A folio is a small collection of works related by theme, medium, or process. Folios can be the work of a single author/artist, or a collective effort of multiple contributors. Not too short, not too long. Like a chapbook for the internet.
The Holy Folio is a supplement to Ayin’s second annual journal, which explored the transformative figure of the Holy Fool. A collection of works that engage with poetic leaps into the unknown, and experiment with the limits of storytelling and coherence, The Holy Folio is a meditation on foolishness itself as a fundamental state and practice of creativity. As Tom Haviv writes in his editor’s note: “May the holy foolishness of this folio be an invitation to you, dear reader—to create, against all odds, against hedging, and against reason—to create with wild hope, and to fail with relish; to let go of fairy tales, and to let more and more stories in—as radiant ephemera—always resisting final explanation—each story affixing itself—a star—to a wider and wider—albeit infinite—constellation.”
May Ayin’s tent be a circus of liberation: a home for those unmoored from master narratives, a home for those who find, in the unraveling of our inherited paradigms, the very possibility of freedom.
I sat in the street, and imagined things that never happened
there is an invitation to elegance / embossed in all bodies
Curated by the poet-scholars Yosefa Raz and Shoshana Olidort, Towards a Visionary Poetics: A Female Gaze features literary work on the place(s) where women’s voices, poetics, and prophecy meet, shift the ground, and create something new. In her introduction, Olidort writes: “The poems and prose reflections assembled in this folio represent just a few slices in the vast range of contemporary perspectives on what it means to envisage, as people who are not cis male, a different kind of world than the patriarchal one we inherited. If prophecy is, at its core, about the power of language, these explorations imagine how we might wield language to do something other than what’s been done with it before: to reclaim the past, rather than try to predict the future; to seek transformation, not transcendence, in our material world.”
So much still remains unwritten, unspoken, hidden from view.
I am sketching a tradition of gynocentric spirituality that is ripe with poets.
We have to imagine everyone is contagious now / An odd kind of love but love all the same
In the multimedia album Ya Ghorbati, singer Laura Elkeslassy musically excavates her family’s history in Morocco, France, and Israel, coming face-to-face with forgotten ancestors and reclaiming a lost family name. Developed in collaboration with music director Ira Khonen Temple, this project weaves together the stories of Judeo-Arab divas from the last century with original recordings and new performances of folk and sacred music. Ya Ghorbati looks across time and space to tell a tale of political upheaval, exile, and displacement—ultimately questioning the supposed binary of Arab and Jew.
How did the rupture between Arab and Jewish worlds come to affect us collectively and individually?
As the song continues, it opens up, revealing contradictory layers underneath.
Msika’s bold nonconformity and tragic fate resonated deeply with her contemporaries, and fascinate me now.
The pieces collected in our first folio, Field of the Letter Vav, are gathered from the fields of poetry, fiction, memoir, and prayer. In his editor’s note, Eden Pearlstein offers a gloss on what this kaleidoscopic collection might signify: an exploration of connectivity, transformation, and transport. As Eden writes, “A Field of the Letter Vav might suggest a creative space in which one is invited to identify with others beyond themselves, and to travel in time—deeper into the present, back into the past, or forward into an imagined future.”
The letter Vav, a simple vertical line, is the sixth letter in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. Grammatically, the Vav functions as the word “and,” serving to connect ideas and entities to what lies beyond or outside themselves.
Some secrets can only be learned in refusal
I know any place I’ve been, you’ve been a hundred times before.