Board Minutes of May 6, 2019

Present: Shirley, Lynn, Diane, Bruce, Charles, Erik, Stella, Jennifer, Dale.

Minutes: The April 10 Board meeting minutes were approved.


               Treasurer’s Report: Lynn reported finances in general are in good shape (see handout), with an increase in membership monies. Lynn will write a grant proposal for the next Cascadia.  

Membership: Charles reported membership at 284, which includes complementary memberships for high school prize winners and their teachers.

Outreach: Diane reported on events planned in Hood River for June 7, co-sponsored by Columbia Center for the Arts and OPA. A reading of four OPA poets: Dale, Stella, Diane, and Leah Stenson, the local-area contact. Followed by an open mic and a Stafford film. Later the possibility of workshops and OPA involvement in August in Writing around the Gorge.

Lynn attended Terroir, a recent literary event in Yamhill County, where she presented a workshop and distributed OPA bookmarks.

Stella suggested that the Washington State Poet Laureate might be a good presenter at the Fall Conference. She will forward to materials about the poet and Columbia River activities.

Newsletter: Dale reported the newsletter was sent early May, though some Board members had not received it. Dale at once re-sent, while Board members investigated     their personal e-mails. Because the newsletter included calls for proposals, Mailchimp was looked into, where there seems to be some delivery problem, which Charles will be looking into. Dale requested that Board members e-mail her each month upon receipt of the newsletter.

NFSPS: Bruce and Diane cannot attend this year’s conference in New Mexico. Lynn will send Bruce a copy of her report last year to NFSPS to assist in his writing this year’s report.

OPA Facebook Group: Lynn reviewed for Board members how to access this group. She sent a request to Adam to encourage more conversation among the group.

Conference: Soon after June 1, Shirley will send all Board members the package of proposals along with an evaluation sheet. Later, Shirley, Charles, and Erik will identify the top choices and place them in the conference schedule. The call for registration, starting July 1, will provide session descriptions on the website and will offer an updated registration form that allows attendees first and second choices.

With three conference rooms available, one may be used for poetry readings. The Saturday evening open reading will start with 2018-2019 award winners, who will receive invitations to the event.

Diane spoke to the need of streamlining the work at the registration table, including signage indicating both the registration and membership lines.

 A walkabout scheduled for Sunday, 7:30-9 and led by Salem resident John Van Dreal received Board support. Erik will be in touch with John about planning.

Lynn agreed, with Board support, to create a power point for the General Meeting. Dale will design the conference program, complete with session leader bios, and Lynn will proofread copy.

Old Business:

Verseweavers: Dale will take Verseweavers to the printers in the next few weeks, with proofing help from Stella, Amy Miller, and Penelope Schott.

Cascadia: Shirley reported on the award ceremony for student winners. Because of Passover and Easter, attendance was down. Joy McDowell and Lisa Baldwin read for many of the younger poets who did not wish to read.

OPA Banta Award: Notices have been sent inviting nominations. The newsletter announcement  by Mailchimp (see above) had an unusually low opening rate and did not deliver to the entire list. Notices will be re-sent, are on the website home page, and can be sent by Board members to their own poets list.

Fall Poetry Contest: Stella has received from Amy Miller the guidelines for running the contest. New judges need to be selected by early June. Board members may give Stella names of possible judges. Judges may be from out of state.

Youth Artist Institute: Jennifer presented this program, indicating Richard Blanco would be leading the poetry strand. The Board agreed to fund up to $500 for underwriting the tickets of student participants, 50 at $10, for the Blanco presentation. Jennifer will work to have OPA’s sponsorship evident. The support will come half from a youth outreach fund and half from operating monies.

New Business:

Next Meeting/Retreat: The Board meets Friday, June 14, 10-4, at Shirley’s home to discuss a number of items listed on the May 6 agenda. Shirley invites suggestions for additions or deletions. Before the meeting, Board members should review OPA Board policies (sent in a recent PDF from Shirley). Not mentioned, but added by the secretary: Please bring books and broadsides to sell and exchange. Shirley will send directions to her home and a list of potluck lunch items to farm out among us.

Board Minutes April 10

Present: Shirley, Bruce, Diane, Charles, Jennifer, Erik, Stella, Lynn.

Minutes: Board minutes of March 18 approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Lynn sent a $200  check to Amelia Ettinger as outreach support for La Grande. Diane reported a last payment from the Banta bequest of $51.

Membership: Charles reported a current paid membership of 272. Postcard reminders indicated how to pay dues, but did not include amount of dues. Dale said henceforth every newsletter will show link to OPA Group Facebook page.

Outreach: Erik will follow up on payment of $200 to support a La Grande reading series. Conference proposal forms, which Shirley will e-mail to each Board member, should be sent to Hood River, Klamath Falls and Southern Oregon sites, and La Grande.

Newsletter: Dale received unanimous approval for her work on the newsletter. Bruce is collecting and soliciting items for the newsletter, including articles. Bruce is considering how the newsletter might include submission dates for Oregon poetry journals and poetry publishers.

Fall Conference:

Keynoter: The Board selected Penelope Scambly Schott as keynoter. Shirley will be her contact in focusing elements of her presentation.

Promotion: Shirley will send Board members a flier about the conference to distribute to the groups we have contact with. And she will send the conference proposal form, also for distribution. “Our common life” was suggested as a conference-wide theme, not as a requirement for proposals, but a suggestion to add focus to the programs.

Handling Conference Proposals: Shirley will prepare materials, then send the proposals and a tabulation sheet to each Board member. Final selection will be made by Shirley, Charles, and Erik.

Old Business:  

Portland Book Fair: The $520 in funds for a table has already been approved for November’s Portland Book Fair. Bruce and others indicated possible benefits of OPA presence: exposure, signing up members, networking, providing contest information.  Bruce is the lead on this.

Cascadia: The current Cascadia is ready for the April 20 Student Contest award ceremony held at Willamalane Senior Center, 1:45-3:45. Shirley will provide food. Volunteers are welcome to assist.

Verseweavers: Dale is working on the next edition and is lining up proofreaders.

Recruiting New Board Members: No report.

OPA Banta Award: Jennifer reported that the announcement for nominations was posted on our website and will be included in the newsletter. A selection committee is made up of Jennifer, Steve Slemenda, and Ingrid Wendt, to select and grade the top five nominations for Board review and selection of the awardee.

Fall Poetry Contest: Stella, the new Adult Contest Chair, will contact Susan Morse, who indicated wanting to help with adult contests. The Board selected blank verse as the form and our common life as the theme for two contest categories.

Review of Board Policies: The last such review being 2014-2015, Shirley has asked Board members to review OPA policies and suggest changes (see  References under Who We Are, select Policy Documents). Also, each Board member with a specific role/task should detail what she does. Send Shirley both of these by the time of the June 14 retreat.

Unit, Area Discussion: Tabled until the retreat.

Board Retreat:

               Friday, June 14, 10-4, at Shirley’s home. Part business, part visioning.

Next Board SKYPE Meeting:

               Monday, May 6, 5:30.

Board Minutes March 18, 2019

Oregon Poetry Association Board Minutes of March 18, 2019        

Present: Shirley, Lynn, Diane, Bruce, Erik, Charles, Stella, Jennifer, Dale.

Minutes: Minutes of February 11 approved.

Treasurer’s Report: The report as submitted is accepted and corrected to show the total for anticipated income in March-April as $974.64. Lynn has sent “Thank you” letters to donors. One OPA member trying to contribute and receive a match from her employer has raised a question about our current non-profit filing.

Membership: Charles reports membership at 261, slightly higher than this time last year. Some members who have paid current dues have received more than one dues notice. Apparently there is overlap with lists of those with dues to pay. For the next membership chair, Charles intends to clean up the member list, removing names of people who have received renewal notices in 2016 and 2017 and have not paid dues.


            Hood River: Diane with help from Leah Stenson and The Columbia Center for the Arts is organizing a full day of activities, including writing, film, and invitations to join OPA, with bookmarks and book bags. The date is not currently set. Diane is also investigating a program called Writing around the Gorge.

            La Grande: Amelia Ettinger has begun a reading series at the Art Center East. The Board voted to send the program $200, as budgeted for one of three outreach areas, and Erik will stay in touch to see how the program attracts youth and others not usually involved as presenters and auditors.

            Klamath Falls: Jennifer has heard from Emily Strauss that the local library will host on April 7 a spoken word event involving six local poets. Jennifer will try to attend.

            Eugene/Springfield: Shirley has been going to local readings to meet people and represent OPA.

Newsletter: Bruce summarized his work: Portland’s dominating the newsletter reflects the fact of Portland’s huge poetry activity. AWP in March has too many spin-off readings to include in the newsletter. The 25th of each month does not draw many results, though Springfield, Salem, and Silverton have provided news regularly. Bruce wants more news or inquiries sent his way, so he can direct that material to the newsletter, Board members, and Board committees. Bruce plans to write an article for the OPA website about how to start a local poetry group, with reference to Facebook. The newsletter includes a piece about Strophes.

OPA Facebook Group: Dale reports not much traffic here, though there is a 60% of newsletters opened.

Conference: Shirley has been in contact with Eleanor Berry about a two-day workshop on the same dates as the OPA Conference. The workshop scheduling may be changed. Shirley has Eleanor’s list of Salem cultural sites, a basis for a walking tour to fit the conference scheduling. Marc Janssen’s Salem Poetry Project and The Peregrine Writers are possible helpers for the September conference. Diane suggested having half-sheet fliers about the conference for use at spring and summer events. Dale said she can design it once she receives the flier content.

            Shirley will send materials she has about possible keynoters to Board members to start the selection process. Suggestions for the keynoter are still welcome.

            In order to save time, Shirley prefers not to have a Board meeting or retreat to evaluate the conference proposals, but will make the proposals available by e-mail with an evaluation sheet.

Verseweavers: On Submittable the Verseweavers price will be $15, reflecting $12 for purchase and $3 for shipping. That price is for 2016, 2017, 2018. Copies of earlier issues can be given away as promotions. We should be archiving two copies of each issue.

Recruiting Board Members: With Alan not interested in a Board position and Erik exiting before his term is over, there are four openings to fill, as there were in Portland in 2016. Erik suggested every Board member becoming active in recruiting, using lists of Conference keynoters and presenters and the most recent volunteer lists, as one starting place. Also, people active in writing groups might wish to serve.

            Volunteer note: Danielle Strickland will be trained by Tiel to prepare Cascadia.

OPA Banta Award: Jennifer will see that the call for nominations and the nomination forms are widely distributed. A Selection Committee will present the Board with at least five ranked finalists. Jennifer will head the committee of two other OPA members recruited by Erik.

Oregon Poetry Collection Committee: Erik’s memo of March 13 meeting has been received. The committee debriefed the Knight Award contest and reading and discussed increasing use of the collection. The cataloguing may be up-to-date by year’s end.

Student Contest: The Awards Ceremony is April 20th at Willamalane Senior Center, with 100 expected. The event needs volunteers to obtain refreshments, bring cash awards, set-up, and staff a membership table. Lisa Baldwin is ready to continue in her contest managing role for 2020.

            On April 20, Jennifer’s 9-12 school will be well represented, with five winners and the school principal driving the bus from Grants Pass. Newspaper articles, office postings, and readings to the school board have been part of Jennifer’s students’ involvement with poetry

New Adult Contest Chair: Our Board member Stella will succeed Amy Miller as Contest Chair. OPA member Susan Morse has volunteered to help.

Review of Board Policies: Shirley asks Board members to review policies and suggest updates.

Board Retreat: A vision meeting, earlier than last year and not in conflict with NFSPS gathering in Santa Fe, June 23-26. Other June weekend days? Shirley wants to hear from Board members. The site will be Shirley’s home in Springfield.

Tabled: Fall Contest form and theme. Reponses to Tiel’s note about units.

Next Board Meeting: Wednesday, April 10. 5:30 by Skype