OPA Board Minutes, February 15, 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), , and Lauren Mallett (Cascadia Contest Chair)       

Not Present:  Priscilla Hunter (Historian), Lorna Rose-Hahn (Membership Co-Chair, Outreach Chair, Events Committee Chair), Rayn Roberts (At-large)

I. Sue called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.

II. Approval of Minutes

Approval of the January 18, 2022 OPA Board meeting minutes was moved and seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to approve. It was decided that from now on minutes will be put on the website only after the Board approves them.

III. Report from Lisa Baldwin and Charles Castle re: Oregon Poetry Collection and the Undergraduate Poetry Prize.

Oregon Poetry Collection: Lisa said that OPA’s custodial memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with the University of Oregon library that they would house our poetry collection expired in 2019 and needs to be extended. Language in the MOU that addresses where the poetry collection is housed must be changed because the library has run out of space in the McKinnon room where the collection is currently housed. The new MOU needs to be signed by Sue and Charles to indicate that OPA accepts moving the poetry collection and including it in the Special Collection Library’s temperature- and humidity-controlled stacks. Rana asked whether to update the OPA website now or wait until after the MOU is signed. Charles recommended waiting so that all changes can be incorporated.

Undergraduate Poetry Prize: The Oregon Poetry Collection opened in its new home in the Knight Library in 2018, coinciding with the first Undergraduate Poetry Contest awards ceremony. The 2020 awards ceremony was canceled because of concerns about COVID-19, but hopefully there will be an actual presentation and awards ceremony in 2022. Lisa requested that OPA contribute $500 or half the prize money (2 prizes of 500) for the contest winner, plus a free one-year OPA membership, free admission to the OPA fall conference workshops, and also help publicize the contest. Contest submissions will be in April or May and judging will be in summertime. Charles noted that he and Lisa, as liaisons with the library, will be judges for the contest in 2022, but that anybody from OPA could be judges for future contests.

There are 1700 items in the OPA’s Oregon Poetry Collection; all but 25 are poetry books, including Verseweavers and Cascadia. These OPA anthologies are not complete; missing copies should be added if they are still available. There are also 19 journals. Charles is trying to get a list of what the library has so OPA can fill in missing volumes. Part of the MOU refers to audiovisual media. The OPA board may want to consider making an effort to gather audio and video of our poets into collections the library could accept, and promoting that idea to the OPA membership.

The language used on the OPA website referring to the Oregon Poetry Collection is about the process of setting it up, but now that the collection is up and running, OPA could advertise and feature it as a benefit of OPA membership. Charles volunteered to write something about this that we can post on the OPA website.  He also volunteered to get more information on the content and organization of the poetry collection and said that OPA should push the idea that our books will go into the collection of 1700 books. Lisa said that having a connection with U of O boosts our reputation and should be promoted through our website.

A motion was made to increase OPA’s Undergraduate Poetry Contest prize money contribution from $300 to $500, waive the conference fee for the winner, and offer a free OPA membership for one year. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

IV. Officer Reports

A. President’s Report (Sue Fagalde Lick)      

1.  Verseweavers readings: More than 1 person should host the readings, as it is difficult for one person to do everything, which includes contacting readers, coordinating, and handling technical problems.

2.  Zoom-bombing trend: Willamette Writers group and other poetry groups have had problems with Zoom-bombing so we need to be careful with security. Never put the link to a reading on social media. Be prepared to take steps if somebody intrudes and disrupts meeting. Lauren will help with Cascadia, as that will be large group. For a co-host, we will need a second license from Zoom. Nancy volunteered to help as co-host.

3. Slam poetry project: Do we want to hold a slam workshop this spring? Sue has an email out to Slamlandia asking for information. Their monthly meeting is on Thursday night at
slamlandia.com. Sue has the name of somebody who could do a slam workshop. A decision was made to proceed with plans for a slam workshop. Sue will continue work on it.

4.  The Willamette Writers group’s Executive Director has invited us to do a joint meeting with them in in the fall and to have a table at their live August conference. Options include:

a.  a joint workshop or reading in September

b.  an OPA representative at at their conference book fair in August.

5.  The National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) poetry contests submission deadline is March 15.

6. Dale Champlin commented that the graphics on the website could use some work. Rana responded that the current graphics are place holders that can be replaced with anything Dale recommends. Dale is working on the next Verseweavers, for 2020. We hope to catch up with these publications.

B. Vice President’s Report (Nancy Christopherson)

No Report.

C. Secretary (Dan Liberthson)

No report.

D. Treasurer (Rana Tahir)

OPA’s net worth is currently $46,753.27, down slightly from last month due to expenses, but new member dues will increase it.

E. Historian’s Report Summary (Priscilla Hunter)     

No report.

V. Committee Reports

A. Membership and Publications Liaison (Dave Mehler)

We currently have 370 members, with 21 others needing to renew. Wild Apricot doesn’t work well on the Safari browser, and is better with Firefox. Rana tells those having problems with Wild Apricot to use a different browser if they are on Safari.

B. Adult Contests Summary (Nancy Christopherson)             

Contest progress is going well, with 3 nonmembers and 17 members submitting so far. The poems are very high quality. Due to a problem with one person’s repeated submission of previously published poems, in future the submission form will ask submitters to certify that their submissions have not been previously published.

C. Youth Contests Report Summary (Lauren Mallett)           

The first contest submission is in hand. Lauren is getting marketing materials out to superintendents and teacher contacts she knows. Lauren commented that Submittable keeps track of everything ever submitted to the contest, and asked if we want to delete some of them. Dave noted that that would be a big job. Nancy suggested just setting filters. Rana mentioned that we could download what is there using the Submittable archive feature and then delete selectively if desired.

D. Social Media/Events (Lorna Rose)

OPA has 953 likes and 1,028 followers on Facebook (followers are better than likes). So, we are growing! We see significantly more traffic and engagement on Facebook than Twitter. At Nancy’s request, Lorna profiled our current adult contest judges; each judge got a day. She also announced all the winners of the Fall 2021 contest. She posted when our current contest opened, did a midway-through reminder, and will post again the day before the contest closes. Lorna noted that she would be happy to post more than this about the adult contest if Nancy requests, and that she could post about the Cascadia youth contest if Lauren would like her to. Lorna is trying to track down the log-in info for our Instagram account, following up on leads from Jennifer Rood. She also mentioned receiving a note from Bruce Parker in the mail thanking her for her work on social media.

E. Webmaster (Rana Tahir)

Rana has had to help some people having trouble creating passwords for Wild Apricot. Book reviews are scheduled out to Apr. 15.

VI. Old Business

A. Efrain Diaz-Horna has volunteered to be on Board and will become active after the adult contest is over in April because he has entered it (a conflict of interest). He may attend board meetings unofficially.

B. Lauren is changing the teaching poetry workshop from a one night event to individual meetings with teachers.

C. Poetry Month open-mic readings will be held on April 5 and 19. These dates need to be put on the calendar.

VII. New Business

A. The Annual conference will be held virtually by Zoom on October 8. In soliciting potential workshop leaders, Sue proposed we make a list of topics we would like covered, and Rana added that workshop leaders should also be asked for their own ideas.

B. Sue commented that we may want to be thinking about summer events. Nancy asked that website text regarding who is not eligible to submit to the adult contest be changed from “Board members cannot enter OPA contests…” to “may not …”

VIII. Announcements

The next Board meeting will be on March 14 at 7 pm.

IX. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm.

Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary

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