MOST RECENT OPA NEWS
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We regret to announce that due to the pandemic, the 2021 Student Poetry Contest has been cancelled. When schools reopen the Student Contest will resume. Questions or concerns can still be addressed to the Student Contest Chair and will be answered by the OPA web master.
- Posted: October 7, 2020
Started in 1999, and organized by writer Willa Schneberg, this annual event features readings by prominent Oregon Jewish poets and writers. The writers in the 2020 program, who span a range of genres including fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and essays, will share selections from their work in a virtual reading on ...
LATEST BOOK REVIEW (EXCERPT)
Reviewed by Paul Telles
What She Was Wearing by Shawn Aveningo Sanders
The Poetry Box (November 5, 2019), 48 pp, $12
ISBN #: 978-1-948461-32-0
Available at: https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/what-she-was-wearing
In What She Was Wearing, Portland poet Shawn Aveningo Sanders bravely reveals her experience as a rape victim. In a series of 29 muscular poems, Sanders recounts the horrific experience of being raped during a fraternity party in the 1980s. As well as offering a heart-rending description of the rape itself, the collection delves into the trauma’s influence on the rest of Sanders’ life, exploring its ramifications for her identity as a mother, a wife, and a woman.
The 2019 chapbook uses its title as a refrain, repeatedly deploying the ...
MOST RECENT POET’S SPOTLIGHT
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
(a Vivianne sonnet variation)
As embryos we each explore the wall
of womb that holds us. It’s the first place joy
is felt—mom’s heartbeat like a lullaby.
Cocooned in touch, that’s how we interact.
We’re chastised just as soon as we can crawl
or walk. Just look! Hands off! That’s not a toy.
We’re told to view, to listen, smell that, try
a taste of this—but touch … and hands are smacked.
And so begins our isolation. All
those inhibitions finally destroy
instinctive comfort found in touch, deny
the core of who we are. Our lives contract.