[from peculiar journal, 2015] Alyssa Pyper is not only a phenomenal poet, but an accomplished musician. Her peculiar bio reads: “Alyssa Pyper is an integrated studies major with emphases in music and creative writing. When she’s not in class, she works as a writing tutor, violin teacher, and plays in bands Quiet House and Bat Manors. She also has a solo project under the moniker of Night Wings.”
Her solo project was recently featured in the video series The Sound of Provo, in their third episode entitled “Night Wings”. The film, directed by Melody Chow, won the Best Non-Fiction Award at Brigham Young University’s Final Cut Film Fest. You can watch the short, four-minute film here.
Alyssa feels her documentary segment is about finding a safe community within a Latter-day Saint culture, which can often be difficult. “Human to human. Can I show you the place where my soul is fragmented?” she asks in a recent Facebook post. “The terrain I circle endlessly. The community from whom I have sought communion. Can you hear me above the call of policy and principle? Can you look at me, and see me? Can you understand that I, too, am a Mormon girl?”
Both her music and her poetry touch on these themes. In her poem, “The Hierophant, Reverse,” Alyssa writes, “Wading through the complexity that is culture, the confusion that is structure versus heart versus conformity versus authenticity—here I find her, hanging from this delicate thread, a thread that is to question all that one has ever come to know—”
Alyssa’s creative work is like that delicate thread. You can hear more of her music on Bandcamp, and can read her poetry in volume one, issue one of peculiar.