MVPS Poetry in Performance Event

Healing Fractures
A Mid-Valley Poetry Society Poetry in Performance Event
2-4 p.m., Sunday, April 25, via Zoom
Painter & Writer Cynthia Herron & Singer-Songwriter Kristen Grainger
Free ● Open Mic between Sets by Featured Presenters

This Poetry in Performance event will be a program of art, music, and poetry for “Healing Fractures.” Painter and writer Cynthia Herron will present her art, and Singer-songwriter Kristen Grainger will perform with Dan Wetzel, her partner in the True North duo.

Enter the link above into your browser to attend the free Zoom event. Meanwhile, you are invited to write poems in response to a visual work, “Low Field with Mended Oak Leaf,” by Cynthia Herron and/or a song, “The Ghost of Abuelito,” by Kristen Grainger—and then to perform the poems during the open mic segment of the April 25th program.

Grainger’s “The Ghost of Abuelito,” in a performance with the True North band, can be accessed at,and a purely audio version can be heard at (Abuelito is Spanish for grandpa or granddad—an affectionate variant of abuelo/grandfather.)

Cynthia Herron’s paintings reflect an interest in nature and the outdoors that began at the age of six when she experienced thunderstorms from her Ohio backyard. She has painted landscapes in Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona, eastern Canada, and Oregon, often hiking for long stretches to take in nature’s wild places. She wanders forest, field, and coast, sketching with watercolor crayons and ink. Later in the studio, she refers to color sketches made in the field. She works with oil and cold wax on wood panels, building layers of color and texture, alternately drawing with thick paint sticks and thin grease pencils, sometimes scraping away, sometimes building up the paint. Her abstract images bring the wildness, color, and poetry of nature to viewers.
Cynthia lived in the southwest for 25 years, then moved to Oregon in 2004. She received her BFA in painting from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, a Teaching Certification in 1994 from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and her MFA in painting from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2003. Since 1995 she has taught painting and drawing at the university level and currently teaches foundation classes at Chemeketa Community College. Her paintings and collages have won awards in regional juried shows and can be seen at Freed Gallery in Lincoln City and Fog Forest Gallery in New Brunswick, Canada.

Singer-songwriters Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel have been performing music together for live audiences for more than a decade.
A songwriter whose star is rising, Kristen was named, alongside Brandi Carlile and Dolly Parton, one of the Women Who Wrote Our 2020 Soundtrack by The Bluegrass Situation. She won the 2020 USA Songwriting Competition (folk) and the 2019 Local Roots Music NW songwriting contest. She has won or been a finalist in some of the nation’s most prestigious festival songwriting contests, including Telluride Bluegrass Festival (CO), Wildflower Festival (TX), Merlefest (NC), and Kerrville Folk Festival (TX).

An accomplished singer-songwriter who toured nationally as a solo artist, Dan is also a luthier, handcrafting musical instruments, including most of the ones he and Kristen perform with, which look and sound beautiful. His superb skills, particularly on guitar, both flatpick and finger style, give True North’s songs their driving groove.

The duo co-founded bluegrass-infused folk quartet Kristen Grainger & True North. Their 2020 release, Ghost Tattoo, was named one of the Top 20 Albums of 2020 by Folk Alley’s Listeners Choice, hitting #1 on folk radio charts for both albums and singles. According to Folk Alliance International, Ghost Tattoo was the second most-aired album on folk radio in 2020. With deep roots in Oregon and Washington, they tour nationally and internationally — when not curtailed by a global pandemic. Learn more at

Before deciding to play music full time, Dan was a professional builder of custom homes. For many years, Kristen was a vice president at Willamette University and also worked in strategic communications for three Oregon statewide-elected officials, most recently, Governor Kate Brown.

North Coast Squid call for submissions

Attention Oregon Coast or those who have strong connections here.

The 8th North Coast Squid literary magazine releases October 2021
Submit your work from May 1-31, 2021

All submissions are selected in a blind judging by authors/poets outside the
coastal area. You’re invited to submit to any combination of categories.
There is a $3 fee per submission. All work must be submitted electronically
via the submissions page of and must arrive by midnight, May 31, 2021.
Complete guidelines on format are at

Judge: Deb Vanasse, author of Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Race
for Klondike Gold
One submission, 1,500 words in length

Nonfiction (to include memoir)
Judge: Apricot Irving author of The Gospel of Trees: A Memoir
One submission, 1,500 words in length

Judge: Margaret Chula, author of Daffodils at Twilight
Up to three poems per submission.

Art, photography, or photographs of sculpture
The Editorial Team selects the images and magazine cover.
Black and white for most images, color for the cover and four interior pages.
300dpi essential.Up to three images per submission.

OPA Spring 2021 Poetry Contest

OPA Spring 2021 Poetry Contest

Contest dates: February 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021


Please remember that if you are not a current member of OPA you must submit your entries through the non-member Submittable portal in order for them to be accepted.

Limit: one entry per category (no duplicates).

1) Poet’s Choice: Limit 80 lines, any subject, any form. Judge: John Morrison.

2) Members Only: Limit 20 lines, any subject, any form. Entrant must be a current OPA member. Judge: Colette Tennant.

3) New Poets: Limit 30 lines, any subject, any form. A new poet is someone with no more than two poems published in online or print journals. Self-published chapbooks and collections count as previous publication. Judge: Clemens Starck.

4) Traditional Form—Dizain: A dizain is a form of poetry consisting of ten lines rhymed in the a b a b b c c d c d format and in iambic pentameter, any subject. 
Judge: John Sibley Williams.

5) Theme—Emergence: Limit 40 lines, any form. Judge: Rachel Barton.

6) Age 30 and Under: Limit 29 lines, open to anyone under the age of 30, any form, any subject. Judge: Tiel Aisha Ansari.

7) Spanish Language: Limit 40 lines, original poem, plus poet’s translation in English of his/her own poem, any subject, any form. Concurso de poesía de primavera del 2021 via Submittable contact contest chair at WHO WE ARE > Contact OPA > Adult Contest Chair.
Judge: Efrain Diaz Horna.


Poet’s Choice: 1st $100; 2nd $50; 3rd $30; 3 Honorable Mentions.

All other categories: 1st $50; 2nd $30; 3rd $20; 3 Honorable Mentions.

All 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems will be published on the OPA website and in the annual anthology of prizewinners, Verseweavers.

Entry Fee:

OPA Members—Flat rate of $8 for up to seven poems (limit of one poem per category).

Non-members— Flat rate of $15 for up to six poems (limit of one poem per category).

Deadline: Submitted electronically or postmarked by March 15, 2021, midnight PDT. Electronic submissions preferred, see guidelines below.

Fall 2021 Poetry Contest Guidelines

1. Poems must be your original work, unpublished in print (including self-published books) or online, and cannot have been a prior cash winner in any contest. Appearance on personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, or critique groups does not constitute publication.

2. You may enter one poem in each category without duplication.

3. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but entry fees are non-refundable. If your poem is accepted elsewhere, notify OPA immediately via Submittable, or contact contest chair at WHO WE ARE > Contact OPA > Adult Contest Chair or by mail (address below) to withdraw your poem.

4. Format poems in 10- to 12-point font size, Times New Roman or another standard typeface, formatted as .doc or .docx (no PDF).

5. Online submissions at are preferred. (You can also find this link on the membership page.) The submission title is optional. In the comments field, please include your bio (third person, 75 words or less). In the upper-right corner of every page in your submission, indicate category and your poem’s line count. (Title and spaces between stanzas do not count as lines.) Your name or contact information should not appear on the poems. If entering in multiple categories, all poems must be submitted in a single document. Please use .doc or .docx format (not a PDF file) and put your last name at the start of the file name (e.g., “Smith-ContestEntry.docx”).

6. If unable to submit online, please submit two copies of each poem, one with your name and contact information and one without. On both copies, indicate category and your poem’s line count in the upper-right corner. Mail your entries by March 15, 2021 (postmark deadline) to:

OPA, Contest Entries
P.O. Box 14582
Portland, OR 97293

Entries will not be returned. Mailed entries must include a cover sheet with the poet’s name, bio (third person, 75 words or less), contact information, a list of poem titles, and a check to cover your entry fee payable to Oregon Poetry Association. An email address is required for all entries. No registered or certified mail, please.

7. If you join OPA at the time you enter, you are eligible for the Member rate, and for the Members Only category. (Please use the Become a Member option in Submittable prior to making your contest submission or mail your dues to OPA, P.O. Box 14582, Portland, OR 97293). Include a note in your contest entry stating that you have recently joined OPA.

8. Poems may not be edited and re-submitted; your submission is final.

9. Members Only category: OPA sends out notifications in February, notifying you whether your membership is current or needs to be renewed. Watch for emails or postcards. For questions regarding membership, contact Membership Chair at WHO WE ARE > Contact OPA > Membership Chair.

10. Members may submit up to seven poems, limited to one poem per category. OPA members pay a flat rate entry fee of $8 for up to seven poems. Non-members pay a flat rate of $15 for up to six poems.

11. Winners will be notified in April 2021. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place poems will be posted on the OPA website and published in Verseweavers, OPA’s annual anthology. All rights revert to author after publication. OPA reserves the right to use prizewinning poems on the OPA website, on membership forms, etc.

12. Submissions not conforming to these rules will be disqualified.