BATH — Rachel Ouellette has been writing poetry for as long as she can remember, and those pieces of the Morse High School senior’s heart and mind are now included in a book being read all around the state.
“Balancing Act 2,” a collection of poems by Maine women, was released by Littoral Books last month. It is a sequel to a 1975 text.
“It was pretty amazing” to learn her poetry would be included, Ouellette recalled in an interview last week.
She is the youngest poet among the 50 in the book, the Woolwich teen said. Ouellette, who also loves writing and reading prose, said she reads a lot, particularly the classics by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens.
Informed by her guidance counselor, Leslie Trundy, of the upcoming publication, Ouellette in early 2018 submitted five of her poems online. Three were chosen for inclusion:
• “Raspberry Summer” was one she wrote for a poetry class a couple years ago, inspired by a memory of her mother making raspberry jam.
• “Dream” reflects the slowly fading recollection of what was dreamed about, the longer one has been awake.
• “Walk into the Setting Sun” was inspired by her awe of that image during an October stroll. “I was trying to capture how I felt on that particular evening,” she said.
The 146-page, illustrated book can be purchased at littoralbooks.com for $25. It should also be found later this year at the Mustard Seed Bookstore, 74 Front St.
Ouellette’s poems “often come out of when I’m in a quiet place, alone, and I can organize my thoughts,” she said. “It’s an outflowing of who I am and my values, simple values of family and nature.”
Ouellette has applied to eight colleges, including Colby and Bates in Maine, and Wellesley in Massachusetts. She expects this spring to hear where she’s been accepted.
Although it’s too early to decide on a major, Ouellette’s main interests are literature and language, she said.
Her creative outlets have also included the clarinet and, more recently, the harp.
“Highlights” children’s magazine ran one of her poems when she was 12, but Ouellette is a bit prouder of this latest accomplishment.
“It’s my first real publication,” she said. “And there might be more; we’ll just see how things work out.”
Three works by Morse High School senior Rachel Ouellette are included in “Balancing Act 2,” a collectin of poetry by 50 Maine women.