UWO alum writes ‘The End of the Beginning’

Kylie Balk-Yaatenen, Arts & Entertainment Editor

UWO alum Carrie Voigt Schonhoff wrote a book that is a collection of poetry called “The End of the Beginning” where she writes poems about her own experiences. This is the second poetry book she has written.

Courtesy of Carrie Voigt Schonhoff
UWO alum publishes poems “The End of the Beginning.”

“The title, ‘The End of the Beginning,’ signifies moving on from a place I was,” she said.

Schonhoff said she is inspired by experiences, people, travel, landscapes and thoughts on topics she thinks will connect to her readers.

“With the help of a mentor, I put together a book that charted an emotional journey,” she said. “After my first book, “The Liminal Space” was released in 2019, I realized how validating the experience was on so many levels; I received such wonderful feedback from people that read my books and it has helped me understand that writing poetry is one of my purposes in life.”

She said she began writing when she was younger and that she enjoyed it but she didn’t end up doing it as a job.

“I loved writing for the Advance-Titan when I was in college, but I did not pursue writing as a career as it seemed like it would be challenging to make a living as a writer,” she said. “Fast-forward 30 years and I began writing again.”

Schonhoff said that she draws upon many different experiences when writing her poetry whether it is about life, love or grief.

“My husband passed away suddenly in 2012 from a pulmonary embolism and it flipped my life upside down,” she said. “I became a single mom with two kids and a 26-acre farm overnight.”

“My writing definitely deals with the topic of grief, but it also deals with love, hope and overcoming challenges that life throws you.”

She said that poetry can be hard at times because there are not a lot of words and all the words have to convey the message of the poem but there are also parts of poetry that are easy to write.

Schonhoff said that her two books are written from different levels of her life and the names of the two books are used to explain where she was in her life when she wrote them. She said that the title also is about how there are always choices and opportunities to grow.

“In the first book, I was in the liminal space, in-between and awaiting great change and transformation; after a new beginning, I’m moving to another stage,” she said.

On the cover of her new book is a butterfly and Schonhoff said that this is a metaphor for change, like the beautiful butterfly coming out of a cocoon.

“My daughter, Sydney, is an artist and we were fortunate enough to collaborate on the cover, she said. “The last poem in the book is the same as the title and it involves surrendering to something new.”

“The End of the Beginning” is available on Amazon or local bookstores throughout Wisconsin.