Eve Rifkah

Writer, teacher, Poetry Oasis

I wrote a proposal and got a grant to run a writing workshop for women at the Women’s Center at Abby’s House, the center for homeless women. And I did that for a year and put together a chapbook for one of the women there who wrote lots of poetry and I got that printed with part of the grant I got that, that paid for having that printed, which made her day! I mean it, it’s so awesome to see this woman who is ill, and mentally disturbed, and diabetic, came from this horrific, horrific background, and I thought mine was bad! [Her's] was so much worse and what she went through and the abuse she went through in her life, and here she is, y’know, living in a little studio apartment that she’s able to do with, what do ya call it, funding, and she’s on disability, and I was able to make a book for her. And she had a reading at Abby’s House, and a lot of people came, and she sold books, and, I mean just miraculous what this did to this woman.

Eve Rifkah was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1948. She graduated from Canton High School and did not go back to school until she decided to get her Master’s in Fine Arts from Vermont College. Although Eve moved around a lot when she was younger, she settled in Worcester, Massachusetts during the year 1983. She began writing on and off again while a teenager, but did not take up writing full time until her later years.  While in Worcester, Massachusetts, Eve worked with the Telegram & Gazette for 17 years.  She eventually began to teach Writing and English Composition college courses at Fitchburg State, Worcester State University, and WPI.  She wrote a proposal to run a workshop in the Women’s Center of Abby’s House and volunteered there, teaching poetry, and eventually got a woman’s poetry published. Eve also started a non-profit organization called Poetry Oasis and a literary journal called Diner which also positively impacted many poets’ lives from around the world. In addition to discussing her volunteer work in Worcester, Massachusetts, Eve also reflects upon her life from a child through adulthood, discussing family, marriage, religion, political activity, and health. Eve emphasizes the importance of her work, especially her two new books. Eve stresses the impact reading and writing had on her life; the two elements which brought her where she is today.

Interview
Interview Date: 
October 15, 2010
Transcript: