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Alligator Juniper - 2003

This annual journal of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and photography, published out of the Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, presents fresh voices that in this edition tend to focus on issues of social justice and responsibility, including, of course, environmental issues. I especially liked Susan Thomas’ poem “To Anna Karenina,” in which the speaker addresses and compares herself to Tolstoy’s famous tragic heroine, and Jendi Reiter’s poem “Hansel and Gretel: The Mother Speaks,” in which the speaker justifies to herself her decision to kill her children. Here are some lines from the end of that poem: “And sometimes even the queens abandon their own: / the children too beautiful or too deformed…are left on the hillside to die, / or locked away in towers / where their feet never touch the earth, and the sun / never lays its coins on their eyes – / because there’s not enough room / in this story for all of us.” Also a standout: Mark Liedel’s photograph “Milkweed,” which communicated eerie transcendence in the bursting of a milkweed pod. I found the emotional investment in much of the work here a refreshing jolt after reading the multitudes of more jaded, detached writers. I have found another journal to add to my must-read list. [Alligator Juniper, 220 Grove Avenue, Prescott, AZ 86301. E-mail: . Single issue $7.50.] – JHG

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Review Posted on March 31, 2004

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