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

Board Minutes February 17, 2018

Oregon Poetry Association Board Meeting: February 17, 2018 12-3 PM Via SKYPE


Members participating: Lisa, Joy, Lynn, Bruce, Diane, Shirley, Stella, Charles, Erik (Dale absent, but sent material via Diane)


COMMUNICATIONS: The board president asked board members to route to her any communication prior to that information being sent to more than just board members, and that we strive to be error-free and accurate in all our written communications.


Adult contest entry reminders and member renewal emails are going out to members. Separate Gmail addresses have been created for conference business.             ( and membership business             (

The newsletter will in future be sent (via Constant Contact) from

Board secretary and treasurer will keep a record of the Gmail account passwords. Discussion of this to be done by email. Board documents/policies are listed on the OPA website. These do not include job descriptions for board positions.


FINANCES: Verseweavers 2016 edition is being finished by Eleanor Berry and will be distributed by June 2018. Total coast for production and distribution of 2016 VW will be kept to $1000. Eleanor wants proofreading assistance and assistance with mail label printing. She will use the least expensive printing option. The new editor is Dale Champlin. Dale is currently working on the 2017 VW which will be distributed by September 1, 2018. Starting with the 2019 issue OPA’s distribution numbers will be reviewed.


The OPA treasurer will send out a financial overview prior to each board meeting. The treasurer is preparing a budget proposal for the board. OPA is tight on operational funds. The OPA treasurer reports she is in contact with attorneys regarding the bequest of a former member.


Adult Spring Contest has few entries. Communication has gone out by email and media sites to bring in more entries. Board members will encourage their contacts to submit.


The OPA treasurer needs a volunteer to review financial records to achieve best practice.


VOLUNTEER TRAINING: Three board members attended the Center for Nonprofit Stewardship conference and reported on what they learned, including the importance of a clear brand and the need to flex practices to reach other generations, the use of a quasi-endowment for large donations, and ways to enhance social media effectiveness in reaching potential members (example: hashtags)


MEMBERSHIP: Forty new or renewing memberships have come in since January 1, 2018 via Submittable. Ten by snail mail. Postcards are expensive to print and mail to remind members. Mailing numbers are around 350-380 names. Memberships expire on March 1, 2018. Discussion followed of cost and value of using postcards. For the present OPA will use email for renewal reminders. To date, one email on January 15, 2018 has gone out for renewal. Another email will go out on February 19. The list will be continually updated. In May a new 2018 OPA membership list with some redacted information will be sent to members. Stella will be collecting OPA snail mail while Diane is away on vacation in late spring.


BOOKMARKS: A board member volunteered to underwrite the costs of printing OPA bookmarks. Dale, although absent, had topics to consider for the bookmarks. A motion to approve the new OPA logo was made and passed. Discussion followed about utilizing both OPA information and snippets of poetry. The front side of the new bookmarks is in color and the reverse side is black and white. Including board members poetry was debated and a motion was passed to instead use other well-known poets. One member in dissent.


NEWSLETTER: February 25 is the newsletter deadline for this month. An article has been written about the North Bend “Coos” Poets Reading held on February 10. The editor will carry shorter articles in the newsletter and use a link to OPA website for longer articles. Topics to be included in upcoming newsletters include logo change, conference “save-the-date,” conference call for proposals (though that may be sent as separate Constant Contact emails) and the student contest award ceremony invitation. News about municipal poetry exhibits will be included in future editions.


CONFERENCE PLANS: A paragraph about the call for workshop proposals will be in the March newsletter. The call is on a March 15, April 15 and May 15 email schedule. Deadline is June 1.


STUDENT CONTEST: The winning poems will be sent this week to the Manningham contest and have already been sent to Tiel for production of 2018 Cascadia. The awards ceremony is set for April 28 at the Willamalane Bob Keefer Center in Springfield from 1-3 PM. RSVPs will help project numbers for catering. OPA targeted high schools this year. OPA doubled submissions. All corners of the state had submissions.


OPA Spring Workshop in Eugene: April 21, 2-4 PM at Tsunami Bookstore. The workshop will target new and varied voices and precede the third Saturday reading by featured and open mic poets. The local unit also is working for classroom outreach in schools.

OPA Workshops in Southern Oregon: The Rogue Valley OPA unit is planning a one-day “mini-conference” on May 12 at the Medford Library main branch. OPA members from the Applegate Poets Association will offer poetry writing workshops on March 24, June 23, September 22, and December 22, all to be held at the Josephine Community Library in Grants Pass.

OREGON POETRY COLLECTION: Two OPA board members will attend a February 21, 2018 meeting with University of Oregon library staff for current information on this important collection.

FUNDRAISING EFFORTS: The board discussed including sponsor ads in the conference program or in Verseweavers. The board president asked all board members to brainstorm fundraising ideas for OPA and to share these ideas during the March SKYPE meeting.


NEXT BOARD MEETING: Thursday, March 15 from 1-4 PM BY SKYPE.

Board Minutes January 13, 2018

Oregon Poetry Association board meeting minutes: January 13, 2018

SKYPE attendees: Lisa, Joy, Charles, Shirley, Stella, Diane, Erik and Bruce.


OPA’s financial status has been reviewed by old and new officers. Printed reports were emailed to the board. New debit cards are on the way for three authorized holders. Question: Should OPA change fiscal year? The OPA membership year runs from March 1 to March 1. The board decided to maintain the current system and make a decision at a future meeting.


Conference Planning reviewed two proposed schedule models. Utilizing longer breaks and book store shopping opportunities is scheduled into the two-day model. Board members have been researching other literary conferences as reference. Early bird registrations help with the advance costs OPA must pay for venues. The board decided to focus on pursuing quality workshop leaders. The board will advertise for workshop and panel discussion proposals without mentioning readings as a category. Agreement was reached to bring back an opportunity for contest winners to read their poems. The board decided to designate the first readers at the open mic to be contest winners. All readers will be limited to one poem. In regard to the 2018 conference, a motion passed to charge $85 for members taking advantage of early bird registration. The registration fee will be $105 for non-members and registrations arriving after the early bird cutoff date. A proposed registration rate for one-day attendance was dropped.


Discussions will continue later in an effort to create regional spring conferences.


Membership Co-chairs will be sending an email to names of 2016, 2017 expired-dues members and those members whose dues expire on March 1, 2018. A notice went out to dues-expired members with books or website material hosted by OPA. Those individuals must renew or have material removed. OPA has sent NFSPS an updated membership list and annual dues. Another updated list will be sent later to NFSPS to keep OPA members eligible for contests. Problems were discussed with edit access to membership list. Membership co-chairs are working on a current list of members, minus those with a dues-expired notation. The Google document can be opened to review for deceased and relocated members.


Verseweavers for 2016 and 2017 are far behind publication schedule. The current editor uses a print firm that is expensive. Comparing Cascadia CreateSpace print costs to Verseweavers print costs is revealing; $515 versus $1452. Mailing costs are over $200 to send the publication to all members. OPA must reduce the print costs. Motion passed to move 2016, 2017 and 2018 production of Verseweavers to CreateSpace. The board apologizes to winning poets whose work has been delayed in publication.


The bookmark design is underway and will be available soon.


OPA Newsletter needs submission deadlines. Editor is working to refine process and will notify board members and regional units about a submission deadline. There is a location on OPA website to request regular email notifications.


Student Contest judging will occur Tuesday, January 16. Adult contest is open until March 1 deadline.


Non-profit Association of Oregon Leadership Training will be February 3. Three OPA board members will attend.


NFSPS Conference in Oregon in 2019? OPA President will attend 2018 conference in Denver. Some members of the board felt it may be too soon for our new board to undertake such a large event. OPA needs more information on specific responsibilities and/or costs to host.


OPA Retreat Date requires time to mail out workshop proposal requests and receive back proposals. The board should produce a timely conference schedule with presenters and topics available for review by potential attendees. June 9, 2018 is the tentative date set for retreat at Lisa’s home in Grants Pass. Carpooling is available.


The board sends condolences to Lynn Otto and her family for their recent loss.


Next OPA Board Meeting is February 17, 2018 12-3 PM.