SUU Student Tanner Hallam on Gothic Literature

Sophomore Tanner Hallam isn’t your typical creative writing major. His love of playing the drums, gothic literature, and the genre of writing he likes to focus on sets him apart.

Originally Hallam’s plan for college was pretty much non-existent. 

“If I was going to school, I was just going to go to college until I could put together a band, drop-out, and then go on tour,”  he said. 

During Hallam’s senior year, his English teacher changed his mind. Mr. Gagnier, a teacher at Lehi High School, noticed Hallam’s love for storytelling and talent for writing. The summer after Hallam graduated, he began writing poetry regularly.

“He convinced me to actually go to school, and so I started to write a bunch of poetry. That’s changed, and now I mostly write horror and mystery.”

He explained that this is the first year he’s really had the determination to write more and finish his pieces. While taking a practicum class to work at the Writing Center, he participated in a research project. Him and a co-worker wrote abstracts to send to UCLA.

“This is really what spring-boarded the motivation behind what I write now.”

Hallam is not only a tutor at the Writing Center, but is also a member of SUU’s Creative Writing Club. The club meets every Thursday and reads each other’s writing, where they give input on what members can improve on.

“I took a Writing about Monsters class with Professor Strosser, and we read a lot of gothic literature. That’s what I’m into.”

He will be going on a study abroad this summer to study gothic literature. Dr. Kyle Bishop will be taking SUU students to Scotland and England. Hallam hopes to be influenced by the scenery and culture the trip will immerse him in. 

Although the SUU student is busy with school, he is currently writing a book on the side. His plan is to obtain a job in editing and eventually get his work published. For now, he’ll look forward to his study abroad, keep writing his book, and continue playing the drums.


Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photo by: Tanner Hallam