Willa spent an idyllic two weeks at the Mudhouse Residency in Agios Ioannis, Crete with other artists working in a variety of genres: painting, animation, choreography, composition and photography. Agios Ioannis is a tiny hilly village where houses share walls with ruins, and at one end is a taverna and the other, a bar.
This video shows the modest house where she worked on her poetry manuscript and made major headway. Below is a poem she revised there, which was published by The Journal of Psychohistory.
Bloomingdale Asylum, New York, 1846
I plead, and they answer crooked, especially
Superintendent Pliny Earle. I birth curiosities so unique
and wondrous that they belong in the Peale Museum
next to fossilized mastodon teeth and the prong-horned antelope.
One at a time in my mind I hold a marvel just so,
until it emerges through a slit in my back that opens
and closes and disappears when God whispers.
Conical shells, nails, shank bones, horseshoes, passbooks
from Nick Biddle’s bank, brass door knobs
slide out, and wasps exit and circle
above my head. They are my halo,
wear yellow jackets and are tender.
Although free to roam they choose to dwell
in this cell with me, and no longer
habit their hate-sting.
Against the attendants they are my shield,
whose voices are thunder, fingers lightning bolts
forged to strike my forceps-marked face.
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.