MOST RECENT OPA NEWS
- OPA’s Spring 2014 Conference – Schedule & Registration Information
OREGON POETRY ASSOCIATION
SPRING CONFERENCE, 2014
Theme for the conference is “Humor”
Dates: April 11th – 13th
Location: Bend, Oregon
300 NW Franklin Ave.
Bend, OR 97701
Reserve your room online at the Oregon Poetry Association rate with the Doubletree/Hilton.
Keynote Speaker: Ellen Waterston
Workshop Leaders: Dave Harvey, Jarold Ramsey
Consultants: John Martin, Judith Montgomery, Anita Sullivan
Workshops and Workshop Leaders
Dave Harvey: “Limericks, Dorklettes, Pompouselles, Ogden-Nashies: Living Up to the Stafford Standard on the Days When You Can’t Write Something Great.”
Dave Harvey’s poems have appeared in The Occasional Misery, Summit, California English, Toyon, Cotyledon, Verseweavers, STROPHES, and Poets and Writers. He coordinates and is often the MC of the Down Towne Poets, a group holding monthly open-mic readings in Talent. He is the author of five chapbooks, three novels, and one true account, The Fifteen-Speed Cowboy. A retired English teacher, he has been the Secretary of the Oregon Poetry Association. Harvey’s passions include mountains, steam railroads, dancing, singing, bicycle touring, and Carol, seldom in that order. He is currently interested in mingling poetry and prose as Kipling did in many of his short stories. Cowboy, which tells of the six-month bike trip on which he met Carol in Alabama, has at least one poem per chapter, as does his third novel, You Have to Pedal a REAL Bike. He is married to Carol, a fiber artist, and they live in Talent.
Jarold Ramsey: “Writing: the Sidelong Glance.”
Jarold Ramsey grew up on a ranch north of Madras, Oregon, attended the Universities of Oregon and Washington (PhD in English from the latter), and for many years taught Shakespeare, modern poetry, and creative writing at the University of Rochester in New York State. He and his wife Dorothy moved back to the family ranch in 2000, and occupy it as “groundskeepers emeriti.” They have three grown children, Kate, Sophia, and John, and five very lively grandchildren. Ramsey’s six books of poetry include Love in an Earthquake, Hand-Shadows, and Thinking Like a Canyon: New and Selected Poems (2012). His awards and fellowships include NEA and Ingram Merrill writing grants, the Helen Bullis Award, the Lillian Fairchild Award, and the Quarterly Review International Poetry Prize. In 1999, he was a judge for the National Book Award for Poetry. He likes to think of poems as ceremonies of love, praise, and remembrance, and he wants his poetry to incorporate the energies of colloquial speech.
John Martin is a poet, journalist and landscaper who has lived in Bend since 2001. His poetry chapbook, The Nick of Time, was published in 2006 by Iota Press. He has published poems in America Magazine, Manzanita Quarterly, and High Desert Journal, among others. Along with the other members of the High Desert Poetry Cell, he has self-published The Guys’ Big Book of Poetry and The Guys’ Home Relationship Maintenance & Improvement Poetry Manual. He teaches creative writing to prisoners, and he is currently trying to find a publisher for a manuscript of his most recent poems.
Judith H. Montgomery’s poems appear in Ars Medica, Cimarron Review, Measure, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Cave Wall, among other journals, as well as in a number of anthologies. Her first collection, Passion, received the Oregon Book Award for poetry. Her second collection, Red Jess, and third, Pulse & Constellation, followed. She’s been awarded fellowships in poetry from Literary Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission to work on a new manuscript (Cicatrix ). She lives in Bend with her husband and Springer spaniel, Ruby, and loves reading and talking about poetry!
Anita Sullivan is a poet, essayist and translator whose first collection of essays The Seventh Dragon: The Riddle of Equal Temperament won the Western States Book Award for creative nonfiction. She is an emerita founding member of the poetry-publishing collective Airlie Press, which published her collection Garden of Beasts in 2010. She has published poems, essays, and reviews on and offline. Anita lives in Eugene.
Bend Area Walk/Write — Location & Topics TBA
Katie Eberhart has conducted writing workshops at the Palmer (Alaska) Senior Center, the Northwest Poets’ Concord in Newport Oregon, the Nature of Words after-school program in Bend, Oregon, and while traveling with Students on Ice, on a hill above a fjord in Greenland. Katie Eberhart’s poems have appeared in Cirque Journal, Crab Creek Review, Sand – Berlin’s English Literary Journal, Elohi Gadugi Journal, and other places. Katie’s chapbook, Unbound: Alaska Poems, was published in 2013 by Uttered Chaos Press. Katie has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. She is an Oregon Master Naturalist and blogs about nature and poetry at http://solsticelight.wordpress.com.
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LATEST UNIT NEWS (EXCERPT)
- Eugene/Springfield Unit News The Eugene/Springfield Unit of OPA presents their Spring Poetry Reading on Tuesday April 1, 2013, 7:00 p.m., at the Springfield Public Library, 225 Fifth Street, 97477. The readers will be: Daniel Anderson, Anita Sullivan, and Stephanie Lenox. Like this: Like Loading…
- Rachel Barton's poem, "This is not a Drill" will be published in the next issue of the Oregon English Journal. She has also been approved to teach a poetry workshop at LBCC, Benton Center, beginning Jan. 9. It will run Thursday afternoons, 1:-2:50, and will finish on March 13th. (Posted December 7, 2013, 11:13 am.)
LATEST BOOK REVIEW (EXCERPT)
- Still Life with Judas and Lightning by Dawn Diez Willis, reviewed by Kelly Eastlund Review by Kelly Eastlund Still Life with Judas and Lightning by Dawn Diez Willis Airlie Press ISBN 978-0-9821066-8-6 2013, 71 pp, $15 http://airliepress.org/still-life When the title of a poetry book feels like a poem in itself, you know you are in for an enriching read. Still Life with Judas and Lightning, Dawn Diez Willis’s first full-length collection, ...
MOST RECENT POET’S SPOTLIGHT
- Ruth Harrison: An Appreciation
At the Fall 2013 OPA Conference in Forest Grove, Ruth F. Harrison was honored with a lifetime membership. In tribute to her, “Ruth Harrison: An Appreciation” was presented by Eleanor Berry, OPA President Emerita.
Over the past dozen or so years in which I have been active in O(S)PA, it has been my privilege to get to know many fine poets and capable workers on behalf of Oregon poets and poetry. One who has seemed to me—and to many others—an extraordinarily luminous presence is Ruth Harrison.
To the best of my recollection, it was at one of the first OSPA conferences I attended that I met Ruth. I remember that she was standing by me in the lunch line, and that we fell into conversation. I remember being drawn to her quiet intelligence and warmth.
All the subsequent occasions I’ve spent time with Ruth or her poetry have reinforced that first impression. When I met her, she had retired from her career as a teacher of medieval literature and was fully immersed in poetry and deeply at home on the Oregon coast, where she lived with her husband, Fred, who shared both those passions.
As I came to know Ruth and her work, I realized that, for her, poetry has been strongly associated both with the coast and with community—with a creative community that she has fostered there and a dispersed community in which she has participated. She has been the central energy of the exceptionally long-running writing group Tuesday, which has been an almost legendary nursery of creative verbal work.
When OSPA held one of its conferences in Ruth’s hometown of Waldport, she assisted with the arrangements and at the conference itself led a group of local poets in a delightful presentation conveying their perspective as “coasties.”
Ruth has also been active in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS), submitting to and winning its contests—including the top one, the prestigious Founder’s Award—and often serving as a judge. She has also corresponded with and contributed to publications edited by poets across the country, among them, Florida poet and past NFSPS president Madelyn Eastlund and well-known expert in poetic forms Lewis Turco. Through her own poetry, she enters into lively conversations with past poets as well.
Ruth’s poetry is often in fixed traditional forms, but that doesn’t mean that it expresses worn-out sentiments in archaic diction. Far from it. In her hands, these forms become vehicles for fresh observations and connections articulated in contemporary colloquial language. Who except Ruth would think to write an Italian sonnet on the laundromat as a refuge from life’s ordinary disappointments and frustrations? Who except Ruth could pull it off? Who except Ruth would think to write of a lone stray or feral cat in Sapphics—and produce a cat poem marvelous and memorable enough to rival William Carlos Williams’s entirely different small masterpiece, “As the cat …“?
Some years ago, I invited Ruth to be one of the featured poets at a Stafford birthday celebration in Salem. I think it was then that I learned that Ruth, like Stafford, had grown up in Kansas. On the evidence of these two poets, Kansas seems to be a place that breeds a long gaze and a wide imagination and that allows no shred of pretension. At first blush, the central Oregon coast may seem a long way from Kansas, but it strikes me that it is an environment that would tend to reinforce that breadth of vision and modesty of manner. Certainly, Ruth, in her poetry and her person, suggests as much.
Recordings of Ruth reading several of her poems, together with texts of the poems and a brief biographical note, can be found at http://oregonpoeticvoices.org/
poet/294/. Her more recent work includes How Singular and Fine (2012) and West of 101 (2013), and also the most recent of the anthologies produced by her writing group, Tuesday: An Anthology from the Central Oregon Coast Writers Group (Vol. 5, Winter-Spring 2010-2011).
Photo credit: Katie Eberhart