Photo Credit: P. Ackoff

W.J. Herbert

Publishing Name

W.J. Herbert

Current City, State, Country

Portland, Maine, USA

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland, Ohio, USA


W.J. Herbert’s debut collection, Dear Specimen, (Beacon Press, 2021) was selected by Kwame Dawes as a winner of the 2020 National Poetry Series and awarded a 2022 Maine Literary Award for Poetry. Winner of the 2022 Arts & Letters/Rumi Prize for Poetry, Herbert’s work also appears in The Atlantic, Best American Poetry 2017 & 2024, The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. A professional flutist and teacher, Herbert served for seven years as poetry series curator and annual contest administrator at A Center for the Arts in Pomona, California. She earned a bachelor’s in studio art at Pitzer College in Claremont, California and was  awarded a Master of Music degree from University of Southern California and an MBA from UCLA. A decades-long resident of Southern California, she now lives mostly in Portland, Maine.

What is the relationship between Judaism and/or Jewish culture and your poetry?

I have written poems which included images and reflections concerning the Holocaust. I occasionally write about my Jewish upbringing. I often write about faith, especially as a member of the Jewish minority within a dominant Western Christian tradition/culture.

Published Works

Dear Specimen (Beacon Press, 2021)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading

Current Title



Pitzer College, Claremont, Ca., Bachelor of Arts
University of Southern California, Master of Music
University of California, Los Angeles, M.B.A.

Subject Matter