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 zine or a chapbook for the internet.
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.