Alumnus’ new book


Madeline S. Scharf Reporter

Southern alumni Ryan Meyer has officially published his second collection of poems, Tempest. A departure from his first book, Haunt, which focused more on a thrilling, dark, horror, theme, Meyer focused this second book on identity and finding the truth about oneself.

“This book focused on innate anxieties,” Meyer said, “And a fear of the unknown.”

Initially, Meyer came to Southern as a secondary education major.

“I switched from secondary education to media studies and English,” said Meyer.

As well as pursuing a double major, Meyer got involved outside of classes. Reflecting on his time at Southern, Meyer said, “I was president at Bookmarks. I had a lot going on.”

Despite all this pressure, Meyer found his time in Southern to be a good one. When looking back, he said, “My time at Southern was great. I was a bit overworked but to other students I would say get involved, but don’t overdo it.”

While at Southern, Meyer was part of an independent study. During this study, Meyer was encouraged to develop his style by Vivian Shipley. Meyer speaks fondly of his experience with Shipley, saying, “she always pushed me to be scarier.” His time in independent studies helped him make his first book, Haunt.

Over email, Shipley, a distinguished CSU Professor, spoke highly of Meyer and his work.

“Ryan was a good student, very talented and a pleasure to have in poetry workshop,” Shipley said. “Students like Ryan are the reason I have taught for 52 years.”

It was not only Haunt that was created at Southern. “A lot of Tempest’s poems were written at Southern,” said Meyer. “We were encouraged to write more literary focused poems.” Quite a few of the poems he wrote for classes are now included in his newest volume.

The shift from his previous book of dark, horror-inspired poems to poems about identity and the truth of oneself is a big leap. Even Meyer’s logo color has changed during this shift, from a black bat to pink. Meyers attributes this shift to many changes in his life.

“Between Haunt and Tempest, I went through a lot of life changes. I came out, got a job,” Meyer said, “everything sort of fell into place.”

One thing that has stayed consistent in his writing, however, is how music has made a difference between the young author.

“Music is a huge inspiration to me,” said Meyer. “A few poems in Haunt were inspired by various songs.”

One thing that has stayed consistent in his writing, however, is how music has made a difference within the young author.

“Music is a huge inspiration to me,” said Meyer. “A few poems in Haunt were inspired by various songs.”

For Tempest, one band stands out for him. “I open Tempest with a quote from Deftones,” said Meyer with a smile, “the title of the collection it is actually inspired by a song of theirs, Tempest.”

Much of the poetry Meyer writes is personal, from the heart. A lot of time and effort went into each poem. Many lessons can be drawn from each one, but a few important ones stand out for Meyer.

“I hope readers are inspired to embrace who they are,” Meyer said. “We are all fluid and everchanging.”

Meyer hopes his poems will inspire people to be more accepting of themselves and more inviting of change.

Meyer also hope that his poems will be like starting blocks for others to explore the realm of poetic literature. “I hope this book gets readers to explore more poetry,” said Meyer. “There are such amazing work out there, by many different types of people.”

Meyer is now looking towards what his future holds. He is excited to further explore more literary pathways, branching out from his two poetry collections. “I really hope to write a novel,” said Meyer, “but, definitely, I want to write more.”

Both of Meyers works, Haunt and Tempest, are available online via Amazon and at local bookshops.

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