Minutes of the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) Board Meeting of April 12, 2022
The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm via Zoom.
Present: Sue Fagalde Lick (President), Nancy Christopherson (Vice President and Adult Contest Chair), Dan Liberthson (Secretary), Rana Tahir (Treasurer and Webmaster), Dave Mehler (Membership Chair and Publications Liaison), Lauren Mallett (Cascadia Contest Chair), Priscilla Hunter (Historian), Lorna Rose-Hahn (Membership Co-Chair, Outreach Chair, Events Committee Chair), Efraín Diaz-Horna (at-large)
Not Present: All board members were present.
I. Sue called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.
II. Approval of Minutes
Approval of the March 14, 2022 OPA board meeting minutes was moved and seconded, and the board voted unanimously to approve.
III. Officer Reports
A. President’s Report (Sue Fagalde Lick)
The board welcomed our new member, Efraín Diaz-Horna.
1. Memorandum of Understanding – Sue indicated (and others agreed) that the newly signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the OPA (signatories Sue and Charles Castle) and the University of Oregon Library looked good. In the MOU, OPA accepts the Library’s moving the poetry collection (containing books and other material by Oregon State poets) to the Special Collection Library’s temperature- and humidity-controlled stacks.
2. The National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) annual conference will be June 23-26, with workshops, social events, etc. Sue may attend virtually or in person.
3. A committee is needed to choose a recipient of the Banta Award, which honors someone who has made major contributions to OPA and to Oregon’s poetry community. Lorna, Jennifer Rood, and Efrain volunteered to be on the Banta Committee. Dave, Sue, and Lauren volunteered to be on the nominating committee to nominate members to fill vacant board positions.
B. Vice President (Nancy Christopherson)
Nancy reported that the first open reading held by OPA on April 5 was very successful.
C. Secretary (Dan Liberthson)
D. Treasurer (Rana Tahir)
OPA’s current bank balance is $51,932. Some members are still having problems logging into Wild Apricot. Rana is working on a solution.
E. Historian’s Report Summary (Priscilla Hunter)
V. Committee Reports
A. Membership and Publications Liaison (Dave Mehler)
Dave reported that Dale Champlin is working on the next Verse Weavers publication and that OPA membership currently numbers 329. Though this is substantial, about 70 people have let their membership lapse, which Dave finds concerning. Sue suggested putting a reminder to renew in the newsletter. Rana and Dave mentioned that they didn’t think they were getting email notifications that people had joined from Wild Apricot. Rana said that the glitch in registering with Safari was fixed and most people who have contacted her about issues have forgotten their password, which she can take care of. Dave wondered if people were getting frustrated with Wild Apricot and dropping out. Rana said that no one who contacted her about a problem joining has let their membership lapse because of this. Efraín mentioned that he had no problem joining via Wild Apricot using Safari. Sue wondered if members were letting their membership lapse due to economic strains (e.g., the increased cost of living). Rana suggested doing an audit of lapsed members to try to discover why they left. Nancy suggested a feedback survey to find out if people dropped out because of a bad experience or for other reasons. Priscilla mentioned that she was not getting the newsletter. Dave said her email is in the database, and perhaps a security program is interfering or the newsletter has been going into her spam folder. Nancy asked if is possible to have an automatic renewal option on Wild Apricot and Rana said she would research this and enable the option if it is available, provided members can disable it if they want to.
B. Adult Contests Summary (Nancy Christopherson)
Nancy mentioned that the adult poetry contest went very well—192 poems were entered by 79 poets, including many terrific poems. The judges were good too. “Spanish” and “30 and Under” were the categories with the lowest number of entries (5-6). She suggested future consideration of dropping these categories from the contest, but will keep them for the fall competition. Efraín said he could help boost submissions to the Spanish category in the future. Priscilla suggested having a Spanish language poet give a workshop and promoting the fact that OPA is bilingual. Sue mentioned that the advertising is all in English, and suggested Efraín might help create Spanish language promotion in the future. Nancy already has recruited most of the judges needed for the fall contest.
C. Social Media/Events (Lorna Rose-Hahn)
Lorna urged everyone to share OPA events on Facebook as they get created. She is still trying to follow up with Instagram about getting into the OPA account (which is under an unknown name). She is posting the adult contest results, and will welcome Efraín on social media.
D. Youth Contest Report Summary (Lauren Mallett)
With 2.5 weeks until the submission deadline, there have been 30 submissions to the youth contest, with many students submitting more than one poem. Lauren has communicated with the students about simultaneous submissions. She said that incarcerated youth who don’t have legal guardians should be permitted to enter the contest. On May 2, she will send out review packets to the board members, who are serving as judges. She will ask that judges submit their choices by May 9, and a public (Zoom) reading will be held on June 1.
E. Webmaster (Rana Tahir)
Nine people have signed up for Alex Dang’s upcoming workshop on performance poetry and seven for the next open reading. Rana asked members to try to encourage more people to sign up for the workshop.
VI. Old Business
A. New board member
Efraín has officially joined the board, as the adult contest in which he was participating is now finished.
B. Board Members Leaving
Dave, Rana, and possibly Dan will leave the board at the conclusion of their terms in October. Sue suggested that we ask frequent attendees to OPA events if they would be willing to be nominated to serve on the board. We will need a new Treasurer to replace Rana, but she thinks that the job will be easier as she has simplified and standardized it. Rana will continue as Webmaster and will continue to pick up paper mail.
Alex Dang will present his workshop on performance poetry on April 14 and the second open reading will be on April 19, both events at 7 pm. Registration for these events can be done on Wild Apricot.
VII. New Business
A. Song Writing Workshop
Nancy proposed hosting a stand-alone workshop on song writing to be given by Beth Wood, perhaps in the summer, depending on her availability. Nancy moved that the OPA invite Beth Wood to do a workshop on songwriting and pay her $200. Dan seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.
B. Annual Conference
We need a conference committee. Rana will help with tech matters and can serve on the selection committee for workshop providers. As we need to start soliciting workshops, Sue suggested we put together a wish list of what we might want and put on the website and in the newsletter that we are looking for ideas. She suggested a workshop on translation as one possibility. Rana suggested approaching a poet laureate and Sue said she would query the current laureate by email. Board members were encouraged by Sue to review the OPA bylaws for possible desirable changes, as such revisions require a membership vote and so must be done at the annual conference. There was discussion of whether or not the conference registration fee should be waived for board members.
The next Board meeting will be on May 10 at 7 pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.
Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary