Text Box:  	A conference on the work of James Purdy was convened October 24-25, 2003 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. On the evening of October 24th, the conference began with a reading of James Purdy’s one act play Dangerous Moonlight by local actors under the direction of Michael Bennett, one of several university graduate students in English who helped with various aspects of the conference. The next day, the intimate conference featured nine speakers and an audience of perhaps fifty persons, many of whom were students in a university course that featured Purdy’s fiction. Conference participants and presenters came from as far away as Vietnam, Washington and Oregon.
	The delightful keynote address, “Deliverer of the Tales of the Ones Excluded from the Dream” by Donald E. Pease, Jr. from Dartmouth College, energized everyone. It was followed by three panels, one composed of writers who admire Mr. Purdy and two composed of scholars. The writers included Matthew Stadler, author of The Sex Offender and other novels, who discussed “James Purdy and the Theater of Real Speech, 1967-1974,” Noy Holland, author of The Spectacle of the Body: Stories, who spoke on “The Origin and Allure of Instability in James Purdy’s Short Fiction,” and Gerald Rosen, author of Blues for a Great Nation and other novels. Rosen was too ill to attend in person, but the session chair, Matthew Schmidt, invited the conference convener, Joseph T. Skerrett, Jr., to read Rosen’s amusing memoir, “Befriending James Purdy, 1969-1973”.
	At the lunch break, panelists, conference staff and many attendees of the conference discussed the formation of a James Purdy Society over sandwiches and salads. All agreed with Joseph Skerrett’s suggestion that a Society would help significantly to keep James Purdy’s work in the public eye and in the classroom. Dennis Moore agreed to assume the responsibility for spearheading the project of organizing (Continued on page 2)
Text Box: James Purdy Conference Held in Amherst, Massachusetts

James Purdy


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Past Intervews with James Purdy...

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James Purdy’s Books in Print


“Adeline” By James Purdy

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“Nipples” By

James Purdy


James Purdy

Society News/Info


Text Box: From Past Interviews with James Purdy...
Text Box: People have no respect, no empathy for other people; they have no sense of who other people are. There's a kind of withering away of the human sensibility, and this leads to the collapse of just about everything.
My writing is concerned with the soul, with the unknown forces of the psyche. A British writer said I write under the skin, which I liked. In a spiritual sense, the real life of man is going on inside. It's not what he says or does, it's something else. The only way, I think, one can get in touch with that is in dreams, either sleeping or waking...not a trance like stage, but going beyond the conscious. I think maybe that distinguishes the two kinds of writing: there is the muse kind and the journalistic kind. I feel that the stories and subjects "come" to me, because when I try to seek them, they elude me. Consequently, I don't write for anyone. I write for the soul. If you really tell yourself  the truth, you've told everyone.  
This doesn't come easily at all. It's all a matter of psychic energy, of getting in touch with what you're looking for. (Continued on page 2)
Text Box: James Purdy and the Works
Text Box: May 2004
Text Box: Volume 1, Issue 1

Publicity Photo of James Purdy Printed with Permission (1961)

Publicity Photo of James Purdy Courtesy of John Uecker