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.

Board Minutes April 10

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

Minutes: Board minutes of March 18 approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Lynn sent a $200  check to Amelia Ettinger as outreach support for La Grande. Diane reported a last payment from the Banta bequest of $51.

Membership: Charles reported a current paid membership of 272. Postcard reminders indicated how to pay dues, but did not include amount of dues. Dale said henceforth every newsletter will show link to OPA Group Facebook page.

Outreach: Erik will follow up on payment of $200 to support a La Grande reading series. Conference proposal forms, which Shirley will e-mail to each Board member, should be sent to Hood River, Klamath Falls and Southern Oregon sites, and La Grande.

Newsletter: Dale received unanimous approval for her work on the newsletter. Bruce is collecting and soliciting items for the newsletter, including articles. Bruce is considering how the newsletter might include submission dates for Oregon poetry journals and poetry publishers.

Fall Conference:

Keynoter: The Board selected Penelope Scambly Schott as keynoter. Shirley will be her contact in focusing elements of her presentation.

Promotion: Shirley will send Board members a flier about the conference to distribute to the groups we have contact with. And she will send the conference proposal form, also for distribution. “Our common life” was suggested as a conference-wide theme, not as a requirement for proposals, but a suggestion to add focus to the programs.

Handling Conference Proposals: Shirley will prepare materials, then send the proposals and a tabulation sheet to each Board member. Final selection will be made by Shirley, Charles, and Erik.

Old Business:  

Portland Book Fair: The $520 in funds for a table has already been approved for November’s Portland Book Fair. Bruce and others indicated possible benefits of OPA presence: exposure, signing up members, networking, providing contest information.  Bruce is the lead on this.

Cascadia: The current Cascadia is ready for the April 20 Student Contest award ceremony held at Willamalane Senior Center, 1:45-3:45. Shirley will provide food. Volunteers are welcome to assist.

Verseweavers: Dale is working on the next edition and is lining up proofreaders.

Recruiting New Board Members: No report.

OPA Banta Award: Jennifer reported that the announcement for nominations was posted on our website and will be included in the newsletter. A selection committee is made up of Jennifer, Steve Slemenda, and Ingrid Wendt, to select and grade the top five nominations for Board review and selection of the awardee.

Fall Poetry Contest: Stella, the new Adult Contest Chair, will contact Susan Morse, who indicated wanting to help with adult contests. The Board selected blank verse as the form and our common life as the theme for two contest categories.

Review of Board Policies: The last such review being 2014-2015, Shirley has asked Board members to review OPA policies and suggest changes (see  References under Who We Are, select Policy Documents). Also, each Board member with a specific role/task should detail what she does. Send Shirley both of these by the time of the June 14 retreat.

Unit, Area Discussion: Tabled until the retreat.

Board Retreat:

               Friday, June 14, 10-4, at Shirley’s home. Part business, part visioning.

Next Board SKYPE Meeting:

               Monday, May 6, 5:30.