C A Conrad is a poet whose work caught me from the first page of a book I picked up in the excellent English language bookshop, St George’s, in Berlin.
I briefly exchanged emails with him over whether he was ever going to get around to recording a reading of the entirety of The Book Of Frank. He asked why I would want that, maybe to listen to in the car? Not that he had a car, but some people might want to, right? (He also said something nice about my writing, which probably made my 2012 — and you can read my younger thoughts here).
The Book Of Frank is that kind of longer narrative poem where you can try and piece together the whole through the shards of a broken kaleidoscope — while you can gather a general impression of the overall arc of the poem, it’s often more interesting to wallow in the strange imagery of each individual poem itself in the 131 of the book.
Later works, such as — A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon — which I feel is a kind of sleeper cell of a book that is less consumed critically at the time of reading, but instead plants deep and interesting ideas about process that slowly bloom into a powerful love for the book and it’s author.
Each poem is accompanied by the ritual that was used to make the writer present enough in the world to write the poem. These rituals are strange, bodily things, that if you try aspects of you’ll soon not be able to untie from the world. Maybe we should all be spending our time on rituals to make the world more real.
Andrew Ridker, over at The Paris Review, talks about C A Conrad’s work this week, in a kind of biographical retrospective that should give anyone not familiar with him some deeper insight into the poet’s background.
As soon as I have any cash in my pockets I am rushing out to buy this issue of The White Review — which includes regularly worshipped regulars of this newsletter such as Anne Carson and Claire-Louise Bennett.
Thanks for reading this week’s Etch To Their Own. Sorry it’s only a mini one. I have read less poetry this week than I have for some time, I guess that is because I own all my hours and I am probably panicking about using them for making cash somehow. I will get back to it when I understand the balance of my life a little better I suppose. Thank you for understanding. As always Etch To Their Own was written by @CJEggett — a man in search of praise as good as this one day. I miss you all very much. I hope to be at the beach tomorrow bright and early, searching for haikus in the rockpools.