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Vilma Olsvary Ginzberg


Books of Poetry


making noise, 2013

McCaa Publications

Available on




Thank God that octogenarian Vilma Ginzberg cannot help herself.  She must “make noise,” and once again does so insistently, angrily, touchingly, and beautifully in making noise.   Every poem truly embodies the woman she is now, psychologist, activist, and all around feisty but loving human being.  Read this book as a wise poet moves forward never missing a step.

... Ed Coletti, author of When Hearts Outlive Minds (2011) and Germs, Viruses, and Catechisms (Civil Defense Publications, San Francisco 2013)




I Don't Know How to Do This,

poems on aging, 2011

Meridien Press

Available from the author








In this candid and poignant journey Vilma Ginzberg explores the dilemmas, anxieties, surprises and joys of getting older, tells it like it is, with wit and wonder.

Like a trusted friend who tells the truth, whether funny or painful to hear, Vilma’s poems leave the reader more accepting of themselves.

This volume of poetry is a rare page turner and a wonderful gift to anyone navigating the frontier of growing old.

---Annelisa MacBean, Psychotherapist, executive coach




Snake Pit, 2010

Round Barn Press

Available from the author






Vilma Ginzberg spent at least 35 years in the full-time practice of psychotherapy, and many of her retirement years consulting, training, and mentoring therapists and therapeutic programs.  She has seen many changes in the treatment of emotionally and mentally ill persons in that time, both advances and, sadly, regressions.

The poems in this collection were inspired by those experiences.


Proceeds to NAMI

[National Alliance on Mental Illness]





Murmurs & Outcries, 2007

Small Poetry Press

Available from the author








Vilma Ginzberg’s poems brim with joy from life’s bounties, but also burn with outrage at cruelty and injustice. A restless mind and vital spirit infuse Murmurs & Outcries.  Her voice is sensitive, adoring, muscular, attacking.  Her journey becomes our own, and we are the richer for it.

Here is a poet in top form, full of strength and courage.  And what range!

---David Beckman, author of Under Pegasus,

                               playwright, Becoming Walt Whitman





Colors of Glass, 2004


Available on




Vilma Ginzberg gives us mirrors in which we see ourselves, looking for permanence and finding change, holding on while feeling loss, underscoring the moments of pleasure, the glimpses of beauty, the changing color and beat of time. Vilma's poems are well crafted in ways which invite you in to read and think through again and again.

---Doug Stout, Literary Laureate 2000/2001, Healdsburg, CA


Colors of Glass was recognized in Discoveries Magazine as the best poetry book of the year 2004.



















                               Literary Bio, 2014



Vilma Ginzberg was the fifth Healdsburg [CA] Literary Laureate [2008/2009].


A retired psychologist who wrote poetry since third grade, she turned to writing in earnest late in life, and in 2004, at age 77, published the first of five books of poetry, Colors of Glass.  This was followed by Murmurs & Outcries in 2007, Snake Pit in 2010, I Don’t Know How to Do This, poems on aging, in 2011, [which is also in DVD and CD form], and making noise in 2013. 


In addition, she was co-editor, with Doug Stout, of the anthology Present at the Creation, 2006, published by the Healdsburg Literary Guild, a collection of 80 poems by 37 Sonoma County [CA] poets on the experience of writing poetry. She was a founding member of the off-shoot of that publication, a poetry-improvising traveling troupe, the RoadWriters.


Active in the Healdsburg Literary Guild for over a decade, she has served on its Board since 2003 and hosted the Guild's monthly Third Sunday Salon since 2007.  For the past several years she has overseen the publication of their chapbooks of love poems read at their annual Poetry Valentine.


Her work has appeared in the following anthologies: Present at the Creation, 2006, A Day in the Life of Healdsburg, 2007, Sometimes in the Open, 2009, When the Muse Calls, 2009, Continent of Light, 2011, and World of Change, 2014. 


One of her family stories, The Christmas Lesson, was dramatized by The Imaginists theater group in 2007.  A video of her reading of one of her poems, Ask Any Woman, was part of a SlaughterhouseSpace multimedia art installation in 2008.


She has read in many Northern California venues, including Healdsburg Literary Guild’s Third Sunday Salon, Healdsburg’s Center Literary Cafe, Poetry Azul and SoCoCo Poetry, and 100 Thousand Poets for Change at the Beat Museum in San Francisco and in Santa Rosa.  She has appeared on Katherine Hastings’ KRCB Word Temple radio series and Elaine Holtz’ radio show.  Other readings by her can be seen on YouTube’s HealdsburgLiterary channel.


DVDs of each of her 2008 and 2009 Healdsburg Laureate readings were made.


She has completed her first volume of memoir, When the Iris Blooms, and is currently working on two more volumes of family stories, Mostly Roses and Soul Access.  










For more information, contact, or see









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