4th Period English
by Judith Arcana
Judith Arcana's acclaimed book of poems examining immigration through the voices of high school students talking and arguing about law, racism, ethnicity, language, nations and borders.
"Judith Arcana’s 4th Period English is so wonderful, I feel privileged to have read it, and I wish it were part of every curriculum starting right now. Listen to the voices of Corazón, Cesar, Mikoor, Huynh Chinh, Kathy and Megan, Jamayah, their teacher Ms Solomon and her neighbor Khatereh Jafari – you’ll think you were there in George Washington High School, Anywhere, USA, surrounded by The World. And you were. This is absolutely terrific writing."
~ Alicia Ostriker
"These poems are amazing. Inside that strange, raw intersection where immigration and Americanism meet, Judith Arcana’s collection brings to life a whole population in a typical American high school. Her own strong voice disappears as she seemingly channels Adelita and Vicente, Tiffany and Jason, teachers and tíos, parents and visiting profesores. The stories that emerge here are vulnerable, confused, angry, outraged, tender, and, above all, deeply human."
~ Diana Rico
Judith Arcana’s polyphonic collection is a labor of love and compassion. She invites us into an urgent listening exercise that leaves us yearning to befriend the real Verónicas, Tyrones and Ashleys who have inspired these poems. Arcana makes her readers painfully aware of the ways our young people struggle between and among the myriad borders of this world.
~ Alicia Partnoy
40 pp. book