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Showing posts from 2019

OPA Awarded a Greater Columbus Arts Council BOOST Grant

Funding will provide new audio/visual equipment The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a BOOST grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council. The BOOST program is designed to help arts and cultural organizations with capacity building. A total of $2,992 will be provided to OPA for the purchase of audio/visual equipment. The organization, its poets, and audiences will have the means to streamline poetry recording processes, improve the audience experience through better sound and image, and present poetry at both indoor and outdoor public venues, such as auditoriums, farmer’s markets, and festivals, especially where this equipment is not readily available. “The support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council will afford OPA the means to expand its reach in the virtual community and provide our members the resources to hone their craft and ability to perform for an audience,” said OPA President Chuck Salmons. “This technology will help OPA b

Student Poets Again Will Shine for Wellspring of Imagination

In November, the Wellspring of Imagination program will welcome young poets from across the United States and overseas to gather in Lancaster, Ohio, for a week of reading, writing, and performing poetry. The event culminates in a reading where the students present the poems they’ve polished during the experience. “In a time where creativity and respect for the imagination take a back seat to proficiency-test driven schools, Wellspring provides an opportunity for young artists to shine,” said Alan Cohen, the event’s organizer and a retired school teacher. Cohen is also the founder and organizer of the annual Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry . This year marks the eighth consecutive year of this event, where young poets from six states and Norway will work intensively on their poetry for three days under the mentorships of established poet/educators. The student poets include two city youth poet laureates and one youth state poet laureate. This year’s teachers are Rosemerry Wahtola

Ohio Poetry Day 2019 Celebration Returns to Troy, Ohio

Now in its 82nd year, Ohio Poetry Day will take place on October 18­–19 at the Troy Hayner Cultural Center in Troy, Ohio, for a weekend of workshop, readings, and fellowship. As always, attendees should bring notebooks and are invited to bring publications they would like to be sold in the book room for the weekend. Saturday programs feature the workshop poems that won in the Evan Lodge contest with critic Nancy Breen. During this time, the book room will be open for display and sale of books, including the winning book by the OPD Poet of the Year, Laura Grace Weldon , who will read from Blackbird (Grayson Books, 2019). Available for purchase will be the Best of 2019 , featuring all prize-winning poems from OPD, as well as all honorable mentions. Poets who won prizes at OPD or any recent state or national contest will read. Box lunches provided by Bakehouse are available @ $11.50 ea. Options: Turkey & cheddar sandwich; roast beef sandwich; and a veggie wrap. AGEN

Remembering Doug Rutledge – Poet, Ambassador, Advocate, Host, Mentor, & Friend

Doug Rutledge. Photo courtesy of Randi Cohen. Recently, OPA lost one of its own, Doug Rutledge, a poet and scholar who had a lasting impact on all who knew him. His poetry and reviews have appeared in Chautauqua, River Teeth, Rattle, Asheville Poetry Review, The Journal, Quiddity, Third Coast, Southwestern American Literature, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Common Ground Review, Jabberwock Review, Harvard Review online, and Lumina . He taught at Capital University, worked at Jewish Family Services, owned and managed a book store with his wife Rebecca, coordinated the Peripatetic Poets reading series in Columbus, and served as President of the Ohio Poetry Association. Below, we have gathered the sentiment of those poets who crossed paths with Doug, expressed by a few who worked with him in the poetry community. More about Doug, including examples of his fine poetry, can be read at his website: . "Doug served as OPA President from 2008 to 2010, and he and

From the City to the Lakes: An Interview with Dionne Custer Edwards

Tomorrow is the official start of the 2019 Sun & Moon Festival, and the Ohio Poetry Association is honored to host Dionne Custer Edwards as a workshop leader!  Click here to learn more about Dionne and her workshop, "reWrite."  In the following interview with the Ohio Poetry Association's treasurer, Sayuri Ayers, Dionne shares her insights on the craft of poetry and the natural world. SA:  May you tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had with the natural world? DCE: A few summers ago, my family and I went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We spent time on Lake Michigan and on Lake Huron. I loved getting my three kids out of the city to breathe different air and to move with a different rhythm and pace. I loved staying on the lake and watching the sky change over the water in the mornings and evenings. So beautiful. SA:  Is your poetry influenced by the natural world? If so, please tell us how. DCE: Not all of my work is influenced by the natural world, but

On Letting in the Wild: An Interview with Ruth Awad

During OPA’s Sun and Moon Poetry Festival, Ruth Awad will be leading a workshop, “On Persona: Exploring Other Voices Respectfully.” Please click here to learn more about Ruth and her workshop.  We are so excited to have her at the festival! In the following interview with Sayuri Ayers, the OPA Treasurer, Ruth shares her views on the natural world and poetry. SA: May you tell us about a memorable experience you’ve had with the natural world? RA: I think of my dogs as a tether to the world itself, but they are also representative of what it means to let the wild into our lives. I am in awe all the time that these beautiful animals, bred down from wolves, don’t eat me while I’m asleep and helpless. SA: Is your poetry influenced by the natural world? If so, please tell us how. RA: I can’t compartmentalize the natural world from – what exactly? There are trees outside my window. There is grass beside the sidewalk. I live in the city, but does that mean I am divorced from the

The Art of Haiku: An Interview with Joe McKeon

The Ohio Poetry Association is excited to have Joe McKeon as a Sun & Moon Poetry Festival workshop leader! To learn more about Joe and his workshop, " Can everything that schoolchildren are taught about haiku poetry be wrong?"  please click here .  In the following interview with Sayuri Ayers, the OPA Treasurer, Joe shares his thoughts on haiku and shares some of his selected works. SA: Is your poetry influenced by the natural world? If so, please tell us how. JM: Man’s interaction with, and being a part of, nature is at the core of haiku. It is a common misconception, however, that haiku is about nature. A major element of traditional haiku is a seasonal reference called a kigo . We will discuss this at length in the workshop. Suffice it to say that seasonal references include many nature images. They appear throughout my poetry. For example: moonless sky one firefly lights the path headwinds shi