August 9, 2019, Oregon Poetry Association Minutes of Board Meeting

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

Approve June 13 Minutes and Updated Policy and Procedures: Both approved with amendments. There was no July Board meeting.

Treasurer’s Report: The Board accepted the financial report Lynn had sent. Lynn is working on grant applications for the 2019-2020 student contest and Cascadia.

Membership: Charles reported current members number 296. He expects twenty to thirty additional memberships accompanying contest entries.

Outreach: Diane indicated the Hood River event helped establish an OPA presence. Collaborator Leah Stenson will offer a local workshop there.

            Erik will meet with Amelia Ettinger at the Salem conference to further OPA ties to a new La Grande reading series.

            Jennifer reported on OPA’s $300 support for 30 student tickets to a Richard Blanco reading as part of the Youth Artists Institute in Ashland. OPA received recognition for its donation.

            Diane and Bruce plan to attend a workshop in Grants Pass led by Lisa Baldwin.

            Shirley attended Salem’s Art Fest, where the Mid-Valley Poets had a table and gave readings by six poets.

            Charles helped Steven Blue at the Poetry Corner of the Oregon Authors Table at both Art in the Garden and the Lane County Fair.

            At these events, Board members had the opportunity to speak about OPA mission and benefits, while distributing bookmarks.

Newsletter & Strophes: Bruce invites articles for both the OPA and NFSPS newsletters, with August 25 deadlines.

OPA Facebook Group: Lynn reported 78 members. Existence of and invitation to the group will be included in the conference power point presentation, as well as in upcoming newsletters.

Conference: Shirley, Diane, and Lynn are working on conference preparation.

Shirley encourages Board members to send and resend conference info to their own poet lists.

            August 12 is the cut-off for the early-bird rate. One-day registration is $85.

            Diane reported 43 registrations so far.

            Erik will contact John Van Dreal about the Walkabout, indicating an open room at 9am for his group’s use. Since this off-site activity is not covered by our event insurance, Erik will provide a liability waiver sheet for all participants in the Walkabout to sign.

            Shirley is reviewing last year’s annual report to update it for the General Meeting. She is sending requests to Board members to update parts of the annual report they have been responsible for. Lynn requests photos of events or book covers for the power point presentation..

            Shirley and Diane suggest using handouts instead of a booklet to inform attendees of the program and presenters. The Board agreed.

            Shirley will send pieces of the packet to Diane for printing.

            Shirley is meeting with site staff to discuss food and beverages as well as the most economical use of a projector and tech staff.

Old Business:

            OPA Banta Award: Jennifer proposed for Board approval the name of the Banta Award nominee. The Selection Committee was unanimous in its selection.

The Board accepted unanimously the proposed name.

            The two judges assisting Jennifer are willing to serve next year, and Jennifer will see if the other applicants will agree to keep their applications active for next year.

            Erik will notify the winner by phone; Shirley will sign a letter on OPA letterhead drafted by Jennifer. The award will include a framed broadside; Jennifer will make the presentation.

            Verseweavers: Dale being absent, Shirley will call to check on proofing and printing.

            Fall Poetry Contest: Stella is receiving submissions by mail and Submittable (2 and 8, respectively). Lynn indicated the need for more announcements, using Amy Miller’s list, Board members poet lists, Facebook, OPA website, etc. Stella can receive support from Amy and Susan Morse on this contest, which has a September 1 deadline.

            Portland Book Fair: For November 9, OPA has reserved a table for use primarily to advertise OPA and its activities, with Verseweavers and Cascadia for sale. There was agreement on the desirability of having a square for credit card sales. Those who wish to help that day contact Bruce or Diane.

            New Board Members: As in the June 14 minutes, Board members are asked to use a variety of ways to recruit Board members. We are now thinking more definitely about having staff positions designated for helping with Board-directed work. Charles suggested there be a staff volunteer coordinator.

New Business:

            There is inconsistency in how earlier Verseweavers are priced between the OPA website and Submittable.

            Shirley will send Tiel the updated Policies and Procedures.

            Retiring Board members will attend the first part of the meeting of the new Board.

Next Meeting: By Skype, Monday, September 9, 5:30 pm.

Oregon Poetry Association: Minutes of June 14, 2019, Board Meeting

at President Shirley Marc’s House 10-4.

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

Minutes: The minutes of the May 6 Board meeting were approved.

Financial report: Lynn submitted her report, with the conference budget sent to Shirley. We are paying Mailchimp $10 a month for service assistance. Lynn has sent Shirley the procedures for being Treasurer, and Lynn will have new signature forms for the officers at the Board meeting immediately after the conference.

Banta Award: Jennifer will convene the committee to screen nominations and will have a recommendation at the next Board meeting.

Fall Contest: Submissions open July 1. Announcements will appear in the newsletter, as a bulletin, and elsewhere.

Policies and Procedures: The Board reviewed OPA Policies and Procedures and voted to accept the following changes:

            1.10 change to “. . . to the OPA webmaster for posting.”

            1.30 change to “The Treasurer is to e-mail updated financial reports before each Board meeting.”

            2.20 change to “A non-Board conference coordinator may receive a $250 honorarium. Coordinators may share the honorarium.”

            2.30 add “Registration implies acceptance.”

            2.40 change “should” to “must”

            2.50 strike final “s” from CASCADIAS

            3.30 change “OSPA” to “OPA”

            3.16 change “Teachers of Students who win prizes in our Student Contest” to “Winning students and their teachers”

            4.10 drop and replace with 9.10 (see below)

            4.20 add period

            4.60 drop

            4.80 change “Outgoing” to “Incoming”

            5.10 change “similar” to “outreach”; drop “other”

            8.10 add a comma to show “page, limit”

            Add: OPC 6/14/2019 9.10 The OPA website shall post current guidelines for contributing to and using the Oregon Poetry Collection.

            Add: OPCC 6/14/2019 9.20 OPA’s two representatives on the Oregon Poetry Collection Committee must be OPA members and be appointed by and report to the Board. They work with their counterparts at the UO Knight Library as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding, 2017, as well as on the biennial Knight Library Undergraduate Poetry Prize competition.

Note: Procedure 2.10 was discussed and left as is until further discussion. Extra reading opportunities will be available during the Fall Conference in Salem.

           Procedure 4.50 concerning Directories is to be placed on the agenda of General Membership Meeting. Charles, Erik, and possibly Mark Janssen helping with discussion. There are many privacy issues, perhaps avoided by the OPA Face Book Group already set up.

Conference Items: Reflecting Shirley’s update.

            *Shirley will develop the schedule to be reviewed by the Board

            *Conference flier asap

            *Multiple ways of distributing flier

            *A third room available for poetry readings, etc.

            *Board presents yearend report at General Membership Meeting; Lynn develops power-point

            *Multi-page conference brochure with presenter topic and bio, plus insert of conference schedule

            *Registration including some Salem volunteers

            *Bookroom assisted by volunteers; Lynn has developed a bookroom guide

Other Conference discussion: A Square would help at both registration and the bookroom, though accounts need to be set up by an individual, and checks are sent to authors later than the Conference. There will be a Walk-write-about early Sunday led by John Van Dreal.

Recruiting new leaders: Suggested ways:

            *use volunteer sheet

            *contact previous Conference presenters

            *contact Conference attendees

            *contact previous Board members

            *advertise opportunity to serve

Board/staff discussion: Shirley led a discussion about the difference between Board members and staff, much like the difference between policy and procedure, Bruce observed. We noted most Board members currently are both and may risk being overburdened. This indicates a need for more staff. Perhaps a staff/volunteer coordinator could help here, as most current Board/staff have little additional time.

Area/unit discussion: While the by-laws indicate how to form a unit and coordinate with the Board, we agreed that relationships were critical in discovering how OPA can better serve underserved areas and established units. Here, again, staff, not Board, can add to the effort, though currently three Board members have outreach to Hood River, La Grande, and Southern Oregon-Klamath Falls. . Key questions: How can OPA help you? Do you have a poetry group? Do you have a way of finding out what poetry activities are happening in your area?

            Charles spoke to the uses of a unified calendar, perhaps in conjunction with Lane Literary Guild. A member directory can be useful, too. The OPA Facebook group can also be used to connect areas and newcomers

            OPA can use its non-profit EIN number to help separate local groups apply for and receive grant monies.

            Both Diane and Erik reported on outreach to Hood Rive and LaGrande, respectively. Diane and Leah Stenson worked together to produce a one-time program drawing a small audience, yet with contacts to build upon. LaGrande, with some help from $200 from OPA outreach funds, has established a new reading series, with an open mic attracting some college students. Both efforts are in progress, suggesting different approaches.

More conferences, workshops: Not a reality two years ago, OPA has money enough to consider adding program, whether a one-day conference or workshops. The remaining $500 of the Cozart contribution could underwrite an event focused on poet Virginia Corrie-Cozart in or beyond Salem. Charles is discussing a possible partnership with Wordcrafters, an organization that has a performance space in Eugene and brings in top-billed writers for 2-3 day workshops. With the weather so fair, we discussed an OPA picnic or campout, with ample social time as in the Tipi Village Writers Retreat outside of Springfield.

Next Meeting: By Skype, Friday August 9, 1-3.

                            No July meeting scheduled.

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.