2016-11-30 / Arts & Entertainment

Delhi Business Owner Releases Collection of Poetry

By Rosie Cunningham

Danniel Schoonebeek, the author of new work Trébuchet. 
Contributed Photo Danniel Schoonebeek, the author of new work Trébuchet. Contributed Photo DELHI -An area resident and business owner has released yet another collection of poems.

Danniel Schoonebeek is the author of American Barricade (YesYes Books, 2014) and the new collection of poems Trébuchet, which was a 2015 National Poetry Series selection, published by University of Georgia Press. A recipient of a 2015 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from Poetry Foundation, his recent work appears in The New Yorker, Fence, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere.

Trébuchet is the second collection of poems by the author.

The work, with language both unique and distinct, addresses gun violence, poverty, fascism, surveillance, white privilege, the protest movement, censorship, American history, torture, and net neutrality.

“I started writing the book about three years ago, but in many ways it’s about the next four years, maybe the next eight,” he said. “It’s about American paranoia, the surveillance state, censorship and the jailing of writers at home and abroad, fascism and gun violence, what happens to people when tyrants try to run the world.”

The collection Trébuchet, has received high praise. 
Contributed Photo The collection Trébuchet, has received high praise. Contributed Photo Schoonebeek, who was born and raised in the Catskills, reminisces about his first memories and his relationship with words.

“I have this early memory of writing out the lyrics to nursery rhymes, songs like “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” and I remember the jolt I felt when I realized I could write my own lyrics and plug them back into the melody of the song and still maintain the same rhythm that was stuck in my head. I don’t know if that’s when I started calling myself a writer; in fact, I can tell you it wasn’t, but sometimes I think that’s when I started writing,” he said.

Schoonebeek discussed some of his first pieces.

“It’s a far-off feeling at this point, but even as far back as high school, when I hadn’t yet waded into the iffy waters of the so-called publishing industry, I can remember placing poems in the Xerox’d poetry journal that my high school English teacher helped us put together. I’m not sure what the word is for that feeling,” he said. Most of my life I’ve needed to talk to people and I’ve needed to hear people talk, and I think poetry is a way to hear language in answer to that need. It feels a little like that.”

Schoonebeek, who majored in writing and American Literature at Purchase College, said “Trébuchet grabs hold of its politics and stares them down a little bit more than American Barricade, though I think the two books share a wily politics and speak to one another. There’s the barricade and then there’s the trébuchet that breaks through the barricade.”

Schoonebeek said he has always loved reading the title poem, which is also the first poem in the book.

“It’s a hot-tempered, salty poem and I always liked the idea of having this eponymous poem come roaring out of the book first, announcing itself as a weapon and then leaving the rest of the book in its wake,” he said.

He shared creating the process - from pen to paper.

“That stage of the writing is so architectural for me that I always write on a laptop, because I need to see how the poem will look on the page, how the line breaks will land and how the white space on the page will be broken up. But, I take all my notes and jot down all my ideas with pen and ink in notebooks,” he said. “I like the night, when everything shrinks a little. I do most of my writing when the sun’s down and the people I know are asleep. But occasionally, I like the very early morning too. I like being sore and red and writing during those hours.”

Schoonebeek co-founded Bushel in Delhi about a year ago, when the co-founders found each other at a party together in the woods.

“We wanted to create a place in the center of the village, a kind of commons where people could gather and encounter art and meet other members of the community and learn from each other. Having a place like that strikes me as a vital part of any community, big or small,” he said.

The collection of poems is available at Amazon and on Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Powell’s. In addition, it can be purchased directly from University of Georgia Press, as well as the Green Toad bookstore in Oneonta.

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