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
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)
C. Secretary (Dan)
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
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.
The next board meeting will be on May 4 at 7 pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:33 pm.
Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary