Delve Fall 2019 Literature Seminar: Literature of Modern and Contemporary Jewish American Women Writers

Guide: Willa Schneberg

Six sessions starting Tuesdays, September 17 – October 29, 2019
(no meeting on October 8)
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 

925 SW Washington St.  Portland 

In this seminar, we will discuss the “other” Jewish American writers—not Bellow, Roth, Pinsky or Chabon, but work by Jewish American women writers who have created a different canon. We will discuss work by Susan Sontag, Cynthia Ozick, Adrienne Rich, Marge Piercy and others arguably of their stature. We will explore the particular light Jewish women writers shine on the American Jewish experience and why their profound contributions to literature have often been overlooked. To learn more about this event click here.

The six-session seminar is $220 dollars click here to register. These sessions are accessible to everyone regardless of income and background. To learn more about Delve's Access Program which provides reduced tuition to qualifying participants click here. To learn more about Delve Scribes & Liaisons (Volunteer Options) click here:

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

Talk - “Translating Poetry: The Art of Preserving Essence,” Nepal Academy

She spoke to students, writers and critics about poetry translation at the Nepal Academy, an institute for the promotion of the languages, literature and culture.

At the (NAFA) Nepal Academy of Fine Arts, she talked about the interface between poetry and sculpture.

Slide Show Presentation - "Between Two Arts: Poetry & Ceramic Sculpture," Nepal Academy of Fine Arts

Dialogue and Writing Opportunity: “Writing the Political Poem,” Institute of Advanced Communication, Education & Research

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.

Poetry Reading and Interaction Program with Members of Nepalbhasa Parishad

Following Reading and Interaction Program with Gunjan Members


For David Maisel, who photographed canisters holding the ashes of mental patients at a state hospital in Oregon.

The lyrics of Molly Mayo's song "Archipelago" were inspired by
"Tiny Monuments."

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.