Board Minutes December 10, 2018

Oregon Poetry Association Board Minutes of December 10, 2018.  

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

Minutes: Motion passed to approve minutes of November 12, 2018, Board meeting.

President’s Report: Shirley commented on the agenda items below.

Treasurer’s Report: Lynn previously circulated year to date, year-to-year comparisons, and proposed 2019 budget figures, thus expediting discussion of the budget. She reiterated that a budget is a planning tool. This year OPA has earned more than it has spent on its publications, contests, and conference. Lynn credits Facebook ads for some of these successes.

            Lynn explained that restricted funds are used for special expenditures, not for operations, and having such funds separated in the budget makes control of them easier and clearer. Depositing part of the Banta funds into a CD has proved frustrating, so the $11K for a proposed Bank of America CD will remain in our regular account. OPA has a healthy non-restricted cash carryover into 2019, $6,401.74.

            Other budget points: The conference expenses for 2019 are budgeted at $7681.10. The budget allows $600 for outreach work of emissaries, and $550 for a book table at the Portland Book Festival. There are resources for a possible cash prize for the OPA Poetry Award. The budgeted student contest income includes a grant/donation of $2000 that yet must be applied for/procured. Shirley wants the budget to reflect OPA’s being an educational non-profit.

            Alan suggested that now OPA has funds to disperse there ought to be a consistent process for any local applicant.

            Motion passed to approve the 2019 budget.

Committee Reports:

            Oregon Poetry Collection Committee: Erik and Joy will continue to serve as OPA representatives.

            Newsletter/History: No report.

            NFSPS: Bruce will send requests to Board members for what he needs for a Spring submission to Strophes.

            Membership: Charles reported no change in membership numbers. For the March 1 renewals, all forms for reminding are useful: newsletter, postcards, membership forms.

            The revision of the membership form, it had been decided, will omit poetry selections. There was discussion about low-income fee reduction and how to include that in the revised form and on Submittable. Charles said it was not a problem to combine Student/Low Income on one button. However, Charles thought we should not deviate from the fee changes voted on by the general membership. Others felt that comments at that meeting indicated a wish for the Board to address low-income membership.

            Motion passed to include a $20 low-income option on the membership form and Submittable. One opposed.

            There was discussion about bulk mailing, the advantages of using USPS or a fulfillment service. There is a USPS bulk mailing fee of $225, and sorting by zip code is required. With about 180 postcards to be mailed for members renewing, using already stamped USPS postcards seems economical. We do need clarity about the mailing of larger items, such as Verseweavers. Dale used a fulfillment center for Verseweavers mailings this year, AdMail, costing $248 for two issues.

            Outreach: Erik reported that Jennifer has agreed to be an emissary to Klamath Falls and Erik to La Grande and Newport, assuming contacts can be made. He said while the units are not new places on the OPA map, there should be emissaries for each unit, non-Board or Board members. Diane is drafting a description of the emissary role.

            Facebook Group Administrator: Adam Brown will be sent the guidelines for a January 1 Facebook launch.

            Conference & Events: With Bend, The Gorge, and Portland not available or expensive,

The Salem Convention Center will be the site of the September OPA Conference, though there could be an additional short conference in Bend.

            Shirley has shared in pictures and words the Convention spaces available, and costs are acceptable, with a January contract to be signed. Shirley still wants to form a conference committee and parcel out the duties. Also, she invites suggestions by January for keynoter. Lynn knows a poet who teaches in Portland.

            Motion passed for Lynn to contact this poet about the fall keynote.

Discussion included mention of fifteen minute breaks between sessions, the possibility of a special workshop leader/keynoter, and a conference fee for one day.

            Recruiting New Board Members: While three board members are retiring, it is not too soon to begin to identify possible successors, whether through personal contact, examining the Conference session leaders for last year and this and the attendees to the 2018 Conference, or by advertising on the OPA website and newsletter. Board members need to be active and share their leads.

Old Business:

            Springfield Library Event: Shirley mentioned that Erica Goss’ workshop at Springfield Public Library, which OPA co-sponsors, will be 2-4 on April 13.  Shirley and Erik will help at the event. OPA discussed financial support of the event.

Motion passed to grant $50 to support increasing attendance at the OPA co-sponsored workshop April 13, $25 for OPA Facebook ads and $25 for Springfield Public Library publicity.

            Conferring Awards to Oregonians: Jennifer and Erik will refine the proposal for an OPA Poetry Prize for the January meeting, with Board suggestions welcome. It was discussed how this prize is not limited to active Oregon poets, but, more like the Holbrook Award, it could be granted to librarians, editors, schools advancing the OPA mission. Lynn advised that the award administration be as simple as possible for future boards’ use.

New Business:

            Student Poetry Awards: April 20, 1:45-3:45, at Willamalane Adult Activity Center. Tiel and Lisa will be the hosts; Shirley and Erik will help. Others?

            Portland Book Festival: Bruce presented the benefits to OPA and its member authors for having a full table at the Portland Book Festival in November, 2019.

            Motion passed to reserve a full table at $550 at the Portland Book Festival.

Minutes submitted by,


Board Minutes November 12th, 2018

Oregon Poetry Association Board: Minutes of November 12, 2018 Meeting  


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


Minutes approved of October 15, 2018, Board meeting.


President’s Report: Shirley commented on the agenda items below.


Treasurer’s Report: Lynn presented the OPA Financial Overview for November.

Conference costs met by registration fees; all contest honoraria sent out; Cascadia grant received, so half of a  $1500 donation could be spent on K-12 activities.

The Board voted to approve Lynn’s seeking a 13 month CD at .95% interest with Bank of America for a minimum of $11,000 of the Banta bequest. Lynn expressed concern about keeping signers current for any OPA account.

Charles, as Vice President with the task of oversight, will be given the ability to log into OPA’s bank account.

Lynn has asked for cost estimates for any proposed project/program so they can be included in the 2019 budget. Lynn will present a budget proposal in December.

Lynn stressed the importance of having a treasurer’s apprentice to ease transition. Alan noted that for some boards the treasurer and bookkeeping functions are separate. We can post the position on our website.


Committee Reports:

Oregon Poetry Collection Committee: Erik will ask Joy if she wishes to continue on this committee, though she is no longer on the Board.

Newsletter: Bruce drew attention to the interview he did with A. Molotkov. The newsletter deadline is the 25th of the month, as it is for Strophes. Shirley checks on the completeness of the newsletter, and Lynn is a proofreader.

Historian: Bruce is collecting paper documents that record current OPA activities.

NFSPS: Bruce will submit an article about our use of Facebook to reach people about our conferences and contests, about the Banta bequest, about OPA’s work with UO Knight Library in the UO Undergraduate Poetry Prize, and about the number of fall contest entrants.

Membership/Outreach: Charles reported on 327 current members. Erik reported on a November 9 meeting held in Eugene to discuss outreach and attended by Diane and Bruce, driving from Portland, and Shirley, Charles, and Erik. They recognized how we were just beginning to think of outreach. Even though some of the OPA units are functioning well, we should develop communication with them.

Outreach might grow membership, project OPA as a statewide organization, reach underserved areas, and involve young poets. Discussing Diane’s ideas of bringing programs to such areas, we decided that we needed to find contacts and establish relationships with counterparts to determine how to support poetry as it exists in any community, then develop a program.  Such a program might combine a reading with a workshop. The Board discussed possible communities. Jennifer volunteered to be an emissary to Klamath Falls. Other communities named were Hood River-The Dalles, Bend-Redmond, La Grande-Baker City, and Newport. Diane will write guidelines for the role of emissary. Lynn will designate $600 in the 2019 budget for up to three events. The funds would be for site rental, publicity, honoraria, etc. to be determined for each community event. The Board encouraged this approach.


Old Business:

2019 Conference: Shirley led the discussion about the 2019 OPA Conference. She stressed the need for a conference coordinator. The volunteer list could include some good contacts in forming a committee.

Conference dates should fall during a September weekend.

As to sites, the Board considered many factors—driving time, parking, lodging, interesting attractions. Salem and Portland are possibilities, with further investigation needed. Shirley will send Board members a list of criteria: numbers of attendees, meals, space and lodging availability, etc. Board members are asked to explore further, but promptly, as Shirley wants to make a reservation by early December.

Facebook Group Administrator: The Board approved Adam Levon Brown to set up and oversee private OPA groups. The Board will provide guidelines and oversight.


New Business:

Fall 2018 Adult Contest Winners: Shirley reported 105 entries, with 68 OPA members among the contestants. Winning poems are being placed on the website until Thanksgiving.

OPA Co-Sponsoring: Shirley arranged an April 20 event at the Springfield Public Library offering a workshop by poet Erica Goss.

Fixed Income Reduction Request: Charles read a proposal for such a request. Discussion followed. A change of title was recommended, “Limited Income Request.” A  budgeted fund can be supplemented by donations; in fact, the fund could be removed from the usual income stream and be entirely supported by donations. A donation button already on Submittable allows no specific use for donations. The bookkeeping could be difficult; the reduced amount could be seen as a waiver. Tabled until the December meeting.

OPA Poetry Award: Jennifer and Erik have circulated a proposal for an OPA award for an individual or group that has worked to help achieve the OPA mission. Discussion followed. It should not be named for a living person. The award is more like the Literary Arts’ award for contributions to Oregon’s literary culture than the Poet Laureate appointment. There is no requirement that the award be given to a poet. It might be biennial to fit between the years of the UO Knight Library Poetry Awards. A selection committee could include non-Board OPA members. Tabled until the December meeting.

Portland Book Festival: Whether OPA might have a table there in Fall 2019 will be considered at the December meeting.

Next Meeting: Monday. December 10, 5:30, by SKYPE.

Minutes submitted by Erik



Board Minutes, October 15th 2018

Oregon Poetry Association Board Meeting                           October 15, 2018


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


Minutes approved of OPA Board meeting on September 30.


President’s Report: Shirley referred the Board to SKYPE protocols for use in our meetings; she asked that any committee notify her when it starts work or makes progress on a project, but need not forward all committee e-mails; she stressed that the Board’s work be guided by the OPA Mission Statement in administering contests and producing Verseweavers and Cascadia and in preparing for and presenting the annual conference. Shirley asked that we should identify at the November meeting other key OPA aimed-for accomplishments.


Treasurer’s Report: Lynn had earlier e-mailed the OPA Financial Overview dated October 8, 2018. She reported that our balance is good, that the Banta bequest was not yet deposited in CDs; that the annual conference in Eugene paid for itself. Lynn expressed that OPA needs to discuss how to spend some of its bequest monies; she expressed some concern that at the same time our funds were in such good shape we have voted to increase membership fees and delete categories of family and senior. Lynn, in preparation for the 2019 budget, invited Board members to provide the Board with project ideas and their costs.


Shirley, after indicating her aims to reach young poets and underrepresented areas of our state, wants to provide scholarship/financial support for both membership and conference registration fees. Discussion followed: to establish a category that had no stigma, to be self-selecting, to allow payment of what one can? (And also to pay more than one needs to—which is already in place.)

Charles in his membership work was asked to propose how a scholarship category could be set up. Suggestions invited.


Conference Reports:


Charles, membership, reported increased membership, from 313-326


Shirley, planning, reported that registrations covered conference costs.


Erik, poetry walk, reported that fifteen people enjoyed the short tour of public poetry, with one walker commenting that every OPA conference should provide a literary tour.


Also, Erik reported the Oregon Poetry Collection, for which 48 books were donated, is now a browsing collection in the Paulson Reading Room of Special Collections.


Lynn, bookroom and member reading, reported that the sales were good for poets and the open-mic was very long. It might be possible to provide the prize-winners with a separate reading time since there was a total of 58 readers this time.


Lynn will handle partial refunds of conference fees to registrants unable to attend, in consultation with Shirley.


Committee Reports:

OPCC: Erik reported that the Oregon Poetry Collection Committee has representation from Knight Library and OPA, two each–David de Lorenzo, Head of Special Collections and Jeff Staiger, Humanities Librarian and designated overseer of the OPC. With Joy gone, the committee needs another OPA representative, to be determined at a later Board meeting. Erik indicated that David Hedges, a collection founder, and Eleanor Berry, a collection implementer, did not serve on this committee this year; however, their ideas are welcome. Erik will send Shirley the Memo of Understanding that established the OPCC and underlies the relationship between Knight Library and OPA.

Newsletter: Bruce was advised to distinguish between calendar items that sponsors can enter in the OPA calendar and OPA events that get a newsletter write-up. The newsletter articles can bring enrichment to OPA members. Shirley wants to see that newsletter content relates to mission statement.

Historian: Bruce is sending the current member list to NFSPA.

Verseweavers: Diane will receive the remaining copies of Verseweavers from Eleanor Berry and will store them in Portland and also fulfill orders.


Old Business:

Webmaster: For the time being, Tiel is the lead. Shirley will increase her training once there is a new conference coordinator. Shirley will survey the updated member volunteer lists to find help with the website work.


Lynn requested Erik to forward to her signed minutes that reflect this action taken by the Board:

Motion approved: The Board voted to add Shirley Marc, the new OPA President, as a signer to our OPA business account with Bank of America; to retain Lynn Otto, Treasurer, and Diane Corson, Membership Co-chair; and to remove Lisa Baldwin, retired President, from the account.


New Business:

Next Conference: Shirley indicated the need for a 2019 conference coordinator to handle venue, AV, and food, and a committee to handle session proposals, registrations, book room forms, and conference packets.   A brief discussion followed on possible location next fall, such as Newport, Hood River, Salem, Bend, and others. The annual conference has taken place in the fall, and site and season impact costs. This will be taken up at the November or December meeting. Diane said she would help the conference in some capacity.

Committee membership needs: Conference Committee: 3-4 members. OPCC: 1 member.

Help may be needed to proofread Cascadia.

Adult Contest: Check to see if Amy Miller is willing to lead another year. Lynn encouraged timely newsletter, Facebook, and website announcements about the adult contests so that there are sufficient entries to cover the contest costs.

Diane continues to pick up mail and deposit checks.

Adam Levon Brown has volunteered to manage OPA on Facebook. Shirley is following up.

OPA Special Award: Jennifer wants the Board to consider presenting an award to a person who has notably supported Oregon poetry. She thinks this person need not be an OPA member, and should not be a Board member. The award would help emphasize OPA’s mission, generate press attention, and possibly increase membership. Nominations could be made by the Board. The award might be connected in some way to the bequest. After some discussion, Jennifer and Erik were asked to develop a proposal for the November meeting.

Shirley intends writing a letter to the members to appear in the newsletter, covering the present aims of OPA: outreach to youth, outreach to outer areas, scholarships, awards.

Erik said that at present the Board has no outreach program/strategy and needs to develop one, as well as a list of active contacts throughout the state. Alan thought the Oregon English Teachers Association could be a useful contact/model. Jennifer, a high-school teacher, thought that school librarians could be very useful in reaching students and that communication with schools and curriculum time are limited.


Minutes submitted by Erik Muller ________________________  October 17, 2018


Next Meeting by SKYPE:

Monday, November 12, 5:30pm