Bradford Morrow

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Bradford Morrow
Born (1951-04-08) April 8, 1951 (age 64)
Baltimore, United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Literary movement Postmodern
Notable works Trinity Fields, Giovanni's Gift

Bradford Morrow (born April 8, 1951) is an American novelist, editor, essayist, poet, and children's book writer. Professor of literature and Bard Center Fellow at Bard College, he is the founding editor of Conjunctions literary magazine.


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 8, 1951, Morrow grew up in Littleton, Colorado, and, "after a decade of vagabonding from Honduras to France, Italy to England", settled in New York City, where he remains.[1] In 1966, he was selected by the Colorado Medical Association to serve with a small number of other teenage volunteers as a medical assistant with the Amigos de las Americas program, giving inoculations and working with health-care professionals in poor, very rural areas in Honduras. The following year, 1967–1968, Morrow was a foreign exchange student under the auspices of the American Field Service, completing his final year of high school at a Liceo Scientifico in Cuneo, Italy. After completing his B.A. in English Literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder, 1969–1972, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Phi Beta Kappa, he received a Danforth Fellowship to continue graduate studies in English and comparative literature at Yale University. Upon leaving Yale, Morrow moved first to Ithaca, New York, where he began research on a full-scale bibliography of Wyndham Lewis, consulting the archives at Cornell University, and then to Santa Barbara, California, where he met John Martin, of Black Sparrow Press, who would publish the bibliography in 1978.

The literary biannual journal Conjunctions was conceived in late 1980 as "Morrow sat in Beat poet Kenneth Rexroth's library in Santa Barbara, California. The two friends had the idea to assemble a Festschrift for James Laughlin, the beloved editor of New Directions." After being published by David R. Godine (1985–1987) and Collier Books/Scribner (1988–1989), the journal was picked up by Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, which remains the journal's publisher.[2]

Morrow became Rexroth's literary executor in 1982, and has edited and introduced a number of the poet’s books, including The Selected Poems of Kenneth Rexroth (1984), Classics Revisited (1986), World Outside the Window: Selected Essays of Kenneth Rexroth (1987), More Classics Revisited (1989), and with Sam Hamill coedited The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth (2002).

He has taught at Princeton, Brown, and Columbia Universities, as well as the Naropa Institute. Since 1990 he has been a professor of literature and Bard Center Fellow at Bard College.

The Review of Contemporary Fiction[3] published a "Bradford Morrow issue" in 2000, which included essays by Sven Birkerts,[4] Forrest Gander,[5] Patrick McGrath,[6] Robert Creeley, Joanna Scott, Brian Evenson, William T. Vollmann, Maureen Howard and others.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Guggenheim Fellowship[7] (2007)

From the judges’ 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.” [9]

  • O. Henry Prize[10] for short story “Lush” (2003)
  • Member, board of trustees, PEN American Center (1998–2002) and chair of the PEN Forums Committee



  • Come Sunday (1988; later republished)
  • The Almanac Branch (Finalist for the 1992 PEN/Faulkner Award; 1991)
  • Trinity Fields (Finalist for the 1995 Los Angeles Times Book Award; first volume of his "New Mexico Trilogy")
  • Giovanni's Gift (1997)
  • Ariel’s Crossing (Second volume of his "New Mexico Trilogy"; 2002)
  • The Diviner's Tale (2011)
  • The Forgers (2014)

Books for children[edit]

  • A Bestiary (Illustrated by 18 contemporary artists including Gregory Amenoff, Joe Andoe, James Brown, Vija Celmins, Louisa Chase, Eric Fischl, Jan Hashey, Michael Hurson, Mel Kendrick, James Nares, Ellen Phelan, Joel Shapiro, Kiki Smith, David Storey, Michelle Stuart, Richard Tuttle, Trevor Winkfield and Robin Winters. New York: Grenfell Press, 1991)
  • Didn’t Didn’t Do It (Illustrated by Gahan Wilson. New York: Putnam, 2007)

Literary journal[edit]

  • Conjunctions (Founder and editor of biannual literary journal. Fall 1981–present[12])


As editor[edit]

  • The New Gothic (Coedited with Patrick McGrath. New York: Random House, 1991)
  • The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death (Co-edited with David Shields. W. W. Norton, 2011)


  • The Night Watch. The Literary Insomniac: Stories and Essays for Sleepless Nights (Eds. Elyse Cheney and Wendy Hubbert. New York: Doubleday, 1996)
  • from The Almanac Branch. The Book of Love. (Eds. Diane Ackerman and Jeanne Mackin. New York: Norton, 1998)
  • A Different Kind of Arbor. Hover (Photographs by Gregory Crewdson and text by Rick Moody, Darcey Steinke, Joyce Carol Oates, and Bradford Morrow. San Francisco: Artspace Books, 1998)
  • For Brother Robert. A Convergence of Birds: Original Fiction and Poetry Inspired by the Work of Joseph Cornell (Ed. Jonathan Safran Foer. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2001)
  • The Hoarder. "The Best American Noir of the Century" (Eds. James Ellroy and Otto Penzler. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010)

Essays and interviews[edit]

  • Psalms. Communion: Contemporary Writers Reveal the Bible in their Lives (Ed. David Rosenberg. New York: Anchor, 1998)
  • The Journey to Trinity. The Place Within: Portraits of the American Landscape by Contemporary Writers" (Ed. Jodi Daynard. New York: Norton, 1997)
  • Bradford Morrow. Bomb: Speak Fiction and Poetry (Interviewed by Jim Lewis. Ed. Betsy Sussler. New York: New Art Publications, 1998)

Poetry collections[edit]

  • After a Charme, (New York: Grenfell Press, 1984)
  • The Preferences, (New York: Grenfell Press, 1983)
  • Danae's Progress, (San Francisco: Cadmus Editions/Arion Press, 1982)
  • Posthumes, (Santa Barbara: Cadmus Editions, 1982)
  • Passing From the Provinces, (Santa Barbara: Cadmus Editions, 1981)


  1. ^ [1] Web page titled "A Web DelSol Featured Writer" at the Web Del Sol Web site, accessed December 14, 2006
  2. ^ [2] Larimer, Kevin, "The Functions of Conjunctions" article in Poets & Writers Web site, "News & Trends" section, undated but around October 2001, according to the article, accessed December 14, 2006
  3. ^ Review of Contemporary Fiction Vol. XX, No. 1 (2000) <>
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  9. ^ Judge's citation, PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing, 2007.
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External links[edit]