A new poem by Daniel Schonning ’16 will appear in the June issue of Poetry, the Poetry Foundation magazine that has featured work by renowned writers such as T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams.
Schonning’s poem is one of around 50 he has assembled into a collection for his master’s thesis, 26 of which are written in abecedarian style, an ancient poetic form guided by alphabetical order. He has manipulated the form into what he calls a lattice abecedarian, which he describes as “doubling or making exponential that gesture of the alphabet being the container into which the poem is poured.”
The poem that will appear in Poetry, tentatively titled “The Beatitudes,” begins with the letter G and subsequent lines follow in alphabetical order. While “the lines kind of lose themselves in bending to the formal necessity of the lattice,” Schonning says, ideally all of his careful manipulation will be invisible to the reader.
A graduate student assistant at Colorado State University — where he has worked as the assistant director for the creative writing reading series and taught undergraduate courses in creative writing — Schonning anticipates receiving his master’s in fine arts in poetry in May.
Schonning is grateful for the influence of HWS professors and programs in shaping his career path, including his Honors adviser, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature Geoffrey Babbitt and the Trias Residency for Writers, where he worked closely with poet and essayist Mary Ruefle. “Now that I’m out in the world I can see how rare that opportunity is. It was a dream — unthinkably life-changing,” he says.
At HWS, Schonning earned a bachelor’s degree in English and comparative literature, was a member of the debate team and the rugby team and served as editor-in-chief of The Herald. His nonfiction and poetry can be found in Sycamore Review, Guest House Lit, Speculative Nonfiction and Seneca Review.
Founded in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly magazine devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. For more information, click here.