The poetry community continues to grow for students, even after the switching of the tassel on their graduation caps.
John Danho, a 28-year-old Cal Poly Pomona alumnus, shares his adventures within the poetry world and the impact he made during his time here as a student.
“[Poetry] is just something I do and I either have to do it at some points or I don’t have to do it at other points,” Danho said. “But I enjoy it … I like listening to it, hearing it, writing it and talking about it.”
Danho walked across the stage in June 2018 to accept his master’s degree in English literature at CPP.
Prior to becoming a Bronco, Danho received his undergrad degree in philosophy at UC Santa Cruz.
Currently an adjunct professor at Mt. San Antonio College in English composition, Danho sees a strong path in continuing to teach in community colleges.
Not only is he a poet, but he also desires to be a published author writing epic fantasy novels.
Poetry for Danho began during his high school career as he was influenced by one of his teachers at school.
As he entered the world of CPP, he found himself being guided through some of the poetry channels here on campus.
One of those channels was participating in the poetry workshop during the 2018 spring quarter that was led by Professor Corley, who happened to be a great influence on Danho as a poet.
During his time here on campus, he made sure to leave his mark in the poetry community.
Two years ago, Professor Marta Albalá Pelegrín encouraged Danho to get involved with the Pomona Valley Review (PVR), and so he did.
Starting as the art editor, he then became lead editor.
For the upcoming issue, Danho will be taking the managing editor position.
Danho had some of his poems published in the editor’s section in the PVR.
Another achievement for Danho is winning last year’s CPP Ted Pugh Poetry with his poem titled “Sending.”
He had the opportunity to read the poem aloud at the 2018 English and Foreign Language Awards ceremony.
Danho has been published in the last two issues of HyeBred, with two poems in each issue, bringing a total of four published poems in the publication.
HyeBred Magazine is a biannual, nonprofit, online literary magazine that publishes artists, writers and musicians of Armenian descent, aiming to give a voice to the Armenian literary community.
The piece shared along with his profile is one published in issue three of HyeBred titled, “Wasp in a Beer Glass,” which came to him as he was enjoying a glass of beer.
Danho explains the poem is an interesting story that is ambiguous, involved and deep in its own way through numerous stanzas and is also abstract.
“It just has this interesting sexually tense aspect to it,” Danho said. “While also maintaining this kind of, I don’t know, whimsy and darkness too and it’s kind of like this flighty shadow.”
He expresses the philosophy that he discovered early on in his life which is, the artist doesn’t know what he has said or done until it’s finished, and maybe not even then.
Danho also believes that his poems don’t have intentions to have double meanings and that his poems “don’t stand for anything, they just stand,” leaving the meaning completely left to the interpretation of the reader.
A key characteristic in almost all of his poems is that there is always a female involved because he finds them to be an abstract distant concept.
One concept that regards his work is that his poetry is meant to be read aloud. Being a pragmatist, he believes that “if a poem just exists on a paper that you read in your head, then I am not sure if it really exists.”