Our annual election for the OPA board of directors is in progress now. This is an especially important election because six out of nine board members are retiring or have completed their terms. We have nine wonderful candidates to choose from. Members should have received an email linking them to the election poll. There were two email because the first contained an error, but the second should work. Please choose your top six.
The new board will be introduced at the OPA conference, taking place on zoom on Oct. 7. Don’t miss it!
The nominees are as follows:
Elisa Carlsen (she/they) grew up in Humboldt County, Nevada. A contemplative, outsider poet, artist, and rusted metal fanatic, Elisa’s writing has appeared in SixFold, VoiceCatcher, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nevada Arts Council, Oranges Journal, and Brushfire. Elisa won the Lower Columbia Regional Poetry Contest and was a finalist for the Editor’s Prize at Harbor Review. Cormorant (Unsolicited Press, 2023) is their first poetry collection. Elisa is a Poetry Editor for New American Press. She prefers cats with thumbs, sometimes dresses as a wolf, and always tries to be better.
“I’m interested in being on the Executive Board of the Oregon Poetry Association because I want to be a part of and foster a community with other poets. I’m an outsider poet, meaning I am self-taught. Because I don’t have a degree in creative writing, I lack connections with other poets and traditional networks with other writers. I know how vulnerable it feels to share your creative vision and inner emotional landscape with others, and I want to support people who are doing that hard work.”
“My name is Angela Douglass. I am a lifelong poet in love with words and language…and the stories we have to tell as deeply feeling humans. I want to serve the Oregon Poetry Association as a board member to help encourage others to share their stories through poetry. We all need connection and validation and someone to tell us it’s okay to be vulnerable. Poetry brings out truth and connection in a way that nothing else can. I want to help foster that for others. I have been active in the local poetry scene, reading at open mics and poetry slams and participating in workshops throughout Portland and Vancouver.
“I have lots of experience volunteering, including serving on boards. I will also bring organizational and project experience to the table through my career as a Project Manager, as well as great connections. Recently, I have been a volunteer for Lightship Press, a local small press here in Portland, helping run their quarterly Wordlights Poetry Showcase. I have also joined the Humble Poets Open Mic team, a new monthly open mic in NE Portland. I hope to publish my own poetry chapbook and collection and offer informal poetry workshops in the community. I am beyond honored to be considered for a position on the board of the Oregon Poetry Association and can’t wait to share my ideas with you!”
David A. Goodrum
David A. Goodrum, writer/photographer, was born, raised, and educated in Indiana and currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon. As an undergrad, he studied at Indiana University and graduated with a creative writing thesis of poems. He holds degrees in English and German and a doctorate in instructional systems technology. David has been a high school teacher, a developer of instructional software, a fine arts photographer exhibiting at juried art fairs, and a director of educational technology across two different universities. His poems are forthcoming or have been published recently in the Timberline Review, The Inflectionist Review, Cathexis Northwest Press, Fireweed: Poetry of Oregon, Willawaw Journal, Clackamas Literature Review, Cirque Journal, among others. This summer he also had poems on display (June and August) at the Hoffman Center Wonder Garden in Manzanita and currently on the Corvallis Poetry Marquee. David has a forthcoming chapbook in December, under the Audience Askew imprint, entitled Sparse Poetica, and a forthcoming book next June from The Poetry Box entitled Vitals and Other Signs of Life. See additional work, both poems and photos, at www.davidgoodrum.com.
“My interest in the OPA board stems from a desire to contribute more directly to the culturally rich community of poets in Oregon. I have only one other board commitment at this time, as a member of The Corvallis Arts Center board of directors. My experience there has helped me see first-hand the value of directly supporting non-profit organizations. Besides being an OPA member for a few years, I’m also a member of the Willamette Writers – Corvallis, the Mid-Valley Poetry Society, and a frequent participant at The Salem Poetry Project.”
Corinne Hughes has been a member of the Poet’s Studio at the Attic Institute, and she attended the 2023 Juniper Summer Writing Institute, working with the poet Mahogany L. Browne. Her poetry can be found in Cathexis Northwest Press, Passengers Journal, Black Sunflower Poetry Press, and Cirque Journal. Currently, she is an academic professional at Portland State University, where she earned a Master of Public Administration degree, focusing on arts nonprofit management.
“Public service, especially through the arts, is something I value more than anything. I am an outreach professional, program manager, and collaborator. I thrive on building systems of resources and gathering people together. For the last five years, I have organized events at the intersection of higher education and community organizations, working with multicultural stakeholders to foster learning through art and culture. During graduate school, I had the opportunity to work as a development consultant for the Gresham Library’s teen lounge, the Regional Arts and Culture Council board, and various arts nonprofits. I currently volunteer as a workshop facilitator with Write Around Portland and a grant panelist for the Oregon Community Foundation.
“This last year, I also volunteered to serve as the nominations coordinator for the 2023 Middle East Book Award, which is awarded by the Middle East Outreach Council, a national nonprofit. I coordinated the nomination process, contacting publishers and authors for review copies and mailing over 500 books to the committees. It would be an honor to join the OPA board and support the poets and poetry of Oregon!”
Sharon Johnson is a former Health and Human Services administrator who retired to Oregon from Minnesota five years ago. She has been the Executive Director of three nonprofits and on the boards of directors of other associations, including an arts organization. She is a poet and writer, with poetry in The Timberline Review and forthcoming in Verseweavers. She has previously published poetry in Oread, The Greenfield Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Art Times, and in other places.
“I want to contribute to the writers and poetry communities in Oregon and bring previous organizational experience to the Oregon Poetry Association. I am currently serving on the OPA conference committee.”
Sherri Levine is a poet who lives in Portland, Oregon. She was awarded–the Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Award, First Place (Poet’s Choice), Second Place, (Members Only), and three Honorary Awards for the Oregon Poetry Association Contest. She served as a judge for the OPA contest and was editor of VoiceCatcher. Her work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, The Jewish Literary Journal, and other journals and anthologies. Sherri is the creator of Head for the Hills, a poetry series and open mic sponsored by the Hillsdale Library (now hosted by Dale Champlin on Zoom and live) In 2018, she published her chapbook, In Their Voices (Poetry Box). Her first full-length poetry collection, Stealing Flowers from the Neighbors, was published by Kelsay Press in 2021. She also published A Joy to See (Just a Lark Books 2023), an anthology of prominent poets who wrote ekphrastic poems based on the artwork of her late mother, Kay Levine. Sherri and many other poets celebrated a popular reading at Powell’s Bookstore in downtown Portland, Oregon and also at the Salem Poetry Project. Please visit sherrilevine.com to learn more about her.
“I want to do outreach to encourage and attract a younger and more diverse membership base for OPA. I have been a proud member of OPA since 2015.”
Juan Cervantes Morales
Juan Cervantes Morales, born in Oaxaca, Mexico, is the author of two poetry books: Voices of Freedom and Endless Word. He has been a member of the Silverton Poetry Association (2010-2018) and co-founder of Spiral Publishing. It is at this time special guest as a reader and exponent of topics on poetry for students at Portland State University. In 2020, together with German Rizo, published La Otra voz, a poetic anthology that includes poems by Oregonian authors of our time. In 2018, he founded the Arte Poética club to promote poetry in the Spanish language in the state of Oregon. Cervantes practices the art of digital photography and as such he photographs landscapes and people.
“I would like to be part of OPA’s board of directors to promote poetry in the region where I live (Salem/Portland) by organizing readings and gatherings with local poetry groups. I am also interested in expanding OPA’s reach to the Spanish language by holding bilingual discussions and poetry readings with local Hispanic poets.”
Kate Ristau is an author, folklorist, and the Executive Director of Willamette Writers. She is the author of three middle grade series, Clockbreakers, Mythwakers, and Wylde Wings, and the young adult series, Shadow Girl. You can read her essays in The New York Times and The Washington Post.
“I am a firm believer in the power of community. As a nonprofit professional, I understand how organizations work, and I am here to help OPA continue to inspire and connect poets across the state of Oregon.”
Sher A. Schwartz
Sher A. Schwartz is a retired University of Alaska Southeast-Ketchikan Assistant Professor of Humanities living on a two-hundred-acre historic farm outside The Dalles, Oregon. She’s a published essayist and poet. She has just completed a chapbook–– The Beautiful One’s Ark. Sher plays old-time fiddle music, plants gardens for pollinators, and trains bird dogs. She has many years of experience working on arts related boards: Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council, UAS Humanities Annual Conferences, Crates Point Living History (Oregon), Mid-Columbia Folklore Society (Oregon), Community Coffeehouse (Oregon), Dynamic Women of Ketchikan, Alaska, and others.
“I’m interested in being a board member for OPA, because I would like to support OPA’s mission and I’d like to work with others who wish to strengthen opportunities for poets and for readers of poetry throughout Oregon.”