It's about 'seeing their poetry in print'

MILTON — Milton High School poets can now see their work in ink and paper with the release of the Blackwater Literary Journal Issue III. All three issues are available through Amazon.com.

Marc Livanos, Milton's Poet Laureate in conjunction with the Santa Rosa County Writer's Guild held a book launch for the third issue of the Blackwater Literary Journal. The book offers the best of poetry from the county's best poets, aspiring writers that reside in the county and the best of the county's teenage poets.

Family, teachers, writers and many first time published high school poets from MHS attended the launch. The dedication in this year’s edition was to English teacher Hank Bunnell "because he gets it," Livanos said. Bunnell was only one that responded to Livanos idea of poetry workshops and was excited about publishing good teen poets in our area.

The teen writers just want to see their poetry in print Bunnell told Livanos. Livanos says those words never left him.

"I'm wrapping up my second year as Milton's poet laureate. The big perk of any poet laureate is getting to pick a mission and mine is you," Livanos said to the crowd of about 50. "It's an honor to help you launch your poetry in Issue III."

Livanos, named Milton's poet laureate in 2017 by the city council, has tried a variety of methods to involve teenagers in poetry. He seems to have found a method that works - poetry workshops for teenagers only.

He holds these workshops every Tuesday at the Guy Thompson Community Center from 3:30 until 5:30 p.m. Livanos uses prompts to get his poets writing. He creates them from bits of information he picks up from teens as they socialize before the workshops.

"What poetry does is help teenagers, who all have some form of teenage angst or another, get their feelings that are inside them out," Livanos said.

Take for example Kaitlyn Flint, Savannah Patterson and Adriaunna Morgan. These young women have all had terrible hardships in their lives and they are living in similar living arrangements. They write poetry for different reasons, but the goal is the same. They say it is therapeutic. You can find their videos on our webpage https://www.srpressgazette.com/.

My program also gives recognition Livanos said. The best of the workshop writings go to the City of Milton Website called Miltonlocal.com for publication. Go to the Poet Laureate tab to see submissions. The best of those entries go in the Blackwater Literary Journal.

The Santa Rosa County Writers’ Guild is a group of published writers interested in promoting and nurturing poetry in the city of Milton and its environs. The guild offers poetry classes, open microphone time, workshops on writing poetry and getting published, readings, poetry competitions and community programs. The guild’s members enjoy writing poetry, prose novels and short stories by meeting weekly, scheduling workshops and publishing the Blackwater Literary Journal.