In Review by Ann Coder
Words of Love, a Collection of Winning Short Stores, Essays, and Poems by America's Young Writers.
Edited by Laurie Holz.
Los Angeles: Seven Wolves Publishing, 1992.
Words of Love, a Collection of Winning Short Stories, Essays, and Poems by America's Young Writers is the product of a writing contest sponsored by Seven Wolves Publishing and Michael Blake, author of Dances with Wolves to foster literacy and encourage teenagers to write. 575 teenagers, aged fourteen to eighteen, submitted 738 poems, short stories, and essays on love. The ten judges, including Patricia Glass Schuman, former President of the American Library Association, and Ann Carlson Weeks, executive director of the American Association of School Librarians, selected 51 winners. Included in the collection is a poem, "Hourglass Love," by Annesa Lee from Honolulu, and an essay, "The Yin and Yang of Ming Shan," by Michele Ming Shan Smith from Makakilo.
The short story, "Unspoken Love," by Quang Ngo, a son's remembrance of the kindness of father who died in the Vietnam War, is punctuated by the refrain, "But the Communist soldier said 'This man's no good.'" Mark A. Gede's story, "Victor and Priscilla," is structured as a count down for the detonation on Enewetak Atoll of a nuclear test bomb, named Priscilla after Victor Philip Gede's wife. "U.P.S.," by Nicole Krauss, is the story of an aging woman who constantly orders items from mail order catalogs in order to carry on an affair with the U.P.S. deliveryman. Elizabeth Adler's poem, "Thoughts of a Child-bearing Child," speaks of her experience as a "scar" compared with Hester Prynne's scarlet letter.
Themes and quality vary, with some of the items in the anthology poignant and others trite.