Donors’ Stories
Jay Hanus
Publishers Circle Supporter 

When I met Brad Morrow and asked him about Conjunctions, he was more than happy to talk about it. Like its editor, Conjunctions is honest and charming, and that’s enough to sell me right there. 
     These days I’ll admit I’m primarily a reader of history—I used to read a lot of fiction when I was younger, but that’s a long time ago now—and I enjoyed Conjunctions:46, Selected Subversions, the issue of revisionist histories very much. The more I learned about Conjunctions, the more interested I became, particularly in the combination of work by new authors and established writers. The bigger names drew me in and gave me a chance to encounter and appreciate these people who are just emerging. Giving lesser-known authors an opportunity to be heard struck me as a very, very noble goal. 
     And then there are the simple pleasures of the journal. Conjunctions’ covers are lovely. You could put them on your walls just to look at the art. I respond to the many varied themes of the issues—they give me something to look forward to, something special. It’s fair to say that I learn as much about people from the creative work I find in Conjunctions as I do in my studies of history. 
     In 2015, I traveled up to the Hudson Valley for the celebration of Conjunctions’ twenty-fifth year at Bard College, which was a reading with Brad, Michael Cunningham, and Francine Prose in the extraordinary Spiegeltent performance space that goes up at Bard during the SummerScape festival there each year. I enjoyed that very much, and I also saw what a great opportunity it was for Conjunctions both to find new supporters and to say thank you to existing supporters.
     As a donor, you want to find a worthwhile organization that is working toward the right goals, then help them to get there. You want to attract other donors so your money can do the most good. If I can contribute anything besides financial support to the journal’s mission, I hope it will be to enlarge the Conjunctions family.
Hy Abady
Publishers Circle Supporter 

I was reading a book in a restaurant and I ran into Brad Morrow. I’m a writer, but not the writer he is.
    It was a Philip Roth book—Nemesis—and I was struck that the narrator was introduced by name after a third of the way in! It blew me away and I shared it with Brad. 
    Before long, our love of books (mine new, his old and new) created a special, surprising, and wonderful friendship.
    He shared a copy of Conjunctions:64, Natural Causes with me, and I read a story called “Big Burnt” by Joyce Carol Oates and was overwhelmed. I asked Brad how I could support this great publication filled with such inspiring work. Not only did I become a Conjunctions donor, I was given access to Ms. Oates herself, over an intimate lunch at Bard, then sat in an auditorium filled with awe as she gave a reading from her subsequent contribution to Conjunctions (“Walking Wounded”, Conjunctions:65, Sleights of Hand), which had been specially commissioned for the world premier live event I attended.
     That accessibility was something I felt very privileged to be a part of, and now anyone who gives $500 or more can have the same experience through the magazine’s BackPage Pass program for Friends Circle givers.
    I continue to support Conjunctions because of Brad and because of Joyce and Rick Moody and all the writers I know. And the ones I get to know. I go back to stories I have loved over and over again.
    I do wish these brilliant, thematic and relevant pieces could be shared with more of the world. It’s so important to support great writing, great art, now more than ever.
Peter Straub
Friends Circle Supporter 

I first responded to Conjunctions’ standards, its uniqueness, and its consistency. From my first encounter with Conjunctions, it had a certain augustness, a kind of dignity produced by what seemed its unforced old-school high-minded literary modernism. This was a journal that stood on the shoulders of Pound, Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Virginia Woolf, Proust, and a dozen other great writers, and did so with the sense of continuing and developing a tradition very much still vital.
     The things Bradford Morrow does right for his journal are too great to number, but I do want to to give a few examples: Brad’s very dependable and almost unbelievably exquisite taste is matched by his magical ability to discover and reveal amazing new talents, also to unearth from history a seemingly endless series of literary nuggets we didn’t know we needed until they were published in Conjunctions.
     And as he proved to me over and over again while we were collaborating on the issue I guest edited, Conjunctions:39, New Wave Fabulists, Brad is truly open-minded about the nature of the canon he is piece by piece setting into place. I think Brad’s intense receptivity to what is good about good work also permits him an immediate, locked-in perception of the false and the lax. Considered as an editor, he is simply astonishing.
     The themes for the issues are always brilliant. I literally do not know how he does that—how he keeps coming up with these great ideas for individual issues. Unlike most big-vision editors, Brad is also an excellent, in fact a great line editor. Every writer who has contributed to Conjunctions has seen proof of that.
     Ultimately, I support Conjunctions because it reminds me that the immediately available material and intellectual world I see and feel about me every day is not the only world that exists.
Margaret Shuhala
Supporters Circle Donor

Why do I support Conjunctions? Simply put, the magazine has become an important part of my life over the last several years.
    I am a member of the Lifetime Institute (LLI), a volunteer organization that offers a wide range of courses to senior citizens. In Spring 2015, I took the first LLI writing workshop to be offered by Conjunctions, which drew readings and writing exercises from the issue Conjunctions:57, Kin. I remember reveling in the richness of that issue: Rachel Tzvia Back’s “Lamentations,” A D Jameson’s “You’ll Be Sorry,” Robert Kelly’s “Father & Sons,” Scott Geiger’s “Quality of Life in Switzerland,” and so many others come to mind. Class participants delighted in the readings, the inspiration they provided for our own writing, and the innovative class exercises they engendered.
    Conjunctions:65, Sleights of Hand: The Deception Issue was the course text for our second Conjunctions writing workshop and what writing we produced! The freedom to deceive seemed to loosen inhibitions. We wrote stories and poems and obituaries that became the impetus for a series of responses and rewrites by other participants. We read our work aloud in the safety of the group, an invaluable experience for burgeoning writers. All our writings were assembled in a class literary journal titled: On The Count of Three, Smile: An Anthology of Forgeries from the 202 Collective.
     Now, in March 2017, I eagerly await the next Conjunctions workshop, which starts later this month and draws from the work published in Conjunctions:50, Fifty Contemporary Writers.
     Conjunctions: a vital part of my life.  How could I not want it to thrive? How could I not donate?



In Print

Vol. 76
Fortieth Anniversary Issue
Spring 2021
Edited by Bradford Morrow


May 5, 2021
Because they’re in Florida, their position on the terrace is glorified with a gigantic orange ball sinking into serene water, streamers of pink snaking along the blue, the whole thing so … so … validating? And the pelicans! “Look, dude! Pelicans!”

“You can’t shout ‘Pelicans!’ every time we see pelicans. We’re in Florida, babe. There’s tons of pelicans.”

“But that’s the point …” the equestrian’s former friend muses.
April 28, 2021
Fire hurtles past on both sides bubbling black
At the edges. He wakes to a solitary yellow line
Glowing desolation. House truck dog are gone
Evaporated into red sky and patchy earth, snags
Decorate the darkness. Out of his scars grow
Thin buds. Imperfect impermanent incomplete,
He falls back as if falling into a pool, arms out
April 21, 2021
Book thieves as well as purloiners of ancient maps and medieval spell books, whose superficially absurd tactics often belie a mastery of their skill, are both well-known and feared by booksellers and librarians. A list of the various methods and stratagems used to outwit an employee’s vigilance would be endless, and while vendors have certainly come up with more or less effective techniques to stem this scourge, the fact remains that to this day none has managed to catch even a single parenthesis hunter in the act.