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Latest Issue of Conjunctions Gathers Leading Contemporary Writers and Poets for a Conversation on Death

Conjunctions:51, The Death Issue, Includes Essays, Poetry, and Fiction from Such Leading Contemporary Writers as Tom Robbins, Jayne Anne Phillips, David Guterson,  Mary Gordon,

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Traveling on a train together last year, two longtime friends, Conjuctions founder and editor Bradford Morrow and writer David Shields, found themselves talking about death—not their own mortality, but the difficulty of addressing and wrapping words around the concept of death. As their discussion continued, they decided to ask 40 or so fellow writers to join their conversation and to write from whatever vantage they chose. Morrow and Shields approached a wide range of novelists, poets, and essayists with the simple yet demanding invitation: How do you face death? What is death? How does death touch your life? The responses to those questions are gathered in the latest issue of Conjunctions—the literary magazine published by Bard College. Conjunctions:51, The Death Issue, edited by Morrow and Shields, includes work from Tom Robbins, Joyce Carol Oates, John Ashbery, Mary Gordon, Jim Harrison, and many others.

Having spent many months pursuing this darkest theme, we hope that readers will find as much brilliant light in these pages as we did,” write Morrow and Shields. “While this gathering may center on death, it is ultimately about the existential fact of our ineffable selves, our mortal bodies, our very lives.”

In addition to those named above, The Death Issue features new work from Mary Jo Bang, Doris Betts, Jay Cantor, H.G. Carrillo, Robert Clark, Susan Daitch, Shelley Jackson, Nicholas Delbano, Mark Doty, Edward Hoagland, Geoff Dyer, Brian Evenson, David Guterson, Jessica Hagedorn, Brenda Hillman, David Huddle, David Ives, Ann Lauterbach, Michael Logan, Thomas Lynch, Sarah Manguso, Ted Mathys, Kyoko Mori, Peter Mountford, Lance Olsen, Jayne Anne Phillips, Melissa Pritchard, Robert Shacochis, Christopher Sorrentino, Melanie Rae Thon, Teresa Svoboda, Sallie Tisdale, Michael Upchurch, Eliot Weinberger, Joe Wenderoth, and C. D. Wright, as well as a new translation of Roman philosopher Lucius Seneca’s essay “Sick,” by John D’Agata.

Conjunctions is edited by Bradford Morrow and published twice yearly by Bard College. To order a copy, call the Conjunctions office at 845-758-1539 or write to Conjunctions, Bard College, PO Box 5000, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000. Visit the Conjunctions website at

[Note to editors: To obtain review copies, please call Mark Primoff at 845-758-7412 or e-mail]

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This event was last updated on 10-07-2008