When I moved from San Jose, California to the Oregon Coast 25 years ago, I never imagined I would be president of OPA, but I am pleased to be here.
We elected new officers in October, so the Nov. 9 board meeting was the first full meeting with the new board. What an energetic group, full of new ideas.
Among the things we are working on:
*Updating the OPA website to make it more attractive, welcoming and user-friendly. Changes are already happening in the content. We will put our new design online in January.
* Bringing back the youth poetry contest and publishing the winners in our Cascadia anthology. We are also discussing workshops to help teachers incorporate poetry into their lessons. Thank you, new board member Lauren Mallet.
* Recruiting new judges for the adult contest, which will open in February, and offering bigger prizes! Nancy Christopherson, our new VP and contest chair, has already come up with a fabulous theme. Stay tuned for details.
* Digitizing our organization’s history to replace the big box of paper that gets passed from one administration to the next. New board member Priscilla Hunter is working on that.
I joined the OPA board during the pandemic and have yet to meet any of the other board members in person. But we have had great success meeting and offering our events online via Zoom. It allows poets spread across the state of Oregon and southern Washington a chance to meet for free from home. No driving, no hotels, no babysitters. We plan to continue Zooming, with readings and workshops throughout the year, and have decided to hold next year’s conference online, even if COVID is no longer an issue. That does not rule out holding an in-person event during the year. We know that Zooming is not the same.
I hope we will meet in person soon, but meanwhile, I look forward to seeing you all on Zoom.
Sue Fagalde Lick