Copyright © 2014 by Ryan G. Van Cleave. All rights reserved.


SparkNotes Version


Writing Coach.

Ringling College of Art + Design Professor.

Lover of #2 pencils.

Amateur ninja.

And I look great in hats.

The LinkedIn Version

I'm the kid who ruined his eyes thanks to reading by flashlight under the covers. Now I help others read, write, and appreciate literature, too. My passion is the written word in all of its impressive incarnations. And I'm always on the prowl for new writing, coaching, editing, speaking, teaching, or other creative projects--no opportunity is too small or too big!

I love making new professional connections. Reach out if you want to talk business, books, or the NFL.

Specialties: Writing, Editing, Photography, Communicating Complex Ideas to Non-experts, Public Speaking, Flexibility and Multi-tasking, Pop Culture, Team-building and Collaboration, Creativity Training, Delivering Work Early and Under Budget.

Literary Representation: Claire Gerus Literary Agency

The “Yep, I’m a Professor” Version

Ryan G. Van Cleave, Ph.D., lives in Sarasota, FL where he works as an keynote speaker, a freelance writer, a writing coach, and the Head of Creative Writing in the new BFA in Creative Writing at The Ringling College of Art + Design.

Ryan has taught writing and literature at Clemson University, Eckerd College, Florida State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, as well as at prisons, community centers, and urban at-risk youth facilities. His honors include a Gold Medal in Young Adult Literature from the Florida Book Awards, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, and a residency at The Hermitage Artist Retreat, plus he was a Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Washington at George Washington University, an Edward H. and Marie C. Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State University, and the only Anastasia C. Hoffman Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, among other honors.

The best-selling author (or co-author) of twenty books, Ryan's poetry, fiction, and nonfiction has appeared in such venues as The Christian Science Monitor, Clean Eating, Harvard Review, The Missouri Review, National Geographic Adventures, The New York Times Review of Books, Ploughshares, The Progressive, Psychology Today, Scott Stamp Monthly, and The Writer.

Ryan's work has also been featured in such books as Mooring Against the Tide: Writing Fiction and Poetry (Prentice Hall), The 15th Annual Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (St. Martin's), Never Before: Poems About First Experiences (Four Way Books), and In a Fine Frenzy: Poetry Inspired by Shakespeare (University of Iowa Press).

w/ Carlton Fisk

w/ Wynton Marsalis

w/ Bobby Bowden

w/ John Updike

w/ Tony Jacklin

w/ Charles Simic

w/ Robert Olen Butler

w/ Jack Hanna

Writing Samples


“The King of Color”

(Article in SCENE Magazine)

“Keeping Your Greens ‘Green’”

(Article in SCENE Magazine)

“For the Love of Jerry”

(Article in SCENE Magazine)

“3 Questions to Ask When Writing a Book Proposal”

(Article in

“Why Johnny Can’t Stop Playing Video Games”

(Article in

“Robert Olen Butler on the Art of Yearning”

(Interview in The Writer)

Film Company Prospectus

(Business writing)

Numerous writing how-to articles

(Articles in The Writer)



“One Last Thing”

(From The Boston Review)

“Aesculapius in the Underworld”

(From Poem)

“The Croupier of St. Thomas”

(From Asheville Poetry Review)

Three poems

(From BOMB)

“Westward Ho, or the Migration of Guilt”

(From CrossXConnect)


(From Rattle)

“The Junkyard Owner Walks his Labrador”

(From Big Bridge)

Three poems

(From Weber Studies)

Note: There are a number of other people whose name is also “Ryan Van Cleave,” including a “natural bodybuilder, jailer, and USMC vet,” an IT specialist working in Germany, and even one who writes poetry. You can distinguish us apart because of our middle names.

To be clear: I am the ONLY “Ryan G. Van Cleave.” Poems attributed to “Ryan Van Cleave” (such as these at or these poems from are NOT mine.

w/ Lou Brock and John Havlicek

w/ AJ Jacobs

w/ Natasha Trethewey and Tom Lux

w/ Mike Le