Bard News & Events

Press Release

Bradford Morrow, Editor of Conjunctions, Wins PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
Bard College Professor of Literature and Bard Center Fellow Receives Honor at the PEN 2007 Literary Awards for his Work as a Literary Magazine Editor

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bradford Morrow, Bard College professor of literature, novelist, and editor, is the winner of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for his longstanding work as founder and editor of Conjunctions. The literary journal published by Bard College, Conjunctions has established itself at the forefront of innovative fiction, poetry, drama, and essays, publishing some of the most exciting writers of the day. The PEN/Nora Magid Award will be presented to Morrow as part of the 2007 PEN Literary Awards ceremony to be held Monday, May 21, at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. Members of the press are welcome to attend.

Originally planned as a single-volume festschrift in honor of New Directions publisher James Laughlin, Conjunctions quickly expanded into a semiannual publication. From the Robert Creeley poem that opened the first volume to the musical regression in five acts from a first play by Will Self that closes the most recent one (more than 15,000 pages later), Conjunctions has remained committed to literature that is willing to take chances. The judges for this year’s PEN/Nora Magid Award write in their citation: “We were astonished to discover that Bradford Morrow has not already won this award, after 25 years of editing almost by himself one of our most distinctive and valuable literary magazines. We saw this year as a chance to correct that oversight. The range of writers he publishes (and often discovers) is a sort of who’s who of 20th/21st century serious writing, and he’s found a way to keep reinventing it. The fiction, poetry, criticism, drama, and art is sometimes described as ‘experimental,’ but we would also say innovative, daring, indispensable, and beautiful. Our best writers manifestly trust Bradford Morrow with their most ambitious work, and we can think of no higher praise for a literary magazine, or its editor.”

Bradford Morrow has been a Bard Center Fellow since 1990. He is the author of the novels Come Sunday (1988); The Almanac Branch (1991), which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award; Trinity Fields (1995), which garnered an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Giovanni’s Gift (1997); and Ariel’s Crossing (2002). His debut children’s book, Didn’t Didn’t Do It (Putnam/May 2007), is a playfully inventive collaboration—of nifty wordplay by Morrow and illustrations by veteran cartoonist Gahan Wilson—about a group of children who set out to build a tree house but never get it done. An O. Henry and Pushcart Prize winner, Morrow is also the recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction.

Established in 1993, the PEN/Nora Magid Award honors a magazine editor whose high literary standards and taste have, throughout his or her career, contributed significantly to the excellence of the publication he or she edits. Candidates for the biennial $2,500 award include current editors-in-chief, literary editors, and “back-of-the-book” editors of serious general interest magazines, book reviews, or literary reviews and quarterlies, whose intellectual discernment and wide range of interests recall the late PEN member Nora Magid, who for many years was literary editor of The Reporter. The award is made possible by a grant from PEN member Gerald Weales.

For more information on the PEN/Nora Magid Award, please contact Nick Burd, Literary Awards Coordinator, at 212-334-1660, ext. 108, or

back to top

This event was last updated on 10-27-2008