Silver Leaves: a Tolkien Journal – a Review

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Silver Leaves …From The White Tree of Hope

The 2nd edition of Silver Leaves, the official journal of The White Tree Fund (TWTF) recently arrived in my mailbox, and it is an impressive piece of literary work. The purpose of this Tolkien journal is to educate, raise awareness, support charitable initiatives, and entertain. Issue 1 of Silver Leaves, which released in 2007, is a top-notch collection of articles, academic essays, poetry, art and book and movie reviews inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Issue 2 of Silver Leaves continues in that vein with with a focus on The Inklings. The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group formed by students at the University of Oxford, England, which met at The Eagle and Child in the 1930s and 40s. Its most regular members included J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, Christopher Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien’s son), Warren Lewis (C. S. Lewis’s elder brother), and others. (1)

With a marvelous cover image of The Eagle and Child, this edition of Silver Leaves brings the spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien and The Inklings to life. Silver Leaves Journal Administrator Jo-Anna Dueck says, “As Tolkien was a key part of the Inklings, we thought it would be an appealing idea to expand this issue to include his fellow Inklings since, as is often the case, if you’re a fan of Tolkien, for example, you’re also a fan of C.S. Lewis, and inhabit an interest in the Inklings group in general.”

Approximately 30 contributors from 7 different countries have submitted entries to this issue of Silver Leaves. Most of the writers are from the United States. A few contributors and most of the Silver Leaves staff are from Canada; one contributors is from Greece; one from Japan; one from France; one from Malta, and two contributors are from England.

“Some of our well-known contributors and published authors include Colin Duriez, Douglas Gresham, Brian Sibley, Sarah Arthur, Alison Baird, and Melanie Jeschke, as well as talented mythological artist Jef Murray,” states Dueck.

Issue 2 of Silver Leaves is 76 pages long and includes such thought-provoking articles and essays as “Shards of Diamond” by Douglas Gresham, the step-son of C.S. Lewis; “More Than Just the Margins : An Appreciation of Pauline Baynes (1922 – 2008)” by Brian Sibley; and “Devilry and Images of Evil in Tolkien” by Colin Duriez. Poems include: “White Tree Sighing (A Song of the Citadel)” by L. Lara Sookoo, “Breeze” by Martha Kosfi, and “For the Inklings” by P. R. Miller.

Silver Leaves contains short stories, beautiful art, several reviews of Prince Caspian and many more articles, poems, and essays that will delight any fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and the other Inklings. My own contributions are: Journey to the Sea (poem inspired by “The Lord of the Rings”), The Fellowship of J.R.R. Tolkien (essay) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Complete Recordings (review).

The purpose of Silver Leaves is to educate, raise awareness, and entertain. SL is published annually in the latter part of each year under the auspices of TWTF, a group which has a deep love for the study of Tolkien’s life and works. “We thought a journal would be a tangible and memorable way of expressing that passion,” explains Dueck who quotes Silver Leaves Editor in Chief L. Lara Sookoo: “This journal is a labour of love and a dream realized.”

Issue 2 of Silver Leaves is available in printed and electronic formats to members of TWTF and to non-members who purchase subscriptions. SL accepts submissions from established scholars, authors, and artists as well as from those new to the publishing world. While the focus ofSilver Leaves is on TWTF’s mandated humanitarian efforts, particularly those within the Tolkien community, Silver Leaves is open to scholarly and creative submissions from other fandoms according to the theme of each issue. (2)

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(1) Wikipedia

(2) The White Tree Fund

(3) Silver Leaves: The Journal of the White Tree Fund – a Review


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