This March, former Lowcountry Local First (LLF) Creative in Residence Tyquan Morton released his first book of poetry, Remembering Pluto. The self-published collection is a vulnerable exploration of trauma and the road to healing.

Morton draws inspiration from the world around him, from his own social work to the political climate. In an interview last year with Lowcountry Local First, Morton said, “From the new president-elect to homophobia in the black community to racism in Charleston. These topics are all personal to me.” Outside of his poetry, Morton advocates for kids on the autism spectrum, boys with behavioral issues, and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

In Remembering Pluto, Morton deals head on with the pain of these topics. “Monochrome Rainbow” begins as a story of personal conflict, with a son’s attempts to “pray this gay away” to one of resolution, as the same man promises to “love my me, my queer, my black” as well as the father that rejected him. In “mAss” and “I’ve been shot,” Morton tackles sexual assault and police brutality, issues that are at the forefront of current politics.

Even though he’s no longer a Charleston resident, Morton credits the community for the help and support he received while publishing his book and during his time at Lowcountry Works. On Remembering Pluto’s kickstarter page, Morton gives special thanks to local poets Matt Foley, who worked with Tyquan as a writing coach, and Marcus Amaker, who designed the artwork for the book.

You can order Morton’s book online at Amazon.