A man’s journey through words: Cal U senior publishes debut poetry book

“Pulp” is currently available for purchase on Amazon.


Johanna Eisel

“Pulp is about desire. The word is never used in the poems themselves. The collection aims to put readers in the driver seat of desire and navigates them through the chase.”

By Johanna Eisel, California University of Pennsylvania

Bryce Frye, senior student at California University of Pennsylvania, self publishes his first poetry book on Amazon and donates the proceeds to a nonprofit organization, To Write Love on Her Arms, even after the organization refused to promote his work. 

Prompted by his mother’s struggle to get sober earlier this year, Frye made the decision to quit cigarettes and alcohol, himself. His mother’s sobriety also influenced him to finally publish his poetry, which was seven years in the making. 

Initially, Frye was drawn to To Write Love on Her Arms because the organization focuses on both mental health and addictions, which Frye thinks are closely related. 

Frye reached out to nonprofit organization, To Write Love on Her Arms, in August, to see if they would promote and profit from his manuscript, once published on Amazon. 

After a denial from To Write Love on Her Arms, Frye self-published his first poetry book, Pulpthrough Amazon and stayed true to his word, donating all the profits to To Write Love on Her Arms. 

Frye said it wasn’t surprising to him that To Write Love on Her Arms denied promoting his book. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety, much of Frye’s work relates to his real-life struggle with his mental health. He said that writing is one of the only things that he can do to aid his mental health. 

“I knew sending it, there wasn’t a high chance of them accepting it,” Frye said. 

To Write Love on Her Arms said that they share writers’ works through their social media platforms and initially wanted to review the entire manuscript before promoting it on their platforms. 

“We believed that the content of his book was too triggering to share with our audience,” said To Write Love on Her Arms. “A large portion of our following is under 18 years old, so we are very cautious as to what we share on our social media.” 

Meghan Shaffer, close friend and editor of the book, said she knew how disappointing the rejection was. 

“It defeated him and was heart-wrenching for me to watch,” said Shaffer. Angered by the rejection, Shaffer said that she didn’t want Frye to donate the profits to the organization. 

 Frye said that many of his friends, along with Shaffer, didn’t want him to donate the proceeds to To Write Love on Her Arms, after his denial. He admits that he knew of other nonprofits, with similar messages, that he could’ve donated to.  

“I chose them for a reason,” Frye said. “It’s not about me, even though it would have helped me tremendously.” 

“He didn’t even think to be selfish about it,” Shaffer said. “He’s a giver.” 

Frye said that Brent House, creative writing professor at Cal U, has been influential in his learning and growth as a writer. 

“When Bryce Frye began his coursework in our creative writing concentration, his work displayed vivid imagery and tremendous energy,” said House. “He wrote with vision and urgency.” 

House said that he has seen Frye continue to grow as a writer, through his coursework. 

“Since we started working together, Bryce has developed the necessary skill of a writer, revision,” said House. “During his years at Cal U, Bryce has added design and tension to the imagery and energy he brought to his original work; the poems in Pulp give evidence to the quality of his vision and his revisions.” 

Frye continues to write daily. Recently, he submitted a few poems to various literary magazines. He said he has a general idea of another poetry book in the works; however, since there is still a stigma to self-publishing, he plans to publish the next book more traditionally. 

“Bryce is just beginning,” Shaffer said. “This book, as good as it is, is not the extent of what he’s capable of.” 

With each purchase of Pulp, 60% of the money goes towards TWLOHA, which equates to roughly $5.04 per book. The remainder of the money goes to Amazon for printing and shipping the book. Frye said that this amount is way more money than he would’ve gotten through traditional methods of publication. 

“Despite not being able to share about Pulp on our platform, we remain grateful and appreciative of Bryce and his willingness to donate to our cause,” said To Write Love on Her Arms. 

Frye’s book can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Pulp-Bryce-Oakley-Frye/dp/B08HTM7YDG/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=pulp+by+bryce+frye&qid=1601128689&s=books&sr=1-1 

This story was originally published on Cal Times on October 12, 2020.