Some students spend their free time on the Internet, others spend it out with their friends. But in this case, sophomore psychology major Matthew Peel spends his free time writing and publishing poetry and prose.
This past April, Peel had his own book of poetry published by a company called AuthorHouse. It is available online now for purchase.
The book, “Catharsis,” is a collection of poetry that Peel crafted together from a mix of creativity, realism and psychology.
“At first I was going to do short stories or a novel, but then I found it was a bit difficult,” Peel said. “So why not take that story, shorten it to a few lines and tell a story like that? It’s much easier and entertaining.”
Each poem deals with common feelings and stimuli, including a look into the power of the conscious and unconscious mind. Other themes that are present are mental illness, perception, death and religion.
“It’s a very surreal feeling, holding it in your hand,” Peel said. “It’s almost like having a kid– you go through all this hell to get it, and then when you do it’s amazing.”
Peel has been writing since elementary school, creating his first story in the first grade. He got the idea for publishing a book in high school after a friend mentioned it to him.
He was originally posting his poetry online on a poetry website, but then noticed an ad promoting a publishing company. He decided to get in contact with them and met with a consultant, who then proceeded to get his work noticed by the company.
The publishing process took about three months full of editing, arranging and making it into a manuscript, and it is still going. Peel, along with his publisher, are planning on creating their own full-fledged website for his writing.
The poetry in Catharsis deals with a lot of abstract concepts. As a psychology major, Peel included the idea that the mind is the ultimate enemy, and used that theme for a lot of his poems.
“Catharsis literally means an emotional response to unconscious conflict,” Peel said. “Each poem has turmoil and a piece of myself that I am unaware of, it’s embedded in the writing.”
Peel draws a lot of his writing inspiration from authors, such as Charles Bukowski and Edgar Allan Poe.
Peel plans on continuing writing and publishing more books throughout his life. Although it is not his profession of choice– which is to become either a family or psychoanalytical therapist– he feels that he could never stop writing.
“I want people to sit there and read it and think about what they just read, how it makes sense to them,” Peel said.
“Other people may not see it the way I do, but if they find something they relate to when they read it then I’m okay.”
Alison Rodriguez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.