If you enjoy being the first to discover the latest-greatest in new authors and artists, then you should be an avid follower of the Blackwater Review, published annually by Northwest Florida State College. A well put together journal of literature and art, the book is a delightful celebration of new, undiscovered talents.
The Spring 2016 edition features 30 works of poetry and prose and 32 color plates of visual art by students at the college. Among my favorite poems are “They Called Him Mister Foster” by Jocelyn Donahoo, “Seniority” by Andrea Hefner, and “Untitled” by Drew Swaggerman.
Among the prose offerings, “Hidden in Valor” by Zachary Thomas, “Guilt-ridden Rememberance” by D.L. Thornton and “Harmonious Day” by Jocelyn Donahoo are well written and entertaining samples of local talent.
The full color plates at the center of the Blackwater Review are brilliant examples of the visual artists that live in the area. My favorite is “Camera” by Candace Harbin. I think it appeals to me because it marries two of my personal passions–words and photography–and merges them into a visual representation. “What’s in Your Wallet,” also by Candace Harbin, is another image I particularly enjoy.
Equally loved is a mixed media sculpture called “Sunken Treasures” by Alyssa McClellan. An octopus rises from nothing, a collection of found bits cleverly brought together, in McClellan’s industrial creation. Finally, I appreciate the subtle violence of “Tactile Self-Portrait” by Chloe Young.