Meet Poet Daniel Grjonko
With vibrant life in his poetic performances, a hop in his step and green eyes that tell stories all on their own, Daniel Grjonko, all of twenty-one years old, holds such talent, that even his cabinets applaud his poetry.
Daniel, a first generation Russian, was raised by his grandmother in New Jersey. With Kombucha fermenting in glass jars on their counter top, not a word of English spoken in the house, and no car to commute, it’s not wonder Daniel, in the fourth grade, hand wrote sixty pages of his detective themed novel, Kobbin Koffee Kase. At the time, his dream was to be a Private Investigator, “If all of this poetry stuff doesn’t pan out, I can always go work for the CIA as a Russian translator”.
A full time Literature major at SUNY Purchase, Daniel is a hard worker, and is determined to finish school, regardless of how much he likes it. He said, “I chose literature because, let’s face it, Creative Writing is a waste of everybody’s time”. Watching his friends decide to sit around, smoke pot and not finish school, has motivated Daniel to get it done. He said, “I don’t like school, I’m just doing it, you can’t just fuck around, there’s things to do”.
When asked whether or not his performance style was comparable to Slam-Poetry, Daniel laughed and responded, “Absolutely not. Slam poets hold their stomachs, and the one who wins is always the girl with a schizophrenic brother or somebody who wrote about losing their football coach in 9/11”. Daniel explained that, while these are traumatic things indeed, it is not his style. It is not a competition for him at all.
Daniel has a clear image for how he wants his poetry to be perceived by his audience: “Rather than everyone being loud and drunk at the end of shows when the music is loud and everyone is dancing, my vision is that everyone is rowdy and drunk at the beginning during the poetry”.
Singer-Songwriter, Pat Hull, saw Daniel perform some of his poems at a Hoover Dam Collective event, and asked him to open for his show at Webster Hall. Daniel, humbled and honored said “I was on the very same stage that Gogol Bordello had performed on”.
Through his passion, humor and talent, there is no doubt that we can all expect big things from this young poetic performer who just wants to “up it up”.