Golden native Scott Ryan destroyed the poetry he wrote in his teens, but kept his work from his 20s and has since turned it into a collection titled Swamp Stompin’.
Ryan says he doesn’t regret destroying his early work, saying that it was a necessary step in his progression into his 20s.
“They were really kind of adolescent and immature in a certain sense so I figured it would probably be best…to get rid of them,” Ryan said. “It was really liberating.”
Earlier this year, Ryan was leafing through his later poems and thought that he could have the makings of a book. That’s when he discovered Create Space, a website that is owned by Amazon and helps individual authors self-publish their writing.
Authors that have inspired Ryan’s stream of consciousness writing style include Jack Kerouac and Walt Whitman.
“The amazing thing with Kerouac’s On the Road is that it was written on a single roll of paper on his typewriter,” Scott said.
Swamp Stompin’ combines Ryan’s poetry with art and, furthering the inspiration he drew from Kerouac, many of the pages are copies of the originals that he wrote out on his typewriter.
The poems from his collection were written while Ryan was living in Harrogate and, not surprisingly given the book’s title, near a swamp.
“The marshes are really kind of a symbol for me, as basically the subconscious where all life and poetry flows from,” Ryan said. “It’s all built into the poems.”
Ryan hasn’t written poetry since the 1990s, and isn’t sure if publishing this collection will get him to write poetry again.
“I’ve been playing some music and I’ve written some lyrics but that’s just kind of in the infantile stages again…whether I will write poetry again, I don’t know,” he said.
On July 2, Ryan will be delivering a free reading of his work at Bacchus Books. His collection is available for purchase from Bacchus and electronically at amazon.ca.