Mission Statement & History

OPA Mission Statement

The mission of the Oregon Poetry Association is 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
  • raise awareness of Oregon poets.

OPA History

Founded in 1956, the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) OPA is Oregon’s oldest literary organization, and with over 350 members, we are Oregon’s largest literary organization. OPA was a state-wide outgrowth of Portland’s Verseweavers Poetry Society, which was founded in 1936. The OPA constitution and by-laws were created in April of 1956, and the first annual meeting was held in April of 1957.

David Hedges, who was OPA President from 1982-1983 and 1997-2002, revitalized the organization during his second term. He initiated the Student Poetry Contest, Poetry Day readings at book stores, and the Family Poetry Workshop Project. He was instrumental in the society’s success.

In 2011 our name changed from the Oregon State Poetry Association (OSPA) to the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA).

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