OPA Board Minutes July 18, 2023


I. Call to Order. 6.35pm

Present: Sue Fagalde Lick, Bob Sterry, Efrain Diaz-Horna, Charles Castle, Aaron Erhardt, Debra Elisa Wöhrmann, Nancy Christopherson

Absent: Lauren Mallett, Lorna Rose-Hahn

II. Old Business

A. Approval of May 8 and June 12, 2023 minutes

Nancy moved to approve. Efrain seconded.

Aaron, OPA Treasurer, needs a copy of the minutes from May signed by each board member. Each board member should sign the printed minutes and send them to Aaron by snail-mail.

B. Getting minutes to web site

Sue has posted the previous minutes to the OPA website.

Debra will send the May and June minutes, and Sue will post them on the website.

III. Officer Reports

A. President’s report (Sue)

1. NFSPS 2023 Annual Convention in Des Moines, Iowa was June 21-26

Sue attended via Zoom. The conference had a strong emphasis on slam poetry. Ty Brock, the Oregon representative in the Slam Contest, finished 10th place.

We’re still not getting enough entries by Oregonians, but we did have some winners in the NFSPS contests. Sue won an honorable mention in the “Convention Madness” contest. Other Oregon winners include:

* Joy McDowell, 1 first, 1 second, 1 third, 4 honorable mentions

* Dan Liberthson, our former secretary, 3 honorable mentions

* Dave Harvey, 1 first, 1 honorable mentions

* Eleanor Berry, 1 first, 1 third, 1 honorable mention

* Melody Wilson, 1 second

* Jennifer Rood, our most recent past president, 1 honorable mention

* John McPherson, 4 honorable mentions

Our entrants were few but mighty. First, second and third place winners receive modest cash prizes and their winning poems are published in the NFSPS anthology Encore.

The NFSPS convention site for 2024 has not been announced, but the 2025 gathering will be in New Mexico. We are always welcome to offer Oregon as a site. It would have to be hybrid, in-person and online.

Special kudos to Eleanor Berry, who attended the conference in person. A past president of both OPA and NFSPS, she is co-chair of the Stevens Poetry Book competition and presented the prize on Friday. Perhaps some kind of official thank you is in order from us.

2. Next NFSPS Presidents’ meeting

State poetry association presidents are invited to a Zoom meeting on Sunday, Aug. 27 at noon. It’s mainly going to be a session to discuss our chapter challenges and share ideas for dealing with them. If there’s anything special you want me to bring up, let me know.

3. Other News: OPA President to publish three books in coming year

Sue’s first full-length poetry book has been accepted for publication by MoonPath Press, of which OPA member Lana Hechtman Ayers is editor. “We have agreed on edits and a new title—Dining Al Fresco with My Dog—and are looking for cover images now. AND my chapbook, Blue Chip Stamp Guitar, is coming out from The Poetry Box in March. With my memoir being published by She Writes Press in June 2024, I now have three books coming out next year, which means I will be very busy.”

     B. Vice President—Nancy

            No report.

     C Secretary—Debra

Debra’s first poetry collection, You Can Call It Beautiful, published by MoonPath Press and edited by Lana Hechtman Ayers, debuts September 1st.

     D. Treasurer—Aaron

$46,321.20 Beginning Balance Now $46,302.17

IV. Committee Reports

A. Social Media (Lorna)—not present

Lorna is actively posting OPA news and events on Facebook and Instagram.

B. Membership (Charles)

307 members (was 310)

Sent 100 reminder emails to renew membership

Trouble renewing is a barrier to sustaining and growing membership.

C. Adult Contests (Nancy)

Contests open on August 1st and all information is posted on the OPA website.

D. Youth Contests (Lauren)

No news

E. Webmaster (Sue/Lorna)

No news

V. Old Business:


1. We have received more than enough workshop proposals, which board members have received by email. Most board members voted prior to this meeting. At the meeting, eight workshops were chosen.

2. Book page—Carolyn Adams has volunteered to work on this, compiling the entries we receive through Submittable. We will open this up on Aug. 1, along with conference registration, then include a link to the book page with our conference emails.

Registration opens August 1

Aaron will help Carolyn with this book page

We need to get information about this page out to the OPA membership

B. Board Elections—We need candidates. So far, David Goodrum has expressed interest. We need at least four, preferably five so Charles can retire again. Those of us whose terms expire this year are eligible to run for another term—hint, hint. Or you can volunteer to do your job as a non-board member, too, if it’s not an elected position.

            We need board members!

C. Willamette Writers Conference Aug. 3-6

Writers Book Fair (Friday only)— Sue will be at the table, and Bob will be at the conference and will be representing Clackamas Country Art Alliance and will also help out at the OPA table. Debra will sit at the table along with Sue.

Who can design a membership brochure using the info on the website? Or other things we can hand out?

Bob suggests putting out a sign to attract new board members.

Board members don’t have to be poets, but they can be poetry-lovers.

 D. All Classical Music performance space (Bob)

Bob met with Suzanne, who is very enthusiastic about working with the OPA to promote joint artistic ventures.

            Bob hopes we can maintain and nurture this relationship.

            ACM wants to expand and broaden what they do.

            Audience of over 200,000 members

            Next March in new space

            Possible opportunity to read poems in their current space—combo of music and

poetry (possibly in September)

Meeting again with Suzanne in September.

A list of poetry associations (from our website) is welcome for CM.

VI. New business

A. Scam emails—Sue and Debra

Debra received creepy emails in Sue’s name—seeking money. Debra wants to be sure our emails are not listed anywhere on the web or publicly available. Sue reiterated her preference for using an email address dedicated to OPA business.

B. Oregon Poetry Collection celebration of Oregon Poetics—plan an event for next June in Eugene? (query from Marc Janssen attached)

A future item, something for the new board to discuss in the fall.

            Charles suggests creating an event for the next live OPA conference

            Marc Janssen runs the Salem Poetry and has kept an Open Mic going for a long time

C. Verseweavers—Efrain has received a box of Verseweavers and wants to send them where they need to go. There have been orders for the books, and we need to be sure the orders are fulfilled.

VII. Next board meeting

Monday, August 14

VII. Adjournment—Nancy moved to adjourn and Charles seconded the motion.


Minutes recorded by Debra Elisa Wöhrmann

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