Minutes of OPA Board Meeting, May 4,2021

Minutes of the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) Board Meeting of May 4, 2021

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

Present: Jennifer 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), Susan Morse (Assistant Secretary, Adult Contest Chairperson), Lorna Rose Hahn (Membership Co-Chair, Outreach Chair)

Not Present: Rayn Roberts (At-Large)

I. Jennifer called the meeting to order at 7:08.


II. Approval of Minutes


A motion by Dan to accept the April 6, 2021 board meeting minutes was seconded by Rana and approved unanimously by voice vote.


III. Officer Reports


 A. President’s Report (Jennifer Rood)

The April Pandemic 2020 readings were a GREAT success! Marc Janssen started us off by hosting the first reading highlighting Salem-area poets. That was followed by three readings highlighting the Portland area, and then four other readings highlighting other regions—Southern Oregon, Outside the Valley, Eugene, and an All Regions finale. In all, between 70 and 80 OPA members/Pandemic 2020 poets were highlighted in the readings. Feedback was positive, with many commenting on how they appreciated being part of this community of poets, and with many giving thanks to this (and the previous) Board for the work that went into making both the book (with special thanks to Dale Champlin) and the readings possible. It was a spectacular way to celebrate National Poetry Month 2021!

Banta Award
My focus for May is opening up nominations for the Banta Award, to be conferred at the Fall Conference. The award, now in its third year, is given as recognition for someone who has contributed greatly to the promotion of Oregon poets and poetry. The committee is organized and ready; we just need nominations to start coming in! Former recipients were David Hedges and Linda Varsell Smith.

NFSPS—National Federation of State Poetry Societies
NFSPS will be holding their convention online this year: June 10-13. Cost is $45 for the entire event. Registration deadline is June 1 (received). See nfsps.com for more information. I plan to attend the State Presidents’ meeting on June 10.

We still need to put together a Nominating Committee to recruit people to run for the October Board election. According to the bylaws, it should be a three-person committee, and only one person can be a current Board member. When we last met, Sue mentioned she was possibly interested. Sue will be helped by Dave, who has access to volunteer lists.

We need to get back to completing and launching the website redesign. When we last met, Rana and Dale indicated they were willing to take on getting the site ready for launch once the April poetry readings were over. The shell is built but needs content and tweaking. Old pages no longer needed should be trimmed. Discussion: Should we give active poetry community people who are OPA members a means of using the website? For example: include a “chapter page” with contact information for regional poets in active units. Rana commented that with a new hosting plan from Stacy in place, Bruce Parker will no longer need to handle website matters. GoDaddy will no longer be used for domain name but for hosting only. Jennifer commented that she has had requests for old Verseweavers copies. Dale said she would send the names of people who want old Verseweavers issues to Jennifer, who will send them to the people.

Lisa Baldwin, a former OPA president, sent information about the Miller Foundation Fast Track Grant (deadline to apply is June 30), which she hopes could be used to revive the Cascadia student contest (not held last year due to limitations created by covid issues). Jennifer suggested that even without a grant, OPA could fund the contest, but that a grant would allow OPA to run it without taking a loss. Rana offered to contact a grantwriter she knows who charges $55/hr. to see if it might be possible to hire out the grantwriting. Rana will follow up.

Paul Ward of Cerimon House in Portland, a nonprofit humanities organization that supports dance and the arts, asked to meet with Jennifer about a collaboration. She will pursue this.

B. Vice-President (Sue Lick)

No report

C. Secretary (Dan)

No report

D. Treasurer’s Report (Rana Tahir)

1. Past/Completed Business

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

– Derek Sheffield’s Ecopoetry workshop has been listed.

– Verseweavers readings videos were posted on Youtube.

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.

– Todd Kaneko’s workshop is being finalized and planned for the second week of May.

– The pandemic reading recordings are being compiled and edited.

– GoDaddy website hosting will be canceled and Stacey’s Milepost24 $49.50/month plan (dis counted $50 for OPA’s nonprofit status) will be used for hosting, yielding net savings and better service.

– Waiting to hear from Sandra Mason about a bequest to OPA, which will fund a new James Mason contest and award. Rana will draft a letter of acceptance.

3. New Business

– A request to train someone to help set up events on Wild Apricot and use the Youtube channel. Dave suggested asking Lorna as she handles media matters, or a new board member after the election.

– We need protocols for event planning. Discussion: We need to optimize the process of recruiting workshop and other presenters to avoid unnecessary complexity, including taking too much of the presenters’ time with repeated requests. Dan suggested that the board discuss potential presenters’ proposals, compile any questions we have for them, ask them just once to avoid multiple ongoing queries, and then decide on the basis of their answers whether or not to hire them. Dale suggested that we ask no questions but trust the poet based on his or her reputation and achievements. Dave suggested having a workshop committee rather than whole board assess potential workshop presenters and compile questions for them if any. Lorna asked about how best to promote workshops. Dale suggested using a presenter’s bio, credits, workshop description, and headshot. Rana noted that using a presenter’s copy can speed things up.

4. Current Budget

– Total Funds Left in 2021 Budget: $36,454.35

– Bank Balance: $46,333.52 (increased because Wild Apricot makes deposits as they come in).

IV. Committee Reports

A. Membership (Dave Mehler)

We have 340 members, many new, and 70-80 lapsed, some of whom renewed after a reminder. This is an improvement over the past two years. The increased membership may be owing to a smoother renewal process with Wild Apricot and OPA’s higher profile and many offerings this year.

B. Contests (Susan Morse)

All results are in for the 2021 Verseweavers contest and the winners announced. 369 poems were submitted, vs 424 for Fall contest. Instituto de Cultura Oregoniana (ICO) requested OPA’s help with promotion of their upcoming contest. We decided to advertise the contest in our OPA newsletter. Discussion: Jennifer commented that we can put links for “units” (regions or language groups) on the OPA website without requiring that the unit members all be OPA members (see III A 5 above). Susan said that finding judges for unit contests, especially language groups, could be challenging because some groups are small and it is hard to find a judge who doesn’t know everybody in the group. Jennifer noted that the board hasn’t decided to expand the contest to languages other than Spanish (which we want to keep), though this has been discussed. Susan mentioned that the OPA might do something to support poets who can’t afford to enter our contests, such as offer scholarships. Jennifer commented that some contest winners have donated their winnings for this purpose. The topic was tabled for future discussion.

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

Dale asked for submissions to be a featured poet in the newsletter and said that the 2020 Verseweavers volume is in the works.

D. Social media (Lorna Rose Hahn)

Lorna said that OPA’s social media exposure is good. She directs most of her attention to Facebook. We aren’t followed much on Twitter, but that is typical for location-based writing organizations. Lorna said she would help with Wild Apricot and Youtube (see III D 3, item 1, above). Rana mentioned that we have a Youtube channel and that she has put the Verseweavers reading recordings on it and will add the Pandemic reading recordings. Lorna said the event notices are nicely formatted on Wild Apricot, which encourages people to register for the events.

V. Old Business

Rana mentioned that the Derek Sheffield workshop was definite, but registration low so far. She is discussing with Todd Kaneka which of his two workshops to offer in May: Jennifer Forcing the Metaphor or Writing the Vertical. The board favored the latter and Rana said she would confirm and schedule it.

VI. New Business

Jennifer mentioned we need to begin planning for a Fall conference, and asked whether it should be in person or on Zoom. The board agreed that given the exigencies Zoom would be best, as we did last Fall. Jennifer will send out the set-up for last year’s conference. We will need to contract for technical support this time; these services were donated last Fall. Possible future events were discussed: Sue suggested doing more open mics on themes and asked for suggestions: e.g., Dogs, Pets, etc.

VII. Announcements

The next board meeting will be on Tuesday, June 8 at 7 pm.

VIII. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:51 pm.

Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary

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: [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