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Megan Alice: High School Student And Published Poet

August 16, 2018 1:43 p.m.

Megan Alice: High School Student And Published Poet

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Megan Alice

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This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

If you lucky enough to have your diaries or notebooks saved from high school you will probably find a poem or two in the pages. It's a form of expression especially well tailored to the teenage experience. But while many of us wrote poetry as high school kids it hardly ever made the grade as book material. That's not the case with 17 year old Megan Alice the soon to be senior at Francis Parker High School is out with her first collection of poetry called a bouquet of daisies. It's simple title masks the range of sometimes dark subjects at addresses from emotional abuse to massage Jany to first love. Megan will be reading from her book tonight at Warwick's in La Jolla and she joins us now. Megan welcome to the program. Thank you so much for having me. It's a pretty remarkable thing that a 17 year old student is having a book of her poetry published.

Can you tell us how that happened. Well actually I just turned 18 yesterday. Sorry about that. No I just I'm excited. The way it happened is I kept writing all of these poems but I would never really share them with anyone until I shared them with one of my friends who's a bit older and she said you know what are you doing. You need to. You need to share these more. I think you should publish them. And I was 14 at the time so I said yeah sure and then my mom I told her about it and she said why not. And so I thought Sure why not. And so I got in touch with a wonderful literary agent. My name's Laura Rothschild. And she was so helpful and so kind and we basically sent manuscripts to a bunch of publishing places and they were all kind of iffy because I'm young and this is my first book so they didn't have anything really to go off of until green Writers Press which is a small company publishing company in Vermont said that they'd love to publish my book. So there you were. Yeah. Why did you start writing poetry. I started poetry because I felt the need to write things down on paper rather than tell a person it was so much easier for me to write down what I thought than say it to a person in front of me which is what I loved the most about poetry is that you know your best friend becomes the page. So I started writing once I figured that I have a voice and I have some I have

so many things I want to say and I it really became a form of expression for me just like any other art.

Tell us about the things you write about. There were a lot of poems about love either happy or unhappy in the book to maybe maybe you could read one of your selections for us.

Yeah sure. This one is called You Are My favorite poem. I wrote it because I thought I had this moment where I was really wanted to describe someone and write about them but I just could not find the absolute words. I sat there for like an hour trying to figure out how do I do justice to this person and instead of writing about them I basically wrote about how I can't write about them. This is you are my favorite poem. Poetry is my voice and vice the way I make sense of myself of this world is through words. But when you look at me my lips dry and my tongue weakens. I lose all poetry in your presence. My position as poet is instantly revoked. I could never write anything as beautiful as you.

Thank you. That's Megan Alice reading a poem from her collection a bouquet of daisies. Now you know Megan adults are sometimes quick to dismiss the limited experience of young people so let me ask you what are you at your young age. What do you think you have to say about subjects like some of the poems you address subjects like mental illness and gender inequity.

You know I going into this I knew I would get flak from adults and maybe teenagers as well but I basically said oh well to that because I think it's silly to dismiss someone's emotions just because of their age and how they're feeling just because they're a teenager and everyone was a teenager at one point and I'm sure when you're that age you are very certain that your emotions are real and valued. So I think that there is there is value in everything that I experience as a teenager and who would I be if I wrote poems about the ocean or you know a tree. I mean there's first of all there's so many other poems about that. And second of all that that doesn't say anything. There's so many things that I want to say I want to bring awareness about mental illness and sexual abuse and emotional abuse and to stray away from those topics would be it wouldn't it wouldn't make me a very good author.

Now besides poetry do you have some other outlets for your creativity.

I do. I love acting. I want to go to college for acting. I also love singing and i've been dancing since I was two.

So you're sort of of of a full circle kind of a talent.

I never thought I would be a writer. But here I have.

Do you have plans to do more writing as well.

Yes I'd love to. I'd love to get to actually writing a novel and maybe maybe the novel would feature some poetry. But I want to branch out from poetry. Want to see what else I can do.

Well Megan congratulations on this book and I want to let everyone know that Megan Alice will be reading from her collection of poetry called a bouquet of daisies. That's tonight at 730 at Warwick's in La Jolla. It's been a pleasure. Thank you for coming in. Thank you.