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A notebook on alchemy, memory, and sensation

Lyrical writing provides a kind of alchemical prolonging of life to its subject, as wine provides to fruit or grain. Both act as living vessels of the history, memory, and care that their makers put in, and that we, as readers and drinkers, simultaneously filter through our own personal histories and sense memories. The body and the bottle—we siphon off substances and place them inside, hopefully to compound and synthesize, with the intention of pouring them out on a later date, on a night marked by safety and communion when what has long been stored, growing luxurious or cloudy or wild, is reintroduced to the bald truth of oxygen. 

Intoxication, with its dangers and allure, is magnetic—how it can alter our perceptions about ourselves, our relationships, our values and worth, and its propensity therein to reveal the structures of power at play. In this special notebook on the theme of Wine, thirteen writers add remarkable texture to the lyric landscape of perception. 

—Madeleine Mori, Guest Editor

Xiao Yue Shan
After Country

Janelle Tan
Skin Contact
lyric essay

Somi Jun
Please, waitress

Lio Min
Revel Nation
lyric prose

Jen Mutia Eusebio
lyric essay

Kim Hoyeonjae
Translated from Hanja (Old Korean) to Hangul (modern Korean) and then English by Suphil Lee Park
生涯 | 생애 | Life

Sarah Aziza
lyric essay

Vincent Tolentino
lyric essay

Khaqani Shervani
Translated from the Persian by Kayvan Tahmasebian and Rebecca Ruth Gould
Morning Wine

Saʾeb Tabrizi
Translated from the Persian by Kayvan Tahmasebian and Rebecca Ruth Gould

Madeleine Mori
Tasting Notes
lyric essay