Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Student Award Offers Online Submissions, Excellent Publishing Opportunity

Ohio college/university students and poets have an excellent opportunity to get a chapbook published through the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS). Each year, as part of its slate of contests in the run up to the annual convention, the NFSPS includes a chapbook competition open to college poets. Two manuscripts are chosen as winners and receive publication, a cash prize, copies of the published work, a chance to read at the annual convention, and a stipend to attend the convention.

OPA encourages all Ohio poets who currently attend college as an undergraduate to submit their work. For more information and a bit of clarification, see the note from the NFSPS College/University Competition Chair, Shirley Blackwell, below. Or visit the competition web page at http://nfsps.com/college-university_competition.htm.


Dear State Presidents,

The 2015 annual NFSPS College/University Level Poetry Competition has a new twist, in that students will be able to submit their manuscripts either in electronic form through Submittable.com, the publishing industry's top submissions manager, or on paper, as they have in the past.

The contest opens on January 1, when the Submittable system will become available online and those sending hard copy manuscripts can mail their packages (postmarked no earlier than January 1). The electronic submission system will be in operation January 1 through February 14 only, and paper submissions must be postmarked during that same period.

Two award recipients will be announced by April 19, 2015. Winners receive $500 plus publication of their manuscript as a chapbook, which will be printed in time for the June 2015 NFSPS Convention. Each winner is also given 75 copies of the chapbook to sell at the Convention or elsewhere, or to give to friends and family. Recipients are invited to read from their work at the NFSPS Convention and offered a $300 stipend to offset travel expenses to that event.

Please help spread the word about this exceptional opportunity for undergraduate student poets. Encourage eligible friends or family to enter, and inform college or university teachers of creative writing about this program. We will rely heavily on word-of-mouth advertising until we can gauge the response to this new approach. We anticipate more entries with this new opportunity for electronic submission, so we are not advertising this year on the national stage. However, we want to make sure none of the states with NFSPS affiliates are left out, and you are our best ambassadors.

Anyone with questions about the competition is welcome to email me at sonneteer@earthlink.net.

Thank you all so much for promoting this worthy program and giving our up and coming poets the recognition and honor that will inspire their entire poetic careers.

Shirley Blackwell

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sincerest Thanks to OPA Members and Volunteers

Last Sunday evening, I attended the Peripatetic Poets 3rd Annual “Giving in Gratitude” All Open-Mic event in Columbus. What a terrific evening filled with music and poetry. Held at the Global Gallery Café in Clintonville, the house was packed and hosts Susan Hendrickson and Paula Lambert led the celebration.

Music was performed by Paula’s family (husband Mike, son Christopher, and daughters Alexandra and Mikaela). Guests brought non-perishable food goods and personal hygiene items to be donated to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. The energy was so positive. (And I have to note that Global Gallery’s mulled spice hot apple cider is fantastic!)

Ultimately though, this evening was about giving—not just to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, but to each other by sharing our poetry and music, our creativity, with one another. And in this season of giving, I think it’s most appropriate to begin by giving thanks.

In that vein, I want offer my sincerest thanks to those who have made OPA what it is today—a vibrant, growing organization that seeks to lift up and support Ohio poets. My appreciation extends to our officers, chairpersons, volunteers, and especially to our members: OPA continues to accomplish great things because of you. And finally to all Ohio poets and those who run the many coffee houses, open-mics, and reading series throughout the state: Thank you for sharing your time, energy, ideas, and your creativity.

As we head into the holiday season, my sincerest wishes to all of you for a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with friends, family, and fellow poets.

Sincerely,
Chuck



Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 Fall Retreat Recap

"Whether we like it or not, we all come from someplace. And at some point in our lives, we have to make peace with that place." This quote from Jeffrey Stepakoff (from The Orchard), one of several shared by workshop leader Diane Kendig last weekend, established the theme for the recent OPA Fall Writers Retreat at Malabar Farm.

And this year's fall retreat reinforced for me why these events are my favorite that OPA sponsors. There are few places in Ohio that will move you--and give you room to move--to write. And how fitting Diane chose to lead workshops focused on poems of place, inspire also by her latest book, The Places We Find Ourselves.

On day 1, the weekend challenged all in attendance to explore, through their poems, places they'd never written about--first by creating a list of those places and then approaching the poem with one of three focuses:
  1. Through meaningful description--making the place come alive.
  2. Exploring the significance of the place.
  3. Using the place as a setting for a poem.
After sharing the poems and discussion the night moved into social time with food, wine, a bonfire, and as always, good conversation.

A fourth approach to poems of place was discussed on day 2, where poets tackled a new place poem by combining or juxtaposing two places. The choice was ours whether to write about the same place from day 1 or to choose a new place.

But whether this place or that, every poem presented different challenges, forcing the poet often to reach deep into memory for those smallest of details that carry significance of place in our lives. 

For myself, two poems drafted warrant further exploration, fleshing out new details new description. But I think it's safe to say everyone found something to carry home--and to carry them home--wherever and whenever that home might be found.

--Chuck Salmons

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ohio Poetry Day 2014 Events

Troy Hayner Cultural Center, 301 W Main Street, Troy, OH 45373

Friday Evening, October 24 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Evening Workshops
& Overnight Contests

Saturday Morning, October 25 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Evan Lodge Memorial
Poetry Workshop
One dollar Admission

Saturday Noon, October 25 Lunch
Box lunch will be provided –
Contact Amy Zook to prepay:
Amy Jo Zook
3520 State Rte. 56
Mechanicsburg, OH 43044

Saturday Afternoon, October 25 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Readings by the Ohio
Co-Poets of the Year
& Contest Winners

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ohio Poetry Day Announces 2014 Co-Poets of the Year

An Announcement from Ohio Poetry Day 2014:

The 2014 Ohio Co-Poets of the Year, Dzvinia Orlowsky, (of Marshfield, Massachusetts) and David Lee Garrison (of Dayton, Ohio) have been named by the Ohio Poetry Day Association.

This award has been given annually since 1976 to a poet or poets on the basis of a book published in the previous year or two years.  The award consists of a money prize, an honorarium as speaker, and a plaque commemorating the event.  In addition, a poem by each poet will be included at the beginning of the Ohio Poetry Day 2014 prize poems collection, Best of 2014.

For 2014, Orlowsky's collection is Silvertone and Garrison's is Playing Bach in the D.C. Metro.  The winners are invited to speak and to read from their work at Ohio Poetry Day, which will be observed on October 24 - 25 at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center in Troy, Ohio.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thank You to The Columbus Foundation!

The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is excited to announce it has been awarded a grant of $1,710.00 from The Columbus Foundation (TCF) Community Arts Fund, marking the third consecutive year that OPA has been awarded a grant through the fund.

“The grant couldn’t be more timely,” said OPA President Mark Hersman. “It will enable us to tighten our infrastructure and complete our ekphrastic workshops, followed by another anthology of ekphrastic poems.”

This year’s grant is the largest that OPA has received through the program. Previously, OPA received grants of $500 and $740 in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

“The Community Arts Fund is a unique grantmaking offering that we’re pleased our Governing Committee has made a community priority,” said Dr. Lisa Courtice, Executive Vice President for Community Research and Grants Management at The Columbus Foundation. “The Community Arts Fund is unique in that it supports organizations through operating funds. We’re pleased to see the continued good work of the Ohio Poetry Association, and encourage its continued success and capacity building.”

The application process for the Community Arts Fund program involves two steps. First, the OPA organizational portrait must be updated on the TCF PowerPhilanthropy website. OPA officers gather information and financial data for the previous year to share, along with organizational goals, programming initiatives, and officer profiles.

“The PowerPhilanthropy website is a great way for potential donors to learn more about OPA and how its efforts impact the arts community,” said Chuck Salmons, OPA Vice President. “People can use it to donate to OPA at any time. It’s been very helpful in raising funds, especially during the past Big Give events sponsored by The Columbus Foundation.” To view the OPA portrait on PowerPhilanthropy or to make a donation, click here.

Once the portrait updates have been submitted, the Community Arts Fund grant application can be completed and submitted by the deadline in early February. The application also involves compiling financial and demographic data and describing the forthcoming goals that the OPA has in using a grant.

“The process isn’t necessarily difficult, but it is robust,” said Salmons. “And it helps to have all our ducks in a row, especially financially. Our treasurer Rinda Sansom has done a great job keeping the books.”

The Ohio Poetry Association is extremely grateful to The Columbus Foundation for its continued support. For more information, visit the TCF website at www.columbusfoundation.org.