Poet in Residence
Willa was invited by the Liza Nepalbhasa Poetry Forum, a branch of the Nepalbhasa Literary Council of Kathmandu to be a poet-in-residence for 10 days in Feb. 2018. She received a Professional Development Grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, (RACC) to cover travel expenses.
Poetry’s precise, musical, metaphor-infused language can get to that place beyond the illusion of the objective, to “true” words.
Willa Schneberg was interviewed by Bruce Parker for the Oregon Poetry Association about her time in Kathmandu and why she writes poetry. To read the full interview click here
Her essay entitled: “Where Guests Are Gods: A Poet’s Sojourn in Kathmandu” was just published in the Summer/Fall, Vol. 30 no. 3 issue of Calyx: A Journal of Art & Literature by Women: To Learn more click here
She discussed political poetry with graduate students in English and philosophy at the (IACER) Institute of Advanced Communication, Education & Research.
She spoke to a group of Newari writers, sponsored by their organization Nepalbhasa Parishad, which sponsors the promotion of works in the Newari language, Nepal Bhasa.
She read to members of Gunjan, a Nepalese women’s writers’ organization that has been in existence for more than 20 years.
She spoke about American Buddhist Poetry at the Dharmakirti Vihar Monastery.
For David Maisel, who photographed canisters holding the ashes of mental patients at a state hospital in Oregon.
When human beings were still locked away
for sadness clinging to them like a marine layer,
hearing voices telling them how awful they are,
going fetal when cars backfire or corks pop,
they were housed at the Oregon State Insane Asylum,
and when they ceased to be, they were cremated.
If no one claimed a brother, a daughter, or a father,
the ashes were left in numbered copper canisters,
on pine shelves in an underground vault.
Not infrequently the water table rose
giving the forgotten homes uniquely their own,
coated with efflorescence and mineral dazzle,
where an alchemy of copper and water bloomed
and burst into color.
These tiny monuments to the scorned and unknown,
wear patinas of pink, burnt sienna, ocher, aqua,
and if you look closely you will find
moon craters, archipelagos, frozen waterfalls,
dunes with lone tracks, and Big Dippers
embedded in their pores.