Bryan McKeon: A Passion for Poetry

by Maria Thomas Staff Writer

Bryan McKeon, a sophomore at Manhattan College, embarked on a journey of the written word in his senior year of high school. It wasn’t until Bryan suffered a career-ending knee injury during one of his football games that he discovered his passion for writing. 

“I felt like I was really bored and had nothing to do anymore. I was just sitting around one day and my friend suggested that poetry could be a really good hobby,” he said. 

McKeon said that his AP English teacher also pushed him to experiment with writing poetry. He drew his original inspiration for poetry from a piece that was covered in class. 

“We were doing a Robert Frost poem that really hit me. I can still remember the words. That really had an impact on me and what I was going through at that time,” McKeon said.

The process of composing beautiful poems became a sort of therapeutic ritual for McKeon. 

“It was almost used as a coping mechanism and a way to just express how I felt and my ideas and opinions on the world,” he said.

As his passion for writing grew, so did his skill. On Aug. 14 of this year, McKeon launched an Instagram page dedicated to his work, using the handle “@bcmckeon.”

Although he has composed approximately one hundred poems within the last year, he has only posted five on the newly created account. The account currently has 108 followers, and keeps growing.

“I had been wanting to do it since spring semester of last year, but just with the way my schedule has been going, I got really sidetracked. In the summer I was really developing it a lot with my older brother,” he said.

With frequent advances in technology and a plethora of social media platforms that are free to the public, there has grown a large population of artistic youth that publish work online in hopes of becoming discovered and making it big, but with McKeon, that is not the case. When asked about his hopes for the future, he said he does not write hoping for recognition. 

“I’m not trying to be famous, I just want other people to hear my opinions and my views on stuff, and maybe they can relate to it, share a common experience about it with others, and help them in their life. At the end of the day, poetry is not what I think about it, it is however many meanings people can take out of it,” McKeon said.

He continued

“I’m okay with being a guy with, you know, two hundred followers on Instagram just sharing how I feel, because with poetry you don’t have to share it with the world as long as you touch certain people,” he said. 

In addition to his Instagram account, McKeon is sharing the gift of poetry with the world by organizing and promoting Open Mic Poetry Nights at Manhattan College twice a month, along with with fellow Jaspers Rose Brennan and Lauren Schuster, which are held in the Multicultural Center, located on the third floor of the Kelly Commons.

“It gives a communal aspect. It gave me a second family. You just want to spread your knowledge and connect with other people and allow your creativity to grow. I’m a civil engineer, no one would think I’m a poet, so you could say I’m trying to change the whole concept that engineers are only concerned with math,” McKeon said. 

Editor’s note: Rose Brennan and Lauren Schuster are an editor and assistant editor for The Quadrangle.