OPA Board Minutes, April 6, 2021

Minutes of the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) Board Meeting of April 6, 2021

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

Present: Jennifer Rood (President, Historian), Sue Fagalde Lick (Vice-President), Dan Liberthson
(Secretary), Rana Tahir (Treasurer), Dave Mehler (Membership Co-chair), Dale Champlin (Newsletter and Verseweavers Editor), Lorna Rose Hahn (Membership Co-Chair, Outreach Chair)

Not Present: Susan Morse (Assistant Secretary, Fall Adult Poetry Contest Chair), Rayn Roberts (At-Large)

I. Jennifer called the meeting to order at 7:05.


II. Approval of Minutes


A motion by Sue to accept the March 9, 2021 board meeting minutes was seconded by Dan and approved unanimously by voice vote.


III. Officer Reports


 A. President’s Report (Jennifer Rood)

1. The Verseweavers readings on March 23 and 25 were well-attended and very enjoyable.
Thank you to Rana Tahir and Sue Lick for co-hosting. Both evenings ran very smoothly, thanks in part to a very professional PowerPoint that Rana created and had scrolling as participants entered the Zoom room.

2. The Pandemic 2020 readings are all set to go (although I am still placing people into slots). 
Thanks to Susan Morse for organizing the Salem reading; former OPA President Lisa Baldwin for organizing the Southern Oregon reading; Dale Champlin and Sherri Levine for hosting two Portland readings; Rana Tahir for setting up the Zoom links and Wild Apricot registrations; Lorna Rose Hahn for getting the information out there on social media; and again to Dale for getting the information out there through the newsletter.

Here are the dates and numbers of readers as of this date:

April 8—SALEM AREA—10 poets, hosted by Marc Janssen
April 12—PORTLAND AREA—9 poets, hosted by Dale Champlin and Sherri Levine.
April 13—PORTLAND AREA—4 poets, hosted by Jennifer Rood
April 15—PORTLAND AREA—2 poets, hosted by Jennifer Rood
April 19—PORTLAND AREA—7 poets, hosted by Dale Champlin and Sherri Levine
April 20—SOUTHERN OREGON AREA—13 poets, hosted by Jennifer Rood
April 22—OUTSIDE THE VALLEY: COAST AND EAST OF THE CASCADES—
6 poets, hosted by Jennifer Rood
April 27—EUGENE/SPRINGFIELD AREA—10 poets, hosted by Jennifer Rood
April 29—ALL REGIONS—no one scheduled yet, hosted by Jennifer Rood

3. Other

a. Website Redesign—We are not quite ready to launch, but getting nearer! Draft sent to the Board for comments/suggestions to me to be passed on to Lisa Story. Rana volunteered to edit and/or delete old material on the website, and Dale will help in May after the Pandemic Anthology readings.

b. NFSPS (National Federation of State Poetry Societies) Convention—To be held June 10-13. Cost is $45 for the entire event. Registration must be received by June 1.

c. Oregon Poet Laureate display—The plan to put up a display of poet laureates for National Poetry Month at Grants Pass High School did not materialize since Kate Weber, President of the Oregon School Library Association and Grants Pass High School Librarian, said that students were not really spending time in the library due to Covid restrictions still in place. This is still a project I would like to see launch into libraries eventually.

d. Banta Award—Nominations are due by the end of May for the Banta Award for someone who has contributed to the promotion of Oregon poets and poetry. Once nominations from members come in, I have a 3-person review committee put together. Two of the members have served for the last two years and prefer anonymity. One more is a past board member. I will set this up and get it rolling.

e. Nominating Committee—According to the bylaws, a nominating committee must be set up 6 months before the October board election. As three current board members are leaving, volunteers are needed for this committee. This item will be revisited after Jennifer checks to see whether nominating committee members can be currently on the board. Sue expressed interest in serving on this committee.

B. Vice-President (Sue Lick)

No report

C. Secretary (Dan)

No report

D. Treasurer’s Report (Rana Tahir)

1. Past/Completed Business

a. Zoom license has been purchased.

b. Treasurer email created: [email protected]

c. Amazon account created for OPA, information sent to Jennifer and Dale.

d. Wild Apricot is running smoothly. We have received renewals online steadily.

2. Ongoing Business

a. Consolidation of past treasurer files and data into one master sheet.

b. A new OPA Treasurer’s handbook is being written and compiled.

3. New Business

a. Will OPA continue to sponsor the William Stafford Memorial Award NFSPS Annual Contest for 2022 (need to complete by April 20), in memory of William Stafford, Oregon’s late Poet Laureate and twice Honorary Chancellor of NFSPS? Subject: Any. Form: Any, 40 line limit.

b. OPA YouTube Account created. Videos need to be edited and uploaded. Plan to record all of the pandemic readings as well (excluding the open mic portion).

c. GoDaddy renewal for the website is coming up soon! Should it be canceled?

4. Current Budget (Note: Figures do not reflect income; x/y = spent over budgeted)

Membership/Operations: $3,053.75 / $6,000.00
Publications: $1,389.78 / $4,000.00
Adult Contests: $2,984.00 / $3,000.00
Conference: $8,000.00
Cascadia Student Contest: $1,000.00
Banta Bequest: $16,896.76
Muller Donation: $1,200
MCDC Grant: $1,520.79
Total Funds Left in 2021 Budget: $36,813.25
Bank Balance: $43,272.34

5. After discussion, it was decided to cancel GoDaddy for web hosting and instead use the service of Stacy Clements, which will be cheaper and more efficient.

IV. Committee Reports

A. Membership (Dave Mehler)

At 326, membership is higher than last year at this time. All relevant membership data have been imported into Wild Apricot. The increase in membership may be due to Zoom conferences, pandemic isolation, Wild Apricot making it easier to become a member, or all these factors. Decisions are needed about whether to offer family memberships and whether to raise the membership rates. A relevant factor is that Wild Apricot only allows one email address per membership entry.

B. Contests (Susan Morse)

There was a discussion about increasing honoraria for spring contest judges based on amount of work involved (i.e., past experience of the numbers of poems entered in the various categories). Rana moved and Dan seconded a motion to increase to $100 the honoraria for judges of the Members Only and Themed categories, which have had the greatest numbers of entries in the past (approved unanimously). Honoraria for judges in the other categories, which have had fewer entries in the past, will remain $50. Whether to drop the Spanish language section due to paucity of entries was discussed. It was decided to retain this category and explore adding other foreign language categories (e.g., Russian, which is widely spoken in Oregon). One possibility would be to consolidate non-English entries into a Foreign Language category. Also, the New Poets and Under 30 categories could be combined. These issues will be revisited at a later board meeting.

C. Verseweavers, Pandemic 2020 Anthology, Newsletter (Dale Champlin)

Dale mentioned that it is time to start on the Verseweavers edition for the 2020 contest, for which she has already done the cover design. She plans to use Ingram-Sparks from now on for all anthology publications, as some bookstores will not carry publications from Amazon. Sue mentioned that Ingram charges only $49 for setup, which is somewhat more complicated than with Amazon but nonetheless worth it.

D. Social media (Lorna Rose Hahn)

For the planned Zoom readings, on the assumption that OPA will provide reader-only links directly to scheduled readers, Lorna plans to post on social media only the links for audience attendees. She will post a couple links a day from now on, as the readings are imminent.

V. Old Business

There was discussion about the proposed May workshops. More detail (format, objectives, content, intention) is needed about the proposed presentations so far submitted. One workshop is confirmed: Derek Sheffield on May 6 at 6 pm, Writing the Ecopoem. Rana moved that OPA pay $100 per 1 hour workshop. Lorna seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved. Whether to cap attendance was discussed. It was decided to ask the presenters what they considered an ideal number of attendees, whether they wanted a limit, and if so how many. Rana moved that attendance fee be $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Dan seconded and the motion was unanimously approved. It was decided that for the scheduled Verseweaver readings, Lorna will publish the events link and names of the readers. This information for all readings can go on the website Events page so readers can scroll through and pick events they want to attend.

VI. New Business

Planning for an October conference or event needs to start soon. A 1 day Zoom conference, as in 2020, seems to be likely format.

VII. Announcements

The next board meeting will be on May 4 at 7 pm.

VIII. Adjournment.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:33 pm.

Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary

Minutes of the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) Board Meeting of March 9, 2021

Minutes of the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) Board Meeting of March 9, 2021

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

Present: Jennifer Rood (President, Historian), Sue Fagalde Lick (Vice-President), Dan Liberthson
(Secretary), Rana Tahir (Treasurer), Susan Morse (Assistant Secretary, Fall Adult Poetry Contest Chair), Lorna Rose Hahn (Membership Co-Chair, Outreach Chair)

Not Present: Dave Mehler (Membership Co-chair), Dale Champlin (Newsletter and Verseweavers
Editor), Rayn Roberts (At-Large)

I. Jennifer called the meeting to order at 7:10.
II. Approval of Minutes
A motion by Sue to accept the February 23, 2021 board meeting minutes was seconded by Rana and approved unanimously by voice vote.
III. Officer Reports
A) President’s Report (Jennifer Rood)

1. Jennifer queried Lisa Story, who is redesigning the website, at to the progress of the new design. The website is functional.
2. Jennifer noted that the next National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) newsletter, Strophes, will be out in April, and that someone might want to submit an article on the craft of poetry. She asked for volunteers to take over writing the quarterly update of OPA activities for Strophes.
3. The NFSPS poetry contests are in progress, but as yet there has been no response from them as to why they have not paid last year’s Manningham award money.
4. As discussed last meeting, Jennifer plans an Oregon Poet Laureate display for National Poetry Month at the Grants Pass High School.
5. Readings: It was decided last meeting to hold Verseweavers readings in March, Pandemic 2020 Anthology readings in April, and workshops in May. After discussion, the readings were scheduled as noted under Old Business (section V).
6. Workshops: Rana and Lorna will reach out to poetry communities to see who is available to offer a 1-hour Zoom workshop for a $100 honorarium (amount suggested by Jennifer). OPA will advertise, organize, and host. Suggested cost is $10 (paid through Wild Apricot) for members, and possibly more for nonmembers (to be discussed).

B) Vice-President (Sue Lick)

No report

C) Secretary (Dan)

No report

D) Treasurer’s Report (Rana Tahir)

1. Past/Completed Business: A Zoom license has been purchased. A Treasurer email was created: opa.treasurer.con[email protected] An OPA Amazon account was created.

2. Ongoing Business: Past treasurer files and data are being consolidated into one master sheet. A new OPA Treasurer’s handbook is being written and compiled. The Wild Apricot free trial is underway. The first year’s bill has been paid. The site is not functional yet but will be soon. Some renewal dates on Wild Apricot are not working. Importing corrected data should solve this problem. We will manually update for members who pay by check. The membership renewal date has been pushed from March 15 to April 1 to permit timely dissemination of information about how to renew with Wild Apricot. Dave will continue to send out postcard reminders.

3. Current Budget:

 

Current Total Funds: $39,179.99

IV. Committee Reports

A) Membership (Dave Mehler)

No report

B) Contests (Susan Morse)

Enrollment for the Verseweavers contests totals 36, which is very low (last year we had 130 entries at this time), so postponing the deadline was discussed. Susan will contact the judges to make sure they can accommodate an extension. Susan moved to postpone the deadline to March 31 if the judges are OK with that. Dan seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

C) Verseweavers, Pandemic 2020 Anthology, Newsletter (Dale Champlin)

No report

D) Social media (Lorna Rose Hahn)

OPA has 959 followers on Facebook and 25 on Twitter. Facebook is better for getting traffic to events. Any event notices should be sent to Lorna.

V. Old Business

A. The Verseweavers readings were scheduled for March 23 and 25 from 7 to 8:30 pm. Rana proposed 15 readers for each session with open-mic sessions limited to one poem per reader. Jennifer will host the readings and Sue and Rana will co-host and help with chat and logistics. Dale and Lorna will take care of advertising in the newsletter, on the website, and via social media. Jennifer and Sue will contact OPA members about reading at these events.

B. Dates for the April Pandemic 2020 Anthology readings were discussed, with an eye to avoiding conflicts with Easter Week, the Salem Poetry Project Zoom reading on April 8 (at which a 30-minute reading time for Pandemic 2020 Anthology featured readers is reserved, plus open mic), and a Head for the Hills reading on March 30. Jennifer and Susan will contact Salem area OPA members about reading on April 8, and all anthology contributors about participating in the scheduled Pandemic 2020 Anthology readings. The readings will be entitled “Pandemic Favorites” and will be organized by region. Each poet will read one poem. Dale and Lorna will do promotion via the newsletter, social media, and the OPA website.

Tuesday, April 13, Lorna co-hosting
Thursday, April 15, Sue co-hosting
Tuesday, April 20, Rana co-hosting
Thursday, April 22, Rana co-hosting
Thursday, April 29, Rana co-hosting

C. May workshops: Susan proposed doing a workshop for older people not comfortable with Zoom or Submittable, perhaps called “Digital 101.” Sue or Rana might present, as they are technically savvy. The focus would be how to use Zoom, and it could be advertised in the newsletter. After discussion, it was decided that this concept would be more effective at a live meeting in the Fall. Rana said we have budgeted enough funds to pay the May workshop presenters the $100 honorarium, suggested by Jennifer. Presenters could be members or special guests. The workshops (dates to be determined) would be 1 hour long and cost $10 for OPA members and possibly more for nonmembers (Wild Apricot would be used to determine membership status). Lorna offered to reach out to Washington State members.

VI. New Business

None

VII. Announcements

The next board meeting will be April 6, at 7 pm.

VIII. Adjournment.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:33 pm.

Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary

OPA Board Minutes, February 23, 2021

Minutes of the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) Board Meeting of February 23, 2021

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

Present: Jennifer Rood (President, Historian), Sue Fagalde Lick (Vice-President), Dan Liberthson
(Secetary), Rana Tahir (Treasurer), Dave Mehler (Membership Co-chair)

Not Present: Dale Champlin (Newsletter and Verseweavers Editor), Susan Morse (Assistant Secretary, Fall Adult Poetry Contest Chair), Lorna Rose Hahn (Membership Co-Chair, Outreach Chair), Rayn Roberts (At-Large)

I. Jennifer called the meeting to order at 7:05.

II. Approval of Minutes

A motion by Dave to accept the January 17, 2020 board meeting minutes was seconded and approved unanimously by voice vote.

III. Officer Reports

 A. President’s Report (Jennifer Rood)

Marc Janssen of the Salem Poetry Project reserved a 30-minute reading time for OPA to present readings from the Pandemic 2020 anthology on Thursday, April 8 via Zoom and he left the selection of presenters up to the Board. After discussion, it was decided to invite Pandemic Anthology contributors in the Salem Area to participate.
Jennifer contacted Kate Weber, President of the Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL) to ask if she would be interested in a collaboration in which OPA and the OASL would promote Oregon Poet Laureates in a display for National Poetry Month. OPA would provide a display of 10 Oregon poet laureates and OASL would host the historical/informational display, beginning with the Grants Pass High School Library during April—National Poetry Month. Jennifer wrote the Oregon Cultural Trust to see if they could provide an 8×10 photo of our 10th Oregon Poet Laureate, Anis Mojgani, a short bio, and a permission to include a poem of hers in the display. We have photos of all other Oregon poet laureates, and Jennifer is compiling bios for them. We will need to purchase an 11×14 frame and mat for Anis Mojgani’s picture, and possibly other small frames for bios. This cost will come out of the operations budget.
Although the Board approved the purchase of a Zoom business account at the last meeting based on the assumption that it would cost $199 per year, it turns out that the actual cost is $199 per year with a minimum of 10 users, for a total outlay of nearly $2000 a year. This is not feasible given our budget. However, a Pro Account costs $149 for 1 license permitting up to 100 people per meeting and up to 500 people for $50 more. That would be doable, so Raina moved to purchase one license of Zoom Pro, which was seconded and unanimously approved. This license will not include cloud storage but up to 1 hour of video could be downloaded.
Jennifer met with Lisa Story (our website designer) on January 18 to discuss the website redesign and look at examples of well-designed and poorly-designed websites from other poetry groups. Lisa also talked with Stacy Clements (our web host) and it is clear that we will need to use WordPress for the redesign (as it has plug-ins and licenses that would not work with Wix, which Lisa recommended). The website redesign is still underway.

B. Vice-President (Sue Lick)

No report

C. Secretary (Dan)

No report

D. Treasurer’s Report (Rana Tahir)

An external drive was purchased and labeled.
Past treasurer files and data are being consolidated into one master sheet.
A new OPA Treasurer’s handbook is being written and compiled based on the recent transition.
The Wild Apricot free trial is underway. The bill will be due in March 2021.
The exact budget, honorarium, and registration rates for the Spring workshop series must be established. The budget for both the conference and these workshops is $8,000.00.
Rana propose creating a budget section specifically for publications, separate from the operations fund. She moved to allocate $4,000 to this publications fund. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.
Following is a table of available funds by category.

Current funds are $39,713.49.

IV. Committee Reports

A. Membership (Dave Mehler)

Current total OPA membership is 336 active members. 78 are due to renew in March. Postcards and emails for the 78 will go out on March 15. Dave says we need to think about the different types of memberships: family, 1 year, 2 years, student, and senior. Couples are buying individual memberships. Do we want to discount for couples? Wild Apricot was discussed: we need to weed out extra designations but everything except the contests can now be switched over from Submittable. We could sell publications including back issues (we would need to discuss and set prices) using the online store. Dave said that Wild Apricot site will be up and running by March 7. Membership will be individually tracked and automatic notice of renewal can be set up, including reminders. Lapsed memberships can be tracked. The site is https://opa1.wildapricot.org/

B. Contests (Susan Morse)

The Spring contest is up and running. It will close on March 15, but there are only 15 entries so far. Jennifer asked if we should we extend the deadline due to low enrollment and power outages and then proposed waiting until deadline is closer and then deciding. We would need to check if the judges are OK with extending. No change was made; the contest deadline was left at March 15. The under 30 category may be a problem: in prior years there were very few entries.

C. Verseweavers, Pandemic 2020 Anthology, Newsletter (Dale Champlin)

Dale communicated to Jennifer that Verseweavers copies are in the mail.

D. Social media (Lorna Rose Hahn)

In an email report, Lorna wrote that at present we have 950 Facebook followers, up 23 in the past month. She is posting member news and national poetry news, but most traffic is from memes and quotes. The ideal time of day to post is around 6 pm. We have 26 followers on Twitter.

V. Old Business

None or previously described.

VI. New Business

After discussion, it was decided to have April readings by Pandemic Anthology contributors, as organized by Dale, and do workshops later in the year as April will be crowded with events. Verseweavers readings will be on March 16, 23, and 30. Using information provided by Jennifer, Sue will contact Verseweavers contributors to determine who will read and when. Jennifer will host and work with others to do publicity.

VII. Announcements

The next board meeting will be March 9, at 7 pm.

VIII. Adjournment.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:33 pm.

Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary