Oregon Book Award winner, Willa Schneberg has authored five poetry collections: In The Margins of The World; Box Poems; Storytelling In Cambodia; and the letterpress chapbook The Books of Esther, produced in conjunction with her interdisciplinary exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum, and the recently released Rending the Garment. She is also a visual artist and a psychotherapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon.
Schneberg’s poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review; Michigan Quarterly Review; Salmagundi; Women’s Review of Books; Bellevue Literary Review and Poet Lore; and in the anthologies Lit From the Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books; I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poets in Defense of Global Human Rights; and Before There Is Nowhere to Stand: Palestine/Israel Poets Respond to the Struggle, among other publications. She has also been included in a textbook entitled: Bearing Witness: Teaching About The Holocaust, where her poetry is discussed along with that of Carolyn Forché and Sharon Olds.
She has won two Oregon Literary Arts Fellowships in poetry, two Professional Development Grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, and a grant in poetry from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She has been a poetry fellow at Yaddo, MacDowell, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland. From 2013 – 2015 she was on the board of Calyx, Inc, which publishes a journal of art and literature by women.
From 1992-1993, she worked with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia, first as a District Electoral Supervisor setting up registration sites in Phnom Penh, and then as a Medical Liaison Officer, providing counseling and repatriation for UN volunteers from member countries. The poems in Storytelling in Cambodia were inspired by her relationship with Cambodia.
In 2004, Willa judged the 15th Annual Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition for Poets who write in English, sponsored by "Voices Israel," and she spent a week in Israel, offering talks, readings, workshops and presiding over the Awards Ceremony. She returned to Israel in the same capacity in Jan. 2015.
Schneberg was a guest poet at Wordstock, the Library of Congress, the Montana Festival of the Book, Get Lit!, Split the Rock, and presented at the 2014 AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference. She has read at KGB and the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC, Black Oak Books in Berkeley, and Powell’s Book Store in Portland and will read at Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis. Her poems were heard on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac.
Willa is also a ceramic sculptor, photographer, and a clinical social worker in private practice in Portland, Oregon. Her visual art has been on display in the Paterson Museum New Jersey, the Society for Arts & Crafts, Boston, and the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Portland. The Books of Esther: An interdisciplinary exhibition of the life of one woman who "talked" through writing was on display at the OJMCHE in the Fall of 2012.
Click here to read two poems from Rending the Garment.