


Tiel and Dale will be working on the OPA web page. The board had a previous email conversation about the membership form design. The board can upgrade the brochure for any future recruiting use. A lengthy SKYPE discussion followed about including poetry on brochures and how to select material.


Treasurer’s Report: OPA did not receive an Autzen Grant for the next student contest. Lynn is already in the process of applying for alternate grant funding for the 2018-19 Cascadia. We need long-term corporate sponsors for our activities. OPA has leftover grant funds to start the mailing process for the student contest for 2018-19, but additional funding is required.


Membership Report: 261 is our current membership number. Submittable has added an option to make multiple payments in one transaction. For example: dues, contest entry fee and a donation. Membership chair will investigate and report back to the board.


Newsletter: Dale is handling the newsletter while Bruce is absent. She hopes to interview Kim Stafford for an article. He has been named Oregon Poet Laureate. Deadline for the newsletter is the 25th of each month.


Local/regional activities: Southern Oregon literary workshop events have been excellent and well-received. A northern Rogue Valley unit may also be formed.


Entries for the Knight Library/OPC/OPA contest have been limited. The judges are reading and rating entries. In addition to the winners, other readers for the award ceremony will be selected by the library and OPA.


Portland area members discussed hosting a reading for the winners of OPA contests. The definition of units is murky. Erik and Lisa will work on a definition.


Erik has made an effort to contact Eastern Oregon poets about finding a way to enhance the poetry activity on the East side of the Cascades.


Lynn is interested in exploring a closed Facebook site for OPA members. She does not wish to be the administrator for such a group. Southern Oregon had four closed Facebook groups for April Poetry Month and its Poem-A-Day activity.


Conference planning: Only five proposals have been received. We need about a dozen presenters. We must push for more. The board identified two notable Oregon poets to query about making the Keynote Address. The board discussed the order of events. Keynote will be the first event on Saturday morning. Details of VRI venue will be reviewed at the retreat.

The retreat will be held at Joy’s home outside Springfield. The hours will be 9:30 to 4 PM. We will all bring food for a potluck.


Fundraising: No report


Next Meeting: The next meeting will be the retreat on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Joy will send driving instructions.


Respectfully submitted by Joy McDowell, OPA Board secretary

Board Minutes April 24, 2018


participants: Lisa, Shirley, Lynn, Stella, Joy, Charles, Erik, Bruce and Diane


President’s Report: The last two issues of Verseweavers are ready for distribution. Eleanor edited the 2016 issue and Dale edited the 2017. We have the opportunity to mail both issues together. Distribution goes to OPA membership and winners of contests. Back copies will be placed in the Oregon Poetry Collection.


We have a new webmaster for OPA. Tiel will assist Dale as she transitions into this position. In the future Dale will do maintenance. Tiel will post content. Stella will involve herself in soliciting more volunteers

to help with social media projects.


Spring contest winners will be announced soon. The student contest award ceremony is Saturday, April 28. Lisa will bring monetary awards. Eugene/Springfield members will pick up commercial food and drinks and work to make the day memorable for the students and their families.


OPA’s request for proposals for conference workshops goes out regularly. A request will also go out on Constant Contact. We will review proposals at the June retreat and discuss other topics. Names for possible conference keynote speakers were circulated. A list will be drawn up at the May meeting.


Treasurer’s Report: Conference expenses will tighten the budget at the end of August, but the early bird registration deadline should help mitigate the problem. Whether to use Constant Contact or Mail Chimp was discussed. The board needs exact cost information.


The Knight Library/Oregon Poetry Collection/OPA undergraduate poetry contest funds are in hand. A check will be sent from OPA to the University Foundation in late June.


The treasurer is in contact with an attorney handling a bequest to OPA. Few details are available and the process is slow.


Membership: Diane and Charles have increased membership to approximately 258-60 members. New memberships are coming from personal contacts OPA is making. Stella will handle the PO box key and deposits during May and June while Diane is gone. Cascadia contest winners and their teachers have been offered one year of free OPA membership. Each membership, including complimentary, must have a paper trail. Using the OPA bookmarks has helped attract new members, as have local readings open only to OPA poets.


Newsletter: A suggestion was made to archive the online newsletters. Motion made and passed to use a six-month-lag-time before posting newsletters to archives on the OPA website. Newsletters are initially available only to members. April 25 is the deadline for the May newsletter. Reports from units should be sent to Bruce.


NFSPS: The National Federation of State Poetry Societies’ president has stepped down due to health problems. The VP will complete his term. No OPA board members plan to attend the NFSPS conference in Colorado.


Regional: On March 24 the Grants Pass regional OPA poetry workshop drew 24 people. This was the first of four workshops at Josephine Community Library. A closed Facebook group for sharing a poem-a-day for Poetry Month resulted. The Rogue Valley OPA group is putting on a May 12 mini-conference at the Medford Library. Erik and Charles hosted an OPA by-invitation-only workshop at Tsunami Books in Eugene on Saturday April 22. The two-hour workshop included 8 poets. Leaders also shared information about local poetry reading opportunities. The Eugene Burnin’ Down the Barnes reading series featured Joy and Shirley reading and Charles as host. The series also strives to feature young and alternative voices.


Oregon Poetry Collection: The OPC/Knight Library/OPA undergraduate poetry contest award will go to winners at a Friday night reception held at the Knight Library in conjunction with the OPA fall conference. The University will cater the event and Joy and Erik will arrange for a mix of other readers in addition to the undergraduate winners. OPA must provide two volunteers for the panel of judges. Lisa and Joy volunteered.


Conference Planning: A save-the-date notice will be placed in the OPA newsletter and other sites.

Because of registration forms, Submittable is difficult to use for conference registration. Winners of the OPA adult contest will be invited to read their poems at the conference. Contact will be made with various businesses for monetary sponsorship. These will be acknowledged in the conference brochure. Erik offered to lead a public poetry walk in downtown Eugene to view Ken Kesey’s statue, LTD bus station poetry locations etc. This would occur after the conference closes on Sunday.


Fundraising: Issues arise with use of Submittable for simultaneously submitting both membership fees and contest entry fees. Better information will be provided on the buttons for Submittable. This may also assist with encouraging more contributions. OPA will utilize a fundraising letter prior to the conference and fall contest. The OPA President will need to present to the membership at the fall conference any proposal to increase membership dues. The board must study the necessity of increasing OPA dues. Should OPA discontinue the senior membership? A review of this issue will take place at the June retreat.


Next Meeting: The next board meeting by SKYPE will be held May 15, Tuesday 1-4 PM.



Board Minutes March 15, 2018

OREGON POETRY ASSOCIATION board meeting Thursday March 15, 2018

(SKYPE attendees: Lisa, Shirley, Joy, Lynn, Diane, Bruce, Erik, Charles)


President’s Report: OPA’s Gmail account offers a membership box, conference box and the regular general business box. An Oregon Poet Outlook Account still exists and will be the contact spot for the OPA President. Katie Eberhardt our webmaster has resigned. She is writing a job description for this position. Tiel is working with Katie to smooth things out on the web. Dale has been asked to consider acting as new webmaster.


Adult Contest: A last-minute response resulted in 130 entries and 372 poems.


Student Contest: Tiel is putting Cascadia together for the April 28 award ceremony. Caterers for the student contest are expensive. Current plans call for organizers to buy vegetable, cheese, cookie platters and beverages for 80 guests. Coffee may also be provided. RSVPs are arriving for ceremony attendance. We are within budget for this event.


Treasurer’s Report: The board had a brief discussion about the proposed OPA operating budget. Membership is down, thus cutting by almost half our membership income. OPA must make a push to attract more members. To save money OPA could switch from Constant Contact to Mail Chimp. Constant Contact costs us $500 per year. Mail Chimp can handle newsletters. The allowed number and frequency of mailings will be checked. Motion made and approved to approve the proposed budget. Currently OPA has $3224 in our bank account. That amount will be spent in March. We will incur a bank charge for dipping below our minimum limit. Bequest status from a deceased member is still an unknown.


Membership: Membership co-chairs are working to accomplish a careful division on tasks.

Currently OPA has 217 members down from 260 last year. Ninety-one members did not renew. OPA will use a targeted snail mail contact for non-renewals. The directory for members will be emailed to members as a non-editable PDF. It will include a location city for members and email but not street addresses. As OPA seeks renewals we must reconcile membership numbers with the amount OPA pays to NFSPS for members. The membership spread sheet is available to all board members, but “share” status should be locked to allow access for committee chairs only. The OPA membership list needs to be purged and cleaned.


Local Units: The board wants to encourage each unit to host a public reading and to always have paper copies of OPA membership forms on hand at all OPA associated events. Springfield Library and OPA are hosting a reading on April 7. The Portland Unit will be hosting an April 17 reading at Multnomah Central Library. The Southern Oregon Unit will host a series of writing workshops in spring, summer and fall by partnering with Josephine County Library. In Medford a workshop is also planned. Plans are in the works to host a closed Facebook group for workshop participants. Eleanor Berry is the contact person for the Salem unit. There is a reading weekly in Salem. Details are available on the OPA website calendar. On April 21 from 2-4 pm a workshop will be held at Tsunami Bookstore in Eugene. This is an invitation event limited to 20 participants.  Almost half the spots are already filled.


Bookmarks: Bookmarks will be available in the near future. They are colored on the front side and black and white on the back. A motion was made and passed to approve the bookmark design and content.


Newsletter: Articles about public facility poetry in the Eugene/Springfield area will soon be published. Dale and Bruce proofread the newsletter. Deadline for submission is the 25th of each month.


Oregon Poetry Collection: The Knight Library/Special Collection Division has proposed a joint venture Poetry Prize for undergraduates. $200 has already been raised for this $1000 biennial prize. The university will provide the bulk of the prize money and notice to undergraduates. OPA would help with judging this event and host the winners at our conference. The president suggested we award a one-year OPA membership as part of the prize. The Oregon Poetry Collection is still being catalogued. That process will take at least another year. Oregon authors are encouraged to submit two copies of any poetry book or chapbook to the collection. Information about this process will be available on the OPA website.


Conference Plans: OPA has a schedule for mailing out proposal requests. The first email has already gone out. Board members should invite qualified presenters to submit proposals. An update will be made to the proposal return email address and sender identity. Erik has also developed a list of promising presenters that he has identified. All community colleges and universities are contacted.


Fundraising: OPA’s president suggested using a snail mail effort to request donations. More discussion is needed. The Submittable site limits the number of activities a submitter can accomplish. Submittable is a long scroll down process. OPA is seeking more flexibility. Charles will identify and share technology issues OPA is facing. Seeking sponsors for the conference brochure is another route to explore.


Retreat: The retreat will be held June 9 at Joy’s home outside Springfield.


Next Board Meeting Date: Tuesday, April 24 by SKYPE 1-4 PM