OPA Spring 2019 Contest Opens January 1st

Deadline: March 1, 2019

Submissions open: January 1, 2019
Limit: one poem per category.
Spaces between stanzas do not count as lines.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be published on the OPA website and in OPA’s annual anthology, Verseweavers


Limit: one entry per category.

1) Poet’s Choice: Limit 80 lines, any subject, any form. Judge: John Sibley Williams.

2) Members Only: Limit 20 lines, any subject, any form. Entrant must be a current OPA member. Judge: José Angel Araguz.

3) New Poets: Limit 30 lines, any subject, any form. A new poet is someone with no more than two poems published in online or print journals. Self-published work is not considered published in this context. Judge: Stella Beratlis.

4) Traditional Form—Ghazal: 10–40 lines, ghazal form, any subject.
Judge: Kathleen McClung.

5) Theme—Climate: Limit 40 lines, any form, on the subject of “climate.”
Judge: Nancy Carol Moody.


Poet’s Choice: 1st $100; 2nd $50; 3rd $30; 3 HMs.

All other categories: 1st $50; 2nd $30; 3rd $20; 3 HMs.

All 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems will be published on the OPA website and in the annual anthology of prizewinners, Verseweavers.

Entry Fee

OPA Members—Flat rate of $8 for up to five poems (limit of one poem per category).

Non-members— Flat rate of $15 for up to four poems (limit of one poem per category).


Submitted electronically or postmarked byMarch 1, 2019, midnight PDT.

Electronic submissions (preferred; see guidelines below):

By mail (see guidelines below):
OPA, Contest Entries, PO Box 14582, Portland, OR 97293.

Spring 2019 Poetry Contest Guidelines

  1. Poems must be your original work, unpublished in print or online, and cannot have been a prior cash winner in any contest. Appearance on personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, or critique groups does not constitute publication.
  2. You may enter one poem in each category, a different poem in each, without duplication.
  3. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but entry fees are non-refundable. If your poem is accepted elsewhere, notify OPA immediately via Submittable, or contact contest chair at http://oregonpoets.org/contacts/contests-adult-contest-chair or by mail (address below) to withdraw your poem.
  4. Format poems in 10- to 12-point font size, Times New Roman or another standard typeface.
  5. Online submissions at http://OPA.submittable.com are preferred. The submission title is optional. In the comments field, please include your bio (third person, 75 words or less). In the upper-right corner of every page in your submission, indicate category and your poem’s line count. (Title and spaces between stanzas do not count as lines.) Your name or contact information should not appear on the poems. If entering in multiple categories, all poems must be submitted in a single document (limit one poem per category). Please use .doc or .docx format and put your last name at the start of the file name (e.g., “Smith-ContestEntry.docx”).

  6. If unable to submit online, please submit two copies of each poem, one with your name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address, and one without. On both copies, indicate category and your poem’s line count in the upper-right corner. Mail your entries by March 1, 2019 (postmark) to: OPA, Contest Entries, P.O. Box 14582, Portland, OR 97293. Entries will not be returned. Mailed entries must include a cover sheet with the poet’s name, bio (third person, 75 words or less), mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, and a list of poem titles, with a check to cover your entry fee payable to Oregon Poetry Association. An email address is required for all entries. No registered or certified mail, please.
  7. If you join OPA at the time you enter, you are eligible for the Member rate, and for the Members Only category. (Please use the Become a Member option in Submittable prior to making your contest submission or mail your dues to OPA, P.O. Box 14582, Portland, OR 97293). Include a note in your contest entry stating that you have joined OPA.
  8. Poems may not be edited and re-submitted; your submission is final.
  9. Members Only category: OPA sends out notifications in February, notifying you whether your membership is current or needs to be renewed. Watch for emails or postcards. For questions regarding membership, contact Membership Chair at http://oregonpoets.org/contacts/contact-membership-chair.
  10. You may submit up to five poems, limited to one poem per category (up to four poems for non-members, limit one poem per category). OPA members pay a flat rate entry fee of $8 for up to five poems. Non-members pay a flat rate of $15 for up to four poems.
  11. Winners will be notified in April 2019. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems will be posted on the OPA website and published in Verseweavers, OPA’s annual print anthology. All rights revert to author after publication. OPA reserves the right to use prizewinning poems on the OPA website, on membership forms, etc.
  12. Submissions not conforming to these rules will be disqualified.

Save the Salem Public Library’s Poetry Books

Sign a petition led by Jim Scheppke, to prevent the Salem Public Library from purging poetry books from its collection. Jim writes: “Here is a selection of books from the list to give you an idea of what is gone:

Collected poems, 1937-1971 / John Berryman
Shattering air : poems / David Biespiel
The man in the black coat turns / Robert Bly
Joseph Brodsky, selected poems /
73 poems / by e.e. cummings
50 American plays : poems / Matthew Dickman & Michael Dickman
The end of the West / Michael Dickman
How to paint sunlight / Lawrence Ferlinghetti
It is hard to look at what we came to think we’d come to see / Michele Glazer
White apples and the taste of stone : selected poems, 1946-2006 / Donald Hall
Testimony, a tribute to Charlie Parker / Yusef Komunyakaa
Nurture : poems / Maxine Kumin
Light up the cave / Denise Levertov
What work is : poems / Philip Levine
Selected poems / Osip Mandelshtam
Braving the elements / James Merrill
Finding the islands / W.S. Merwin
Selected writings of Joaquin Miller /
The poems of Doctor Zhivago / Boris Pasternak
Anthology of Mexican poetry / Octavio Paz
Colors passing through us : poems / Marge Piercy
A Muriel Rukeyser reader /
The renegade : writings on poetry and a few other things / Charles Simic
Axe handles : poems / by Gary Snyder
Writing the Australian crawl : views on the writer’s vocation / William Stafford
China Basin / Clemens Starck
The collected poems of Robert Penn Warren /
New and collected poems / Richard Wilbur
Anew : complete shorter poetry / Louis Zukofsky”

Sign Jim’s petition here.