Editor’s Note – Delight
At the Ilanot Review we choose our themes 8-24 months in advance. Our last two issue themes, “Toxic” (fall 2020) and “Home/Work” (spring 2021), were shockingly prescient, in that they corresponded to the onset of the worldwide covid pandemic, which, a year later, continues. We at the Ilanot Review are not superstitious. We do not have an inflated sense of our worth and influence. However, since it is better to be safe than sorry, we have chosen the theme “Delight” to do our part to end the pandemic.
We were inspired, in part, by Ross Gay’s aptly named The Book of Delights: Essays, in which Gay spends an entire year taking delight in the world around him, one creature, phenomenon, encounter, or flower at a time. In lieu of our usual interview, the editors each offer you micro-reviews of three books that delighted us in the past year. If you’ve not yet done so, you should read The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay (Algonquin Books, 2019).
And now, come travel the world with us! Within these electronic pages, translator Ching-wen Kao transports you to Taiwan, where Ka-shiang Liu’s poems depict the simple lifestyle and hunting traditions in the Yuli Mountain, and where Wen-yu Chiang examines colored beans in a grandmother’s larder. Translators Liat Simon and Linda Zisquit will guide you across the Hebrew-language landscape of Israel, and essayist Hasan Haj Yahia will show you the Arabic-language landscape. You can visit London, December 14th 1922, with Natascha Graham, or follow the visual artist Masha Nova to Venice Beach as you’ve never seen it before. And further, you can visit landscapes that have never before existed through Katrina Roberts’ visual poems, which pair the natural and manufactured worlds, marrying Twinkies and Ding Dongs to thistles, wishbones, and hummingbirds. Enjoy!