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Conjunctions Reading by Aimee Bender & Brian Evenson
The third reading in the Cities Reading Series, presented by Conjunctions and the Bard Office of Alumni/ae Affairs, takes place at Book Soup in Los Angeles
Thursday, June 16, 2016
7:00 pm EDT/GMT-4
Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
On Thursday, June 16th, at 7:00 p.m., the Los Angeles indie bookstore Book Soup celebrates the literary journal Conjunctions with a reading by contributors Aimee Bender and Brian Evenson at 8818 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Copies of Conjunctions:66, Affinity will be available for sale and signing. Introduced by Kate Wolf, the event is free and open to the public; seating is first-come / first-served.

The literary journal Conjunctions, edited by novelist Bradford Morrow and published by Bard College, has been a living notebook for provocative, innovative, immaculately crafted fiction, poetry, and narrative nonfiction since 1981. As Karen Russell has said, “Conjunctions is a translation into a multiverse of stories and poems and essays and even weirder hybrid forms, the mutant menagerie of literary fiction. I read it with Christmas pleasure.” Rick Moody agrees: “Without a doubt, Conjunctions is the best literary magazine in America.”

The Los Angeles Times has called indie bookstore Book Soup a “landmark of L.A.’s cultural life, shaped by founder Glenn Goldman’s electric, artistic sensibility. It’s equally fascinated with the edgy, the glamorous and the smart, packing sometimes disparate books into its tight space and towering shelves. This is where Patti Smith signs and shops. If a bookstore can be a pair of skinny jeans, Book Soup is one, and they’re black.” Follow the bookstore at @BookSoup.
 
ABOUT THE READERS

BRIAN EVENSON is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collections A Collapse of Horses and Windeye  and the novel Immobility, the last two of which were finalists for a Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association’s award for Best Horror Novel of 2009). His novel The Open Curtain  was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann’s Tongue. His work has appeared in numerous issues of Conjunctions; read or hear his contributions to issues such as Conjunctions:48, Faces of Desire, Conjunctions:55, Urban Arias, Conjunctions:60, In Absentia, and Conjunctions:63, Speaking Volumes. He teaches at CalArts.
 
“Brian Evenson is one of the treasures of American story writing, a true successor to the generation of Coover, Barthelme, Hawkes, and Co., but also to Edgar Allan Poe.” —Jonathan Lethem

“There is not a more intense, prolific, or apocalyptic writer of fiction in America than Brian Evenson.”—George Saunders

“Brian Evenson is one of the most distinguished, probing, and courageous writers of his generation.” ―Bradford Morrow

“There are many unnoticed contracts that govern us. We go on about our lives never knowing what they are. They are noticed only in the breach. Brian Evenson can somehow see these contracts, and his work is a large attention that charts the breakdown of the very smallest societies, the covenant of just two, three, six or seven people against the darkness, the bleakness, whatever you want to call it. What is complex here is notable; what is vivid, what is tortuous, these things are notable. I hesitate to mention them, for still more notable is the acuteness of mind that generates this sight. It is for this antihuman vision that I read Evenson, in order to see a human being in its folly as a tree or turtle might, as a stone might, with a detachment so severe that what pities us knows us perfectly, yet knows us not.”—Jesse Ball
 
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AIMEE BENDER (@AimeeBender) is the author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (a New York Times notable book), An Invisible Sign of My Own (a Los Angeles Times pick of the year), Willful Creatures (nominated by The Believer as one of the best books of the year), The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (winner of the SCIBA award for best fiction and an Alex Award), and The Color Master (a New York Times notable book). Her work has appeared in Conjunctions:48, Faces of Desire and Conjunctions:63, Speaking Volumes (the full text of her Speaking Volumes contribution can be found via the link above). She teaches at USC.

“At a time when realism reigns supreme over the literary landscape, one can argue it is absolutely imperative that Aimee Bender be spotlighted for what she is: a vital MVP of modern letters, period.” —Los Angeles Times

“Along with the idiosyncratic George Saunders, she now stands as one of the reigning masters of the eccentric American short story.” –NPR Books
 
“In The Color Master, fifteen tales dazzle, confound, electrify, disturb, incriminate, and empathize. It is absurd. It is remarkable.” —Chicago Tribune

“Her growing canon of stories is like an army that destroys boring writing.” —Powells.com

Contact: Micaela Morrissette, [email protected], 845-758-7054

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In Print

Vol. 79
Onword
Fall 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

November 23, 2022
I SAW ALL THE STRANGENESS IMMEDIATELY,

I saw it in this very particular slide of swell’s,
the sylphspun silk of the sylph, she sideways,
her garage is paradise in masque, her sweep
is saturn, szturn im sturm & string, install’d
in the area’s traverse. he follows that lucky
old sun, the gesture of her lining and loose
knot, and pulls herself through burns and a
dry wash and some soft lead. in discorporate
minerals, or in the sharing of the black sleek
sharing with the wild man in her soft shoes,
all over the panes of the various sworld and
out into the superhighway of bywater, hard
by marigny. to flow through one to another
indetermination, the posture of their brush
must be immaculate fray, all them, all they.
November 16, 2022
Day Book

One wants to grasp a latch.
The broken star, the cellophane.
One suffers if untethered from
the pain that brought a lock.
Across the way the husband tends his teeth.
The wife redresses, parted from her paper.
To emblemize, to separate the word
grief reaches. Grief reaches, unseduced.
November 9, 2022
He had thought for a while of having his ashes placed on a ship propelled out to sea while being set aflame with burning arrows—in his dotage, my father grew obsessed with Norse myth—but in today’s regulatory environment, bringing him here was the closest feasible compromise. “The best moment is when Fenris the giant wolf appears,” he’d told me on Zoom, his voice trembling only slightly. “It draws everyone’s attention, so nobody will be watching you. Do you remember how you used to cry when we got to the wolf?” This sounds more like something Ulf would do, although Ulf doesn’t remember coming here either. Most likely it was a lost intention of my father’s. He might have spent a day talking to strangers in a bar about planning a trip here, an imagined bout of quality time so vivid it became real for him in retrospect. Towards the end, the winter and the lockdown getting to him, my father was drinking forty ounces of vodka a day. I may not have been his favorite son, but I was the one who agreed to scatter his ashes here once, and if, the park reopened after COVID. Ulf would never violate theme park rules.
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