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The price of a first-class stamp rose from fifteen cents to twenty that year, and a dozen eggs cost less than a buck. Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president in January 1981, a couple of months before John Hinckley Jr. at tempted to assassinate him. It was the year MTV started broadcasting, the year Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats debuted in London, the year the first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched. The AIDS virus was identified that year, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female Supreme Court justice, and, for better or worse, Lady Diana Spencer became Diana, Princess of Wales. Three-and-a-half-inch floppy disks, Jared Kushner, and the first American test-tube baby were born, as were Britney Spears, Skittles, and Post-it Notes. Elias Canetti won the Nobel Prize in Literature, Rick James released “Super Freak,” Raiders of the Lost Ark topped the box office, and Hoagy Carmichael, Bob Marley, and Natalie Wood left this world.

Nineteen eighty-one was also the year that Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Octavio Paz, Josephine Miles, Tennessee Williams, John Hawkes—all sadly deceased now—along with dozens of other writers, came together to contribute to the first issue of a literary journal called Conjunctions. Founded and edited by Bradford Morrow with the encouragement of poet and translator Kenneth Rexroth, Conjunctions has now published over one thousand writers, some at the beginnings of their careers, some avowed masters. Deemed a “living notebook” by its editor, Conjunctions continues to forge ahead some three decades after Bard College became its publisher, and four after it first saw the light of day. This celebratory anniversary issue will feature new work by Samuel R. Delany, Can Xue, Rosmarie Waldrop, and many others, including a previously unpublished story by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Mail submissions for this issue are now open. Online submissions via Submittable may be made from December 1, 2020, through December 21, 2020.

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In Print

Vol. 78
Fear Itself
Spring 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

from between the lines of Another Love Discourse
July 27, 2022
Silence
 I thought I was good because I had borne the brunt of society’s manhandling, because through halls
of terror I fled and gangs of girls followed me, seeking to press thumbs deep into
my arms, cheeks, back of my neck, thighs, because goodness lay heavy in the air around me, because
most around me were powerful underprivileged role models, I thought it good enough
to know and read vexatious histories and in my own private sanctum feel the pain, to dwell
in sorrow through theater and dance, that just by being around, goodness could rub off on a person
July 20, 2022
The island appeared in the playa –
            a thick family of vegetation in sand
            as if risen from the undulation of blued snow over
            grasses, purple. Huddling
            through time, as bodies green and dark
            in me knew better, yet compelled me
            to run from the tall thick house
            where I lay resting
            and take refuge from the wind
            where wind blew.
 
July 13, 2022
The feet trudge the path of the eyes.

Vouch for snow-covered trails skirted by galvanic tamaracks,
the previous fall’s needles a carpet of #2 pins.

Vouch for garrulous waxwings captivating powerlines,
mesmerizing middle C and rising,
coloratura clouds.

Vouch for the rich acoustic world of moths
fallen silent, streets of pupal stillness,
bodies suspended in glycerol sleep.
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