Board Minutes July 17

Oregon Poetry Association Board Meeting, July 17, 2018 by SKYPE

(members participating: Lisa, Shirley, Joy, Lynn, Erik, Charles, Diane, Bruce, Stella, Dale)


Bruce, Diane, Dale and Eleanor Berry will stuff envelopes this coming week for the two missing issues of Verseweavers. Dale will forward the cover photo to board members.

Webmaster position is open. Dale will take on the maintenance of website. Tiel will continue to post to the website. Dale will contact Katy and Tiel to accomplish the hand-off of duties. Shirley will also train to assist with the website, but not assume any duties until relieved of her OPA event responsibilities.

The bequest check has arrived. OPA treasurer suggests we keep a minimum of $3000 in checking account to avoid paying a monthly fee to the bank. The remaining fourteen thousand can be slotted into a fund that pays a small amount of interest. Certificates of deposit might work for OPA. OPA Treasurer will check with Bank of America (OPA’s bank) to explore terms for CDs.

Motion made to approve placing $3500 in checking account as minimum balance. Motioned passed. Motion made and passed to have treasurer explore interest-bearing accounts, such as CDs, for the remaining funds.

Future board elections may require the board to identify candidates for board positions. Dale as an alternate is eligible to move to board membership. She already handles many OPA tasks and will not be asked to take on additional responsibilities.

Monthly financial report: An OPA board thank you goes to anonymous donors for $1500 to assist with future Cascadia publication.

Constant contact billing needs to be cancelled. We now use Mail Chimp. Charles will check to be sure important content is copied.

The OPA treasurer is authorized to spend $15 to advertise fall contest on Facebook. Treasurer will also pursue advertising OPA conference on Facebook for an equivalent amount.

OPA must always mention in print that Kim Stafford is the Oregon Poet Laureate. Motion made and passed to replenish our bookmark supply for the coming reading season.

A membership table will be available at the conference. Current rates will apply. New rates will be proposed at the general meeting. A committee will start work on design and content for the new membership brochure. No printing will take place until membership rates are firm. Using an interim fee will continue to be used for those joining mid-year. If there are objections to the rate hike the board may want to formulate a Plan B.

Dale and Diane will explore the costs of selling printed book bags and report back to the board in August.

We now have 283 members in OPA. That is a 20% increase since last board elections.

Two board members donated PO Box rental fee to cover the coming year.

Recognition of the recent bequest to OPA will be made at general membership meeting if the family involved agrees. The board will make an effort to inform the general membership about opportunities to make donations for specific projects.

The OPA newsletter will include information about the Oregon Poetry Collection reception, conference keynote speaker (Oregon Poet Laureate address is open to public) and workshop offerings. The title of Poet Laureate Kim Stafford’s keynote address is “The Flavor of Unity.”

The newsletter will also include information about receiving a conference discount on VRI rooms and early bird conference registration. Encouraging all paid attendees to wear name tags will assist with separating public attendees who may sit in for the keynote address, but do not pay to attend workshops and the luncheon. The OPA newsletter generally goes out about the 8th of each month. The 25th of each month is the deadline.

Southern Oregon hosted another poetry workshop in Grants Pass. An invitation has been issued to Kim Stafford to make an Oregon Poet Laureate visit to Medford.

Eugene has not had any OPA activities, but general poetry readings continue.

Portland area board members continue to distribute bookmarks at readings.

Joy and Erik will be OPA representatives at the Knight Library/OPA Poetry Contest Reception. They will introduce the OPA readers. Efforts will be made for publicity in the local press.

Conference plans are progressing. Registration is open. Publicity will appear on Facebook and on our website. The luncheon entrees have changed and Shirley is following up with VRI to be sure we have a gluten free option.

Valley River Inn requires a deposit of $1178 by August 31. We must pay the remainder 72 hours pre-event. Shirley is working on the registration packets. Board members or volunteers may help. Lynn will edit to make our assessment and feedback form more useful for OPA purposes. Charles has a list of volunteers. Erik is holding the Poet Laureate framed photographs. We need photos of Elizabeth Woody and Kim Stafford. Erik will seek their official photos.

Next Board meeting will be by SKYPE 1-4 on Tuesday, August 14.


respectfully submitted, Joy McDowell OPA board secretary





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.