OPA Board Minutes, May 10, 2022

 Minutes of the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) Board Meeting of May 10, 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 7:06 pm.

II. Approval of Minutes

Approval of the April 12, 2022 OPA board meeting minutes as amended was moved and seconded, and the board voted unanimously to approve.

III. Officer Reports

A. President’s Report (Sue Fagalde Lick)

1. NFSPS Presidents’ Meeting Report

The report follows these minutes.

2. NFSPS Annual Report and Convention

The convention is in June and Sue will attend.

3. NFSPS Slam Contest Update and Funding

Slamlandia will select an Oregon slam poet to represent OPA at the contest. After discussion, Rana moved that OPA pay to this representative 50% (up to a maximum of $1000) of costs for hotel and flight (not meals) plus the $150 registration fee for the contest. Dan seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved. The contest will be in October.

4. Oregon Poetry Collection MOU

The MOU is signed and Sue has a hard copy, which she will keep in a permanent President’s binder. Rana will scan the MOU and add it to the digital archive.

B. Vice President (Nancy Christopherson)

Nancy mentioned that there was a good turnout (13) for Alex Dang’s workshop and that the second open mic reading was also successful, with 12 participants. So far 6 have signed up to attend the songwriting workshop and 2 for the Cascadia reading.

C. Secretary (Dan Liberthson)

No report.

D. Treasurer (Rana Tahir)

OPA’s current bank balance is $51.243.

E. Historian’s Report Summary (Priscilla Hunter)     

Priscilla has established an email address for the OPA Historian: [email protected].

IV. Committee Reports

A. Social Media/Events (Lorna Rose-Hahn)

Lorna is still trying to track down password for our existing account on Instagram. She has queried them and will wait a week for a response, and if they do not get back to her she will start new OPA Instagram account. She will request a verification feature to keep out robots. OPA does not have a big following on Twitter; Facebook is our best venue.

B. Membership and Publications Liaison (Dave Mehler)

OPA currently has 333 members.

C. Adult Contests Summary (Nancy Christopherson)

Dale Champlin says the next Verseweavers volume is nearly ready for printing.

D. Youth Contest Report Summary (Lauren Mallett)

The Cascadia contest judges (the OPA board) have finished their work and selected 10 finalists in each age division (except Division 1, the youngest, which had only 2 submissions). The reading and digital Cascadia publication of the winning poems are set for June 1.

E. Webmaster (Rana Tahir)

Rana has contacted Wild Apricot about the problems some members are having signing onto the site but has not yet heard back from them.

V. Old Business

A. Workshop

Beth Wood’s songwriting workshop will be held on June 2, 7:00-8:30, with no charge for admission. Nancy will be host. We need to get promotion out in the newsletter, on the website, and on social media To date, 6 people have registered.

B. Annual Conference Planning

1. Rana, Dave, and someone not on the board will be on the Conference committee.

2. Workshop proposals are being submitted by email to a conference email address. Rana will forward whatever comes in to the committee members.

C. Comittees

The Banta Award committee will be Lorna, Jennifer Rood, and Efrain and the Nominating Committee (for vacant OPA board seats) will be Dave, Sue, and Lauren.

VI. New Business

A. Readings

The dates for the Verseweavers readings will be July 26 and August 9

B. Willamette Writers

OPA will have a table at the Willamette Writers Resources for Writers event in Portland on August 4. Sue will attend

C. Spanish Language Blog

Nancy proposed having a blog for Spanish readers with poetry-related topics. Efraín and Priscilla volunteered to do this once a month. The blog could feature a poet, perhaps with an interview. Priscilla volunteered to do translations from Spanish to English. Efraín recalled a program in which poems were translated into multiple languages. 

VII. Announcements

The next board meeting will be on Jun 6 at 6:30 pm.

VIII. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.

Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary

Oregon Poetry Association

NFSPS annual report, 2021-22

Oregon Poetry Association is flourishing, with approximately 350 members, a healthy budget, and a steady stream of projects to celebrate poetry in our state. Although the pandemic appears to be easing, we are continuing to hold all events online via Zoom. With members spread across Oregon and southern Washington, we find it works well for OPA.

In summer 2021, we hosted monthly open mics, each celebrating a poet whose birthday took place that month (Pablo Neruda, Wendell Berry, and Mary Oliver). In July, we held a workshop with Armin Tolentino on “Metaphor and the Fantastical Imperative.” In August, we began accepting entries for our fall contests.

In October, we held our annual one-day conference, all online, with the theme “Bearing Witness.” Oregon poet Emmett Wheatfall was our keynote speaker. His talk was followed by eight workshops ranging from research to the pantoum to personal poems. We also introduced our incoming board members, voted on a change in the bylaws, and presented our annual Banta award to Eleanor Berry and Laura LeHew for their contributions to poets and poetry in Oregon. Treasurer Rana Tahir and outgoing president Jennifer Rood spoke briefly. The following day, the new board members were seated under the leadership of incoming president Sue Fagalde Lick.

After a period of planning and a holiday break, we returned in February with two nights of readings by the prizewinning poets published in the newest edition of Verseweavers.

In March, we launched our spring contest and hosted an open mic featuring poems about the conflict in Ukraine. The poems were powerful, and many listeners were moved to tears.

In April, we held a workshop on performance poetry with Oregon slam legend Alex Dang! We also welcomed Efrain Diaz-Horna to the board, replacing retiring board member Rayn Roberts.

This year, after a two-year moratorium due to the pandemic, we brought back our Cascadia youth contest for grades 1-12. We received 116 entries by the May 1 deadline. The winners will read their poems via Zoom on June 1. Their poems will be published in an ebook titled Cascadia later this year. 

On June 21, we are hosting a songwriting workshop with Beth Wood. We are currently preparing our next edition of Verseweavers, with readings to be scheduled during the summer, and we are busy planning our Oct. 8 conference.

Since last October, we have overhauled our website and ramped up our activities on social media. By the end of this term, we hope to assemble a comprehensive list of all poetry activities in Oregon and send a prize-winning representative to the national Blackberry Peach slam competition in Florida. Meanwhile, we’re busy writing poetry.

Best wishes from Oregon,

Sue Fagalde Lick, president, Oregon Poetry Association

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