Poet CAConrad grew up in Pennsylvania, where he helped to support his single mother during his difficult youth. Influenced by Eileen Myles, Audre Lorde, Alice Notley, and Emily Dickinson, he writes poems in which stark images of sex, violence, and defiance build a bridge between fable and confession. In a 2010 interview with Luke Degnan for BOMB Magazine’s BOMBlog, Conrad discussed his approach to poetry, which focuses on process and on engaging the permeability of the border between self and other. “Ultimately, I want my (Soma)tic poetry and poetics to help us realize at least two things. That everything around us has a creative viability with the potential to spur new thinking and imaginative output and that the most necessary ingredient to bringing the sustainable, humane changes we need and want for our world requires creativity in all lives, every single day.” In a 2010 review of The Book of Frank for Jacket Magazine, poet Eileen Myles observes, “In Conrad’s world the parameters are deliberately unknowable because that is the nature of our time. In piecing together, configuring and releasing his extreme miniatures—agonized fables, poems about America. CAConrad includes us all in the enormous outside of his heart. Which is the world in all its possibility.”
He is the author of seven books, the latest is titled While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017). He is a 2015 Headlands Art Fellow, and has also received fellowships from Lannan Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Banff, Ucross, RADAR, and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. He conducts workshops on (Soma)tic Poetry and Ecopoetics.