Maya Sonenberg (she/her/hers)

Maya Sonenberg

Contact Information

Padelford B-431
Office Hours
M 12-1, W 3-4 and by appointment


B.A., Wesleyan University, 1982
A.M., Brown University, 1984


Maya Sonenberg is currently at work on four projects. In Models for Raising the Dead, each chapter links actual ancestors with literary ancestors, combining memoir, family history, fiction, and close readings with visual elements (drawings, manipulated photographs, diagrams) in order to create meaning through association and metaphor and to explore the ways both genetic material and cultural constructs shape us. The second book focuses on her grandmother as an immigrant "pioneer," Jewish Utopian settlements in the Dakotas and the Bronx at the turn of the 20th century, and her love for the very problematic novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She is also working on a series of essays about 20th century choreographer Merce Cunningham, and a miniature book about miniatures, focusing on a fairy tale about a black fox.

Pedagogically, she is interested in helping each student develop their own writerly passions to the fullest extent, an exercise in both freedom and responsibility. Her workshops use the Critical Response Process, developed by choreographer Liz Lerman, which switches the focus from statement to question and places the artist and their intentions at the center of every conversation. She has co-taught with the art department and routinely includes the study and making of artists' books in her undergraduate classes and graduate-level independent studies.

Drue Heinz Literature Prize 1989
Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship 2007
King County 4Culture Individual Artist Project Award 2009
Richard Sullivan Prize for Fiction 2021


Courses Taught


Home Department
Professional Affiliations
Association of Writers and Writing Programs

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