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About OPA

The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA), chartered originally as the Verse Writers’ Guild of Ohio, is a nonprofit, educational volunteer organization with a 501(c)(3) Federal designation.

We exist to promote the art of poetry and support poets and others who appreciate poetry. Since being organized as in Columbus in 1929, the Ohio Poetry Association has become statewide in scope. We are eager to assist poets, whether amateur or professional, as they hone their craft.

The Ohio Poetry Association (OPA) is an affiliate of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS). Besides sponsoring our own state contests, members are eligible to participate in the numerous contests of other state affiliates. We are also a strong supporter of Ohio Poetry Day, a separate not-for-profit organization to which we have close ties through our founder, Tessa Sweazy Webb.

We work extensively in Ohio schools, helping students to understand, enjoy, and create poetry. The Ohio Poetry Association and its chapters sponsor and underwrite student poetry contests, including a spring high school competition that has been offered since 1976.

We provide Quarterly Workshops in Columbus which feature some of the finest Poets authors, publishers and teachers in the world.

Other services provided by the Ohio Poetry Association include:
  • an online calendar in which to list your poetry venue, events and workshops
  • a quarterly newletter, "Workshopping Your Words"
  • a journal of poetry, Common Threads, featuring contributions from members
For more information and to become a member, please visit our website.

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Casting a Line for Susan Glassmeyer's 'Invisible Fish'

by Chuck Salmons If you haven’t heard by now, OPA member and Cincinnati poet Susan Glassmeyer is the winner the Ohio Poetry Day Association’s 2018 Poet of the Year award, for her first full-length collection, Invisible Fish  (Dos Madres Press, 2018). On the heels of her winning, I corresponded with her to find out more about the collection and her writing process.  CS: First of all, congratulations on the award! Having read Invisible Fish, I know this is an honor that is well-deserved. How does it feel to have your name among past winners such as Mary Oliver, David Baker, and David Citino? SG: I was truly surprised to win this award, Chuck. I did some research after the fact and learned about the history of the award. What an honor to be part of this venerable Ohio poet lineage! I already own a few of the books on the list, not realizing the authors had previously won the award. And although I have many of Mary Oliver’s books, Twelve Moons (winner in 1980) was not among

Ohio Poetry Day Association names 2021 Poet of the Year and Contest Winners

The Ohio Poetry Day Association (OPDA) has selected Quartez Harris as its Ohio Poet of the Year for 2021. Harris was selected for his book of poems, We Made It to School Alive (Twelve Arts Press, 2020). Residing in Cleveland, Ohio, Harris is a second-grade teacher at Michael R. White Elementary School. We Made It to School Alive, his second collection of poetry, was inspired by his work as a teacher and gives voice to the experiences of the children he works with every day who deal with issues of gun violence, poverty, educational challenges, and more. Harris’ first book, N othing, But Skin,  was published in 2014 by Writing Knights Press. He is the first recipient of the Barbara Smith Writer-In-Resident at Twelve Literary Arts and a 2020 Baldwin House Fellow. He has been featured in the Plain Dealer, IdeaStream, and City Club of Cleveland, and recently signed on to be represented by Mckinnon Literary Agency. His works in progress are a young-adult novel and picture book biography. 

Ohio Poetry Day 2022 Contests Now Open!

The annual Ohio Poetry Day Association contests have been announced.  May 15, 2022, is the deadline (postmark) for more than twenty contests, including a “Welcome Aboard” category for first-time submitters and an art category to design the cover art for the 2022 Best of Ohio Poetry Day anthology, published later this year. Below is a copy of the submission form, which provides full contest information.  Ohio Poetry Day 2022 will take place in October. Stay up to date on OPD information, including the event date, location, and agenda, by getting your name and address on the OPD mailing list. To do so, contact: Amy Jo Zook 3520 State Route 56 Mechanicsburg, OH 43044 Checks for all contest fees and purchases should be made payable to: Ohio Poetry Day . For questions, call (937) 834-2666. Click and download the images below to view them at full size.