Editor’s Note – The Collaborative Issue
To edit a literary journal is a great privilege. Whenever a writer submits their work, they’re sharing their creative efforts to make sense of the world. Even the most ironic, cynical writing cannot mask the extent to which the writer cares. And every time they attempt to put something that only they know into words, they offer a new way of thinking about what it means to be right here, right now.
This issue, a collaboration with Granta Hebrew − an affiliate of Granta, the renowned literary magazine – is an incredibly satisfying way to end my editorship at The Ilanot Review. The original Granta was founded by students at Cambridge University 1889, and there is something wonderful in the fact that as much as the world we live in is vastly different from theirs, people are still writing literature and reading it, and the literary journal is still, even in our time, a place of inspiration and imaginative expression.
Together with Mira Rashty, the editor of Granta Hebrew, we’ve combed the archives for a special selection of work first published there. What you’ll find here is that selection translated into English – a small but meaningful cross-section of writing coming out in Hebrew and Arabic today, a glimpse into the ideas and concerns playing out in Israel’s multi-voiced, conflicted society.
When I founded “Ilanot” (that’s what it was called in its early iterations), I couldn’t have imagined that the scope of the journal would expand beyond my community, my country, and my language, and I’m grateful for the experience of seeing this project grow from modest beginnings, outward and upward. Today, The Ilanot Review is a truly international journal, where writers reach far past the limits of their own communities forming an entity that is new, oriented toward a diversity of voices, a magnet for writing on fresh and urgent themes.
I want to express my gratitude for the early support of Judy Labensohn, Allen Hoffman and Linda Zisquit, as well as that of the faculty of the Shaindy Rudoff Creative Writing program at Bar-Ilan University. Likewise, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege working with the talented writers who generously gave of their time and attention as guest editors: Sarah Wetzel, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Frances Cannon, Joan Leegant, Bret Lott, Mark Mirsky, Judith Claire Mitchell, Evan Fallenberg, Jacqueline Kolosov, Ilana Blumberg, Katherine Durham Oldmixon, Joanna Chen, Miriam Green, Tania Hershman, Karen E. Bender, Anthony Michael Morena, Jessamyn Hope, and Adriana X. Jacobs.
But most important of all, I want to thank my partners in this enterprise: Karen Marron, Nadia Jacobson, Jane Medved, Karen Boxenhorn, and David Muller, who were there from the start, Daniel Weizmann, Katie Green, and Mitch Ginsburg, who joined us later on, and Marcela Sulak, whose vision saw the journal through its humble beginnings to the vibrant, sophisticated, vital project that it is today.