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If the body is a temple, it is one very complex, heterogeneous, mutable temple. We are conceived by bodies neither ours nor of our own choosing. We then are born, grow up, live our lives, and perish—all within the ever-changing context of our bodies’ encounters with the world. The writers and artists in Being Bodies address a wide range of what can happen to a body. A memoir of distance running counterpoints a meditation on resurrection. The story of an injury is juxtaposed by an uncommonly candid confession of a young man who struggles with gender identity and sexual preference. Virgins and those experienced in the ways of the flesh are here, as is a moving poem about a dying mother whose son must see to her final times. Venus is invoked; so are dead girls and the corpse of a venerated writer. In every contribution come fresh insights into what it means to inhabit, for a brief moment in time, our bodies. As readers turn
each page, perhaps a self-awareness of hands and eyes and individual memories of what their bodies have experienced may become more vivid than before, because reading and thinking are not only cerebral activities but physical as well.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the excellent Nicole Nyhan, who has been a valued editor at Conjunctions for many years, as our new managing editor.
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The Extraordinary Life and Historic Adventures of a Servant called LITTLE, Written and Drawn by Herself
Four Body Poems
Body Politic: A Tenso
Traditional Chinese Massage Number 1
Notes on Lazarus
House of Virgins
Playing the Whip
The Body of the Great Writer and the One Hundred Yiddish Writers Who Kept Watch
Dirty Old Town
Another Way the Universe Communicates Its Presence to Itself
My Uncle Dave Reads Spinoza as His Cookie Business Collapses Due to a Rise in the Price of Sugar in the Dominican Republic
Left Hand Jane
Clytemnestra’s Body Polis Ticks
System of Display
An Impacted Fracture of the Distal Radius
The Flesh of Suddenness