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  • NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN FOR OPA’S PATRICIA RUTH BANTA AWARD

    Do you know of an individual or group who deserves recognition for their contributions to the culture of poetry in Oregon? Consider nominating them for OPA’s Patricia Ruth Banta Award, which honors an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to Oregon poetry and to OPA’s mission.  Download the nomination form below: print, complete, and mail to:

    Oregon Poetry Association
    PO Box 14582 Portland OR 97293

    OPA seeks to build and sustain a diverse community of Oregon poets, provide Oregon poets opportunities to exchange ideas and learn from one another, further the appreciation of poetry throughout the state, and raise public awareness of Oregon poets.  Nominees may have contributed in any of these ways. Nominations are due by July 31. The award will be announced in the fall. 

    The Leaf by Nancy Christopherson

    Nancy Christopherson (July 13, 2015), 66 pp $8

    ISBN #: 978-0-692-42433-9

    Available at: http://www.nancychristophersonpoetry.com/

    In her 2015 book, The Leaf, Oregon poet Nancy Christopherson showcases uncommon poems about one of the most common human sufferings—the loss of a parent. In poems deployed throughout her self-published collection, Christopherson builds a loose thematic arc that poignantly explores her mother’s loss of independence, her death in an assisted care facility, and its implications for those she left behind.

    This thematic development reaches its climax near the middle of the book with a series of six consecutive poems filled with keenly observed imagery that conveys deep feeling without lapsing into sentiment.

    Baby, It’s Cold Outside

    (a Vivianne sonnet variation)

    Barbara Blanks

    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.