A member of the Blackstone Historical Commission and curator of the Blackstone Historic Museum in Massachusetts, Richard A. Ryan has displayed many of his poems and short stories in popular newspapers in the Blackstone River Valley region such as The Enlightener, The Worcester Gazette, and The Woonsocket Call. In 2004, his poem, “Creation and Faith” was featured in the Who’s Who International Library of Poetry, and in 2005, his poem “Fading Sight” was featured as well. In 2007, he was honored by the Board of Selectmen and awarded the title, Blackstone’s Poet Laureate. In 2018, Ryan received a Certificate of Appreciation for his important contributions to the ongoing fight against hatred and intolerance in America. His name was added to The Wall of Tolerance in the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Alabama.
Ryan began writing poetry and other works as a therapy to overcome his blindness and to inspire others who shared his handicap. Thus, many of his works convey a deep appreciation for his natural surroundings. Through mindfulness, he creates vivid images in the reader’s mind from a beloved animal, a useful object, or a heartwarming scene to a hilarious or otherwise earthshattering event. Many of his poems apply historic narrative and rhyme to express his deepest adoration for the natural world and his New England town of days gone by. Moreover, his short stories honor special people and landmarks and recall unforgettable events from his youth. Finally, in his chapter on War & Remembrance, Ryan employs a first person voice to paint an empathic understanding in our minds of the soldiers who fought and died for our freedom. His writing celebrates mindfulness, awareness, and compassion in all aspects of life.