Now in its second decade, JOT "…publishes reflections people make on their personal histories and everyday experiences. It is founded on the propositions that every person is a philosopher, expressing one's thoughts fosters creativity and change, and taking control of life requires people to think about the world and communicate their thoughts to others." The doors here symbolize place, Chicago (past and present) to be exact, and some of the streets, towns, and geographies people who live there now have left for Chicago.
It can be surprising how out-of-the-ordinary ordinary thought can be! A product of writing workshops of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, this would be a terrific journal to read in classes and workshops with novice writers (and photographers). "Unpolished" as much of this work may be, there are some truly fine and exciting moments. Here's the opening of "Fast Life" by Daniels Malavé: "Rockwood and Maplewood is the place / where the gangs all hang and slang / A lot of action. A lot of satisfaction." And "Somewhere in Basra, A Woman" by Susan House is as good a post-9/11-at-war-with-Iraq poem as I've seen, and there's one in almost every journal this season, understandably so. Some of the work is quite sophisticated, in an understated way, demonstrating that the journal's slogan, "every person is a philosopher" is indeed the case. [JOT, Neighborhood Writing Alliance, 1313 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. E-mail: . Contact for single issue pricing. www.jot.org] - SR