Orange Island Review: Vol. 2, No. 1 2016 (Paperback)
This issue of the Orange Island Review is dark.
And while that darkness may rattle and unsettle the adults who read it, it is that very darkness that exposes the undercurrent of anxiety, fear, sadness and anger that the high-school poets showcased in this issue navigate on a daily basis.
The Gen Z poets compiled in this issue were born in an age of terrorism, global economic melt-down, catastrophic climate change, and a sense of community that is more screen time than social time. As such, the poetry in this issue reflects their concerns and the realities of world they currently inhabit.
The incredibly talented high-school-aged poets in this issue write what they know: natural landscapes defiled by human hands, the reality of being reared in homes tainted by substance abuse, the emptiness of houses filled with technology but empty of parental supervision, the rampant pervasiveness of sexual assault that is barely acknowledged but that persists and persists, their need to connect, to be seen, hugged, heard, listened to. These are the monsters that lurk in their darkness.
Beneath the darkness, however, hope exists. These young poets understand that only by voicing their troubles, their concerns, their fears can these monsters ever hope to be vanquished.