Fortieth Anniversary

Fortieth Anniversary Issue
Spring 2021
Edited by Bradford Morrow

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. attempted 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. Frequent-flyer miles were introduced then, along with IBM PCs. Elias Canetti won the Nobel Prize in Literature, Rick James released “Super Freak,” Raiders of the Lost Ark topped the box office that same year when 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, a Festschrift in honor of James Laughlin, the venerable publisher of New Directions. 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.


  • Rick Moody Forty Years, a Celebration
  • Ben Okri Tabula Rasa
  • Karen Russell The Cloud Lake Unicorn
  • Peter Cole Aleph’s Bet
  • Ann Lauterbach Three Poems
  • Lydia Davis Nine Stories
  • Akil Kumarasamy The Healing
  • Samuel R. Delany A Night in the Lonesome October
  • John Ashbery Nine Poems from The Art of Finger Dexterity
  • Joyce Carol Oates Río Piedra
  • Sofia Samatar Three Tales from the Blue Library
  • Richard Powers Saints Hill
  • Shane McCrae Two Poems
  • Rachel Blau DuPlessis Adventures of the Book
  • William H. Gass The Pattern of a Proper Life
  • Can Xue Translated by Karen Gernant, Chen Zeping The Neighborhood
  • Jessica Campbell Collection
  • Fred D’Aguiar Mother Story
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer Translated by David Stromberg The Condemned
  • Carole Maso Time and the Divine
  • Julia Alvarez Two Poems
  • Genya Turovskaya The Guest on Heart’s Lake, A Wild Indifference
  • Mark Irwin Three Poems
  • Jayne Anne Phillips A Journey
  • Sanjena Sathian Mr. Ashok’s Monument
  • Peter Orner Four Stories
  • Rosmarie Waldrop Two Poems
  • Colin Channer Three Poems
  • Isabella Hammad Tramontana
  • Lance Olsen Every Punch in the Heart
  • Diane Williams Three Stories
  • Laird Hunt Climb the Whale
  • Laynie Browne Three Poems
  • Wendy Xu Four Poems
  • JoAnna Novak The Groom
  • Megan Kakimoto Leaving Cynthia
  • Quincy Troupe Two Poems
  • Tomaž Šalamun Translated by Matthew Moore Opera Buffa Poems
  • Julia Elliott Another Frequency
  • Robert Coover From Open House

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