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Rebecca Schumejda

Official Site of 

Author & Poet

Poetry

Books 

new book.jpg

Our One-Way Street  is a series of poetic snapshots of a working-class neighborhood and its quirky inhabitants. Schumejda zooms the lens in and out on herself as well as neighbors trying to make it through the day in hopes of a better tomorrow. Characters from Schumejda's other books take on minor roles in this collection, such as Jolene, a waitress from Waiting at the Dead End Diner and Willy the Whale, an old school pool hustler from Cadillac Men. The hero of the story, the one who is at the crux of inspiration, is the crazy, old lady from down the street, who jumps on the back of a motorcycle, puts her cupped hands over the driver's groin and tells him to head the wrong way up their one-way street.

Waiting at the Dead end cover.jpg

Waiting at the Dead End Diner is a book of poems that reads like a novel. Set in a hometown diner, the characters struggle both financially and morally. The staff and the regulars become family, experiencing love, loss, success and failure together. They learn that what you order isn't always what you get.  Just remember not to order the coleslaw!

Rebecca Schumejda's second full-length collection, CADILLAC MEN, explores the pool hall subculture before the economic downturn in 2008, when the narrator and her husband took a calculated risk and purchased a pool hall in downtown Kingston, New York. During their arduous planning, they did not consider that their business and livelihood would depend on men who threw pebbles in church collection plates, shot up in the bathroom, and had nicknames like Bobby-Balls-in-Hand, The Butcher, and Mikey Meatballs. CADILLAC MEN is a fractured poetic memoir about the year the narrator's husband chased his lifelong dream by starting Crazy Eights, and the recessions that occurred as her family, the economy, her health and The CADILLAC MEN all took downward spirals.

In Falling Forward, her first full-length collection, Schumejda dissects human shortcomings with the admission that often "the truth is too heavy, folded like two hands in prayer, filled with weeds and regrets." While illustrating the perseverance of the human spirit and showing that "falling forward" is still forward progress, these poems invite you to indulge in the familiar threads that tie lives together.

 

In the Press

She is the rare American poet these days: a writer who creates a world that we recognize but has never been illuminated before. I'll read them all again.

Rebecca Schumejda's poetry is as real and vivid as the hard lives of the characters she describes and knows in her bones, in her fingers around a barroom pool cue or a diner coffee cup. In her hands a cue ball, a rosary bead, a broken tooth, a balloon, an 8-ball frozen against the rail, a stuck umbrella can tell a character's whole life story. Fascinating poetry that renders our unique human lives universal.

Let's be clear: Rebecca Schumejda's admirable poems push the envelope on what is seen as "fit" subject matter for poetry. She bravely establishes a position, a self, from which to speak in her poems as a worker, a real worker, not a political abstraction. This laboring voice goes against the grain of academic politics and aesthetics. It says workers belong at the center of their lives in poems. This voice, combined with the discernment that fuels great poetry, makes her poems singular achievements.

Dave Newman
author of Please Don't Shoot Anyone Tonight 

Fred Voss, author of Hammers and Hearts of the God

Don Winter, author of Saturday Night Desperate

Bio

Rebecca Schumejda is the author of the following full-length books: Falling Forward (sunnyoutside press), Cadillac Men (NYQ Books), Waiting at the Dead End Diner (Bottom Dog Press), Our One-Way Street (NYQ Books) and the following chapbooks: The Tear Duct of the Storm (Green Bean Press) Dream Big, Work Harder (sunnyoutside press), The Map of Our Garden (verve bath press), From Seed to Sin (Bottle of Smoke Press) and is the co-author of Common Wages with Don Winter (Working Stiff Press).

 

She graduated with a BA in English and Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz and a MA in Poetics and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She teaches at an Alternative High School and Career Technical Center. She is co-editor of the online magazine Trailer Park Quarterly and a regular contributor at Albany Poets. She lives with her family in Upstate New York. 

 
 

Rebecca Schumejda

Official Site of 

Author & Poet

This full-color poetry book by Rebecca Schumejda features a single long-form poem about the incarceration of her brother and its rippling effects across their family. Includes artworks by Hosho McCreesh.

Poetry

Books 

new book.jpg

Our One-Way Street  is a series of poetic snapshots of a working-class neighborhood and its quirky inhabitants. Schumejda zooms the lens in and out on herself as well as neighbors trying to make it through the day in hopes of a better tomorrow. Characters from Schumejda's other books take on minor roles in this collection, such as Jolene, a waitress from Waiting at the Dead End Diner and Willy the Whale, an old school pool hustler from Cadillac Men. The hero of the story, the one who is at the crux of inspiration, is the crazy, old lady from down the street, who jumps on the back of a motorcycle, puts her cupped hands over the driver's groin and tells him to head the wrong way up their one-way street.

Waiting at the Dead end cover.jpg

Waiting at the Dead End Diner is a book of poems that reads like a novel. Set in a hometown diner, the characters struggle both financially and morally. The staff and the regulars become family, experiencing love, loss, success and failure together. They learn that what you order isn't always what you get.  Just remember not to order the coleslaw!

Rebecca Schumejda's second full-length collection, CADILLAC MEN, explores the pool hall subculture before the economic downturn in 2008, when the narrator and her husband took a calculated risk and purchased a pool hall in downtown Kingston, New York. During their arduous planning, they did not consider that their business and livelihood would depend on men who threw pebbles in church collection plates, shot up in the bathroom, and had nicknames like Bobby-Balls-in-Hand, The Butcher, and Mikey Meatballs. CADILLAC MEN is a fractured poetic memoir about the year the narrator's husband chased his lifelong dream by starting Crazy Eights, and the recessions that occurred as her family, the economy, her health and The CADILLAC MEN all took downward spirals.

In Falling Forward, her first full-length collection, Schumejda dissects human shortcomings with the admission that often "the truth is too heavy, folded like two hands in prayer, filled with weeds and regrets." While illustrating the perseverance of the human spirit and showing that "falling forward" is still forward progress, these poems invite you to indulge in the familiar threads that tie lives together.

News & Events 

Upcoming Readings:

September 30th, 7:30 pm, McGeary's, hosted by Mary Panza, 4 Clinton Square, Albany, NY 

December 19th, 7:30 pm, Third Thursdays at the Social Justice Center, hosted by Dan Wilcox, 33 Central Ave., Albany NY

 

Past:

July 11th, 7 pm, Trident Booksellers 338 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts  Rebecca Schumejda will read with Daniel Crocker, Margaret Crocker, John Dorsey, Nathan Graziano, Michael McInnis and Heather Sullivan

 

Contact

For any inquiries, please contact Rebecca Schumejda

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