Today I would like to share with you a talented poet, Lewis P. Bryon. This young man is very dear to me as I have known him since he was just a little man running around laughing and bringing joy to everyone with his infectious smile. His mother and I attended grade school together and I have watched him grow up from afar. I was so happy to learn that he penned his first book and since, he has produced several more. And I love that he is a local author from the Pacific Northwest. Here is his.
A native son of Seattle, WA, Lewis P. Bryon is a father, husband, the second youngest of four brothers, a former dance ministry team member, a Christian, and a lover of all things expressly creative. Lewis found a passion for poetry in the fifth grade after getting his hands on the sonnets of Shakespeare. Two years later came the desire to be a "serious writer", cultivating a love for words, phraseology, and creative writing in general. Over ten years later marked the beginning of his "serious writing" career, independently publishing the first of five works: "The Experience: Memoirs of a Man", an autobiography; "Process of Praise, Second Edition", a book of Christian poetry; "Family As We See It", a transcribed compilation of interviews with various people about their family experiences; "Black Bubblegum", his first spoken-word collection; and "Love Letters to St. Louis", a book of romantic notes, letters, and poetry written to his wife.
I asked Lewis a few questions and here is what he shared:
1. Why did you want to be become a writer? Believe it or not, a lot of it had to do with my father. The irony is a two-parter. For one, he's not a writer, or otherwise very expressive in fine arts. For two, he got a lot of his higher understanding of words from growing up reading comic books, but I don't write any kind of science fiction. I used to refer to him as a walking thesaurus. He has always read a lot. Even though he wasn't a high school graduate, he understood what any politician, scientist, engineer, thesbian, educator, or reverend said. And that is personal power. What made me try writing was when my older brother introduced me to Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poetry by Robert Frost, Emily Dickenson, and Langston Hughes. Being an innate romantic, I tried it and found that it was natural to me.
2. What is your writing process? My writing process seems to be ever evolving. Generally, however, I make observations of the community I live in, and respond with written expression. I am a poet at my core, but I have done and do different forms, each meriting a different approach. Even per style, each work requires a method suitable for the intent behind its conception. My first book of poetry was a collection of poetry written over several years. My second book of poetry and spoken word was exclusively written on the move, or while I listened to music with a lot of movement. To keep it bubbly but substantive to tell a story, but to a beat. Good music without a musical.
3. What do you enjoy most about connecting with your readers? What is funny is that I generally don't like poetry. It seems as if some people would like to enjoy poetry as much as the next person, but they need something from it in order for them to have that experience. And they may not know what needs to be different until they read my poetry. They typically like mine, and it makes me feel like the answer. Even greater than someone wanting to do what I do because of their experience with me is the connection made when someone tells me that I put their story, their dream, their thoughts, or their internal experience into words. There is no connectivity deeper and more humbling than that. No greater compliment. No better way to know I am responding to my community from the right place.
4. What two pieces of advice would you give to aspiring writers? If there are two things I would share with any writer, especially my aspiring brothers and sisters, the first is to despell the myth about "the flow". The flow, the galaxy river, the wave of creativity, the vibration of vivacity, or whatever we want to call it; it's internal. All external factors just help guide us to that place in us where we resonate with our connection to the universe in and around us. We don't have to frantically find a smartphone, pen and paper, or monitor and keyboard every time we get an idea or feel a creative surge. We can access whatever we need if we know how. With that said, some productive quality is sensitive to a moment. That wisdom is key which leads me to my second item. We must trust ourselves. At the risk of all things possible, good or bad, positive or negative, we must trust ourselves as artists.
5. What are you currently working on? Right now I'm working on a collection of interviews with fathers from around the country about why they do what they do. Western society celebrates the love of mothers, coining it as unconditional. But our fathers are almost painted as the villains. A mother cares while a father toughens. A mother loves while a father demands. A mother teaches while a father expects. This is the ideal norm. We fathers are damned if we don't fill those shoes, and damned if we play that role. This is my attempt to allow an explanation of our hearts.
6. Do you have any book signings coming up and where? After some recent heartbreak, I have been flying well below the radar with my writing and promotions until about April of this year. Even then it's been just Instagram and Facebook. No book signings quite yet.
7. If you were not writing and publishing, what would you be doing? If I wasn't writing and publishing, I would probably be singing and creating fictional character’s. I pretty much do these things anyway, but my singing would be a prevalent item on my schedule.
Excerpt from, Love Letters to St. Louis
Pennies for Nickles
"on this train
trying to figure how i landed someone so giving
someone who loves freely from a place of open wounds
and i would be so selfish
in this thirsty tap dance over hot coals from convention to altruism"
You can connect with Lewis at the following links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lewispbryonFacebook: https://.facebook.com/lewispbryon
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/s/ref=is_s?k=Lewis+P.+Bryon