The OHIO POETRY ASSN. was established in the Cleveland Hts. home of Rachel Mack Wilson in 1931. Wilson, state president of the Natl. League of American Pen Women, served as first president of the OPA, whose purpose was to promote the creation and appreciation of poetry by its members throughout the community, state, and nation. Founding members included Edmund Vance Cooke, Albert C. Fox, Harriet Gleason, Alice C. Redhead, Pearl R. Mountain, and EDWIN M. "TED" ROBINSON. Members met monthly for dinner, a forum discussion of submitted poems, and talks by guest speakers. The OPA sponsored annual contests for peace poem, lyric poetry, Shakespearean sonnet, modern poetry, high schools, and ballads. One of the association's members, Tess Sweazy Wills, was responsible for introducing the idea of an Ohio Poetry Day to the state legislature. A bill declaring the third Friday in Oct. of each year as such was passed in 1937. Another distinguished member of the OPA was Loring Eugene Williams, a frequent speaker at monthly meetings and editor and publisher of the prestigious national poetry magazine American Weave (see PRINTING & PUBLISHING IN CLEVELAND). Although it eventually formed more than 50 branches throughout Ohio, the Ohio Poetry Assn. ceased to exist after giving out its last award for a peace poem contest, in 1975. Thereafter, other groups in Cleveland began to further the creation and promotion of poetry, including the Poets' League of Greater Cleveland (1975) and POETSBANK (1983).

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