Willa Schneberg is an American poet. She has published four full-length poetry collections, including In the Margins of the World (Plain View Press), winner of the 2002 Oregon Book Award; Box Poems (Alice James Books); Storytelling in Cambodia (Calyx Books); and Rending the Garment (Mudfish/Box Turtle Press). The letterpress chapbook, The Books of Esther, was produced in conjunction with her interdisciplinary exhibit at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. Willa’s collection In the Margins of the World was awarded the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry from the Oregon Book Awards in 2002. She has been awarded two Oregon Literary Arts Fellowships in poetry, a grant from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, along with three Professional Development Grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC). The most recent RACC grant awarded to Willa is for travel to Kathmandu as a poet-in-residence for ten days in the winter of 2018.
A black woman loans me her skin.
It doesn’t fit like a bodystocking
or a wetsuit. It becomes mine,
sepia and smooth.
I notice a puncture
on the left side of my torso.
There is blood. My thumb
fits in the slit and finds muscle.
The Band-Aids are the wrong color
and too small.
I must do something:
smash the leg irons,
shoot the master,
cut down the lynching tree.
Now the woman is in the hallway
wearing her skin. She says
don’t worry yourself, you
got your own: inked numbers,
Willa Schneberg worked in the Schelling studio.
Marian Nevins MacDowell funded construction of this studio the year that the organization was established and the first artists arrived for residency. It was called Bark Studio until 1933, when it was renamed in honor of Ernest Schelling, a composer, pianist, and orchestral leader who served as president of what was then called the Edward MacDowell…