Reading the Jewish Experience

Monday, December 8, 7:30pm - Pay at the door only | Talk

READING THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE: Willa Schneberg will read from her recent collection Rending the Garment, and members of the “Writing the Jewish Experience" Workshop will read their work.

Rending the Garment is a narrative tapestry encompassing persona poems, prose poems, flash fiction, imagined meetings with historical figures, ancestral appearances, and ephemera. It is a series of linked poems exploring the life and times of one Jewish family.

Willa Schneberg has authored four other poetry collections: In The Margins of The World (Plain View Press), recipient of the Oregon Book Award in Poetry; Box Poems (Alice James Books); Storytelling In Cambodia (Calyx Books); and the letterpress chapbook The Books of Esther (Paper Crane Press), produced in conjunction with her interdisciplinary exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum in the Fall of 2012. Willa has read at the Library of Congress, her poems were heard on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, and she has been a fellow at Yaddo and MacDowell. She is a psychotherapist in private practice and a visual artist. Willa lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon.

Praise for Rending the Garment: 
“Rending the Garment draws us intimately into one family--and through them into the world of immigrant Jews born almost a century ago and their lives in America. Willa Schneberg has a fine ear and her poems capture their voices, their cadences, the way they think, mixing Yiddish with English, the old and the new . . . I recognize these people and I’ve come to care for them deeply.” —Ellen Bass, author of The Human Line and the forthcoming Like a Beggar 

“Rending the Garment tells a familiar tale: the Jewish immigrant family romance, but with an important difference. Using shifting points of view and narrative interruptions, biographical essays, scolding notes from school principals, diary entries, not to mention a cast of characters as lively as a Borscht Belt revue, Willa Schneberg tells her story from the inside, where grief and love live side by side in bed ‘neither old nor young’ bodies outside of time . . . A fresh, original, and moving addition to our literature.” —Philip Schultz, Pulitzer Prize winner for Failure