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Alligator Juniper - 2005

This issue is dedicated to the theme, “Scars,” as evidenced from the dramatic black and white cover photograph of a man whose chest becomes a screen on which is projected several black birds in flight, their wings like the feathery reminders of what the body endures. While a theme dedicated to the visceral remnant of physical and emotional wounds could have solicited writing that was affected, tedious, or even cliché, this issue illustrates anything but. Instead, we read of the subtleties of pain, the nuances of grief, the faint reminders of loss or dejection, though many of these authors left me feeling hopeful — that glimmer of possibility that encircles our aches like a silvery light. Of particular note are Eliot Treichel’s poignant story “Procedure Four,” about a man who “thinks about when he first heard his dog calling to him,” about how that moment provided a vision that “would teach him something about love”; Kathe Lison’s insightful essay “Need is Not Quite Belief,” in which she measures her own desires against the limited scope of society’s sexual taboos; and Will Roby’s poem “Cotton,” which left me longing for my own sense of reconnection to the past. A bonus of this issue is also the inclusion of all national and student winners of contests in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and photography; they illustrate a deep commitment to investigating both the local and the exotic — a self-described hallmark of Alligator Juniper. It’s no surprise to me that this journal has received numerous awards, including the 2001 Content Award from AWP and the 2004 AWP National Program Director’s Prize for Undergraduate Literary Magazines. [Alligator Juniper, Prescott College, 220 Grove Avenue, Prescott, AZ 86301. E-mail: . Single issue: $7.50.] —Jen Henderson

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Review Posted on September 30, 2005

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