University of La Verne 2014 alumnus Kevin Tyler Norman, released his first self-published poetry book, titled “Shelter,” in October.
Norman’s poetry was inspired by his own experience with love, loss, and finding one’s self through heartbreak.
He said goodbye to his family and friends stateside and traveled 8,000 miles to be with the man he loved in Australia.
Upon arriving to Australia, his boyfriend confessed that he was in love with Norman’s best friend.
Heartbroken, he returned to the United States.
The progression of his relationship is echoed in the three-part structure of Shelter.
The calm, recounts the optimism of courtship and romance. The storm; tells of the devastation brought on by heartbreak and the rebuilding; how one finds himself and grows after emotional trauma.
Norman said his book is a story about falling in love and finding yourself, while written from his experience he feels the idea of love is universal.
The book is titled “Shelter” because Norman said it made him find a sense of safety.
Norman grew up in a home of three boys and his parents who owned their own restaurant.
Norman never dabbled in the family business, but was into theater and writing.
He attended ULV where he majored in liberal arts and writing.
He loved performing and meeting people which drew him to live in Los Angeles, where he currently lives and writes.
Norman slowly began bringing “Shelter” together after the breakup. He was initially terrified to publish it.
“It was my baby,” Norman said. “I was worried what people would think that it wasn’t good enough. It’s crazy but I did question myself a lot.”
Jonathan Moore, a close friend of Norman, was there for him during his writing process. He said that Norman was distant from all creative outlets when the breakup was at its freshest.
“We knew that this book would help other intimate relationships and give Kevin peace,” Moore said.
ULV alumna Kayla Hockman said Norman is always writing.
Hockman, a friend of Norman, said she believes Norman has a way with words.
“He writes from his experiences so beautifully that everyone relates regardless of their situation.”
“I want people to feel uncomfortable and explore unknown parts,” Norman said. “The goal for the book was … to make people feel understood and validated.”
Destinee Mondragon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.