Ryan Tittle of Sumiton autographing his latest work "EONS and Eons and other Love Poems."
SUMITON — Ryan Tittle is a prolific writer, but his latest work, "EONS and other Love Poems," took a lifetime to write.
Before Tittle was
old enough to drive, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. When Tittle
was eight years old, he wrote his first story on an old manual typewriter that
his father found in their attic.
“I went to a
private school and didn’t ride a school bus, so I didn’t get a chance to
interact with kids my age,” Tittle said. He said his overactive imagination had
to go somewhere. So, he wrote stories.
The Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) accepted Tittle when he was 11 years old. The school is considered one of the 10 best high schools in America. His focus was in theatre arts. He wanted to learn everything about theatre.
“The dust off the curtains gets into the blood of the people in
the theatre, and we get hooked,” he said.
Tittle, who lives in Sumiton, toyed with the idea of acting for a while, but his first love was writing.
realized it was what I was put on earth to do,” he said. “I love bending the English language to my
ASFA was a remarkable experience for young writers, but there were obstacles. “With a school full of weirdos, I was the weirdo,” Tittle said.
He said he dressed in high school the way he dresses now.
“I’m out of step with my generation. Also, the
school’s academic standards are so high that kids tend to have premature gray
hair,” he said. It was not uncommon to rehearse plays from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. “You
had no time to develop a personal life,” he remembered.
Tittle discovered was, “You don’t learn playwriting in high school.” He had to
learn it by himself.
school, Tittle attended Bennington College in Vermont. While there, he had an
opportunity to study with David Henry Hwang in New York City for two years.
Hwang was the first Asian-American playwright to win a Tony Award.
According to Tittle, Huang found success by taking stories from his own culture and American culture and clashing them on stage.
“After working with David, I started
writing about the south again,” Tittle said. Huang was a direct influence on
After college, Tittle returned to Birmingham. He had an opportunity to study with Lee Shackleford who taught playwriting at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Shackelford was the first to encourage me. He gave me an award that he’d won for his most
successful play,” Tittle said. But his first career success came when a publisher
pickup up one of his plays. “This was a big deal for me,” Tittle said.
work matured, he authored over 40 scripts for the stage in addition to
poems, essays, film reviews, humor and religious criticism. Under the
pseudonym Robert Cole, his plays have been published by Eldridge Plays and
Musicals and Holly Grove Press. His plays have been performed throughout the
“It’s only been
in the last few years that I’ve grown more as a person,” said Tittle.
He doesn’t write about hot-button topics you see in the headlines each day. He writes about things that aren’t going away – Love, God, death and taxes.
“No matter where we are in a hundred years, these things will still resonate,” he said. “Words that resonate will be the only way I can live forever.”
"EONS and other
Love Poems," the book of poetry is autobiographical.
People have always been supportive, but there’s been a lot of positive reaction to this latest book, according to Tittle.
“I think because I waited,” he said.
to make a move. He got tired of the rejection. But he understood writing is a
difficult business. In 2014, he loaded all his belongings into a trailer with a
tarp and headed out to Montgomery. He drove into a storm. The straight-line
winds and rain destroyed many of his cherished pictures. After that event, he
sat down and wrote one of the poems in his new book entitled, “Sifting Through
Damage.” He continued writing poetry during this period of his life.
enough poems for a new book. He released "EONS and other Love Poems" on May 1 of this year. It is available on Amazon.com, Booksamillion.com, BN.com (Barnes &
Noble), and Lulu.com.
“Writing poetry is such a personal thing,” Tittle said. “When you put your work out there, it’s like shedding your skin. It’s difficult. But at the same time, everyone has had the experience of being in love and what that means."
this is what makes "EONs" a universal book that a lot of people will enjoy.
“I wrote some
bad poetry when I was younger, and hopefully none of it survived,” he said.
Waiting to write this book of poems was key because he now has years of
experience behind him. He said one of his best comments to date is, “It’s not
as sad as I thought it would be.”
Tittle is a graduate of Athens State University (BA, English, Kappa Delta Pi and cum laude honors), Bennington College (BA, Drama/Theatre), and the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
He is currently working on his masters in religion through Graceland University’s Community of Christ Seminary.