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.

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