Oregon Poetry Association Board Meeting December 9, 2019

Meeting scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. via Skype

Present:  Bruce Parker (President), Diane Corson (Membership Outreach), Jennifer Rood (Vice-President), Carolyn Adams (Treasurer), Dave Mehler (Submittable and Membership List), Dale Champlin (Newsletter), Stella Guillory (Adult Contest), Susan Morse (Assistant Secretary)

Not Present:  Dan Liberthson, Secretary

  1.  Call to Order

            President Bruce Parker called meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

            Note:  Susan Morse took notes and typed minutes in Dan Liberthson’s absence.

II.  Approval of October 12, 2019 Minutes

            It was moved and seconded that the minutes be accepted without amendments. 

            The minutes were accepted by voice vote without objection.

III.  Report of Officers

            A.  President’s Report

            OPA table at Portland Book Festival:  Due to the collapse of a ceiling in one of the main               buildings at the festival, the OPA booth was assigned to a more isolated tent location

            outside of the main area.  Possibly due to location with poor for foot traffic, only $100                   was earned, while the space rental fee was $500, so in terms of financial

            investment, it was not a good one for OPA.  This was OPA’s first year of participation.                  Bruce and Diane did learn that parents and children seemed eager to encounter poetry.              Board members’ opinions were solicited on whether OPA should participate in next                      year’s festival and whether the publicity is a benefit versus any financial gain.  No                         decision about 2020 has yet been made.  Members’ books might be sold as a                               membership benefit at the festival if OPA participates next year; the books would be                    consigned through Bruce Parker in the event OPA does participate in 2020. 

            B.  Treasurer’s Report

            Carolyn Adams submitted an OPA Financial Overview November 2019, as well as a

            Budget Overview 2019 Jan 1 – Nov, plus a detailed OPA Operating Budget

            Proposal based on past expenses and income.  She reported that the 2019 OPA                          Conference held in Salem was significantly more expensive than the previous year’s                    conference held in Eugene.  As the 2020 conference will again be held in Eugene, there             should be a savings next year.  Diane Corson remarked that OPA must hold a yearly                   conference for its membership and that most of the past conferences seem to “break                   even”.  However, for 2020, OPA must purchase event insurance as the Valley River Inn               in Eugene has new owners who require it.

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IV.  New Business

            A.   Spring Poetry Contest

            The OPA board is expected to choose contest categories, entry fees, stipends, and

            prizes.  Current categories are:  Poet’s Choice, Members Only, New Poets, Traditional                 Form, and Theme.  It was discussed whether to add a Youth category.  Various                            suggestions for age divisions for the proposed Youth category were discussed, but the                Cascadia Student Poetry Contest is already specifically designated for various youth/                   student levels, which we agreed shouldn’t be duplicated.   A motion was made

            and seconded to form a Spring Poetry Contest committee to help Stella Guillory

            with the preparations.  Carolyn Adams, Jennifer Rood, and Susan Morse volunteered

            to be on that committee.  Stella requested input from the new committee early in

            January, as advertising for the Spring contest usually begins in February or March.

            In addition, ways to advertise the contest were discussed, which included

            Submittable, an ad in Poets and Writers, possible ad in American Association of

            Poets, Boulevard journal, plus the OPA website and newsletter as possibilities.

            Dave Mehler will contact Tiel Ansari (Webmaster) for the list of schools she uses to                      advertise the Cascadia Student Contest.  In addition, the committee needs to begin

            considering judges for the Spring contest, as well as fees, prizes, honoraria. 

            B. Cascadia Contest

            Bruce Parker will help Lisa Baldwin advertise the Cascadia contest.  She reported

            that entries have been slower than usual for the current contest.  David Mehler

            asked whether the prize monies had been paid to this year’s Manningham winners

            chosen from the 2019 Cascadia contest, as there had been some delay from

            NFSPS; Bruce stated the issue with the award money has been resolved.

            C.  2020 OPA Contest

            Venue:  Appears to be the Valley River Inn in Eugene, OR, with an approximate

            date of October 2, 2020.  Conference committee consists of Diane Corson, Chair,

            Dale Champlin, contact person, with help from past president Shirley Marc.

            Logistics:   Discussed need to maintain a 15 minute interval between workshops.

            Better control of the registration process is needed next year with more volunteers

            to streamline the procedure and check to make sure all attendees are actually

            registered for the conference.  David Mehler volunteered to help with improving

            the on-line registration process.

            Carolyn Adams has been contacted by Emmett Wheatfall of Portland regarding

            his band playing at the Friday night social mixer.  She will have him contact

            Diane Corson to discuss scheduling his band. 

            Dale Champlin is soliciting names for a keynote speaker.  The keynote should

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            ideally be an Oregon poet who has won the Oregon Book Award; she will submit

            a list with prospective candidates to all board members for consideration. 

Board members took a brief break from 8:00 p.m. to 8:05 p.m. and then resumed the meeting.

            D.  Grant Applications 

            Carolyn Adams raised the question about who applies for OPA grants and how

            financially valuable are they to OPA?  Recently the Collins Foundation

            grant application was denied. OPA received a Miller Foundation grant in

            2018 of $3,000.  The current deadlines for grants through the Miller Foundation

            are 12-16-19; 3-16-20, 6-15-20, and 9-14-20.  She wondered how those dates

            align for funding the Cascadia Poetry contest.  Grant money has not been used to

            fund Cascadia in the past.   Carolyn stated she has not written a grant application,

            though she has helped edit them, and she asked if there were any grant writers

            included on the OPA volunteer list.  Bruce Parker stated there appear to be two

            volunteers for grant writing.  He will contact them, and if no one else comes forward,

            he and Carolyn will work on grant proposals.  The Autzen Foundation is another                           organization to check for prospective grants. 

            Dave Mehler asked who is the OPA Volunteer Coordinator and how does OPA

            collate and update its volunteer information?  There is a volunteer list that Bruce

            will send to Dave for updating. 

            E.  Miscellaneous

            Diane and Bruce have proposed a mini Spring retreat for the board members

            to meet face-to-face since not everyone has been introduced.  They will host

            the retreat at their home in Portland.  Tentative dates include Spring break during

            March 21st to March 29th, 2020.

            Carolyn Adams brought up cloud storage on the web for back-up files.  It is

            believed that OPA does have a “drop box”.  Bruce will check on access to it.

            The board contact list was discussed.  All members are supposed to have it, but

            it may need phone numbers updated.  Contact Diane Corson to update.

IV.  Announcements

            The next meeting via Skype scheduled for Monday, January 13, 2020 at

            7:00 p.m.

V.  Adjournment

            Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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