Winner of the 2022 PEN Josephine Miles Award for Poetry
Winner of the 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
Former United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith wrote in the New York Times, “CAConrad's poems invite the reader to become an agent in a joint act of recovery, to step outside of passivity and propriety and to become susceptible to the illogical and the mysterious.” The poems in AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration reach out from a (Soma)tic poetry ritual where CA flooded their body with the field recordings of recently extinct animals. Foundational here are the memories of loved ones who died of AIDS, the daily struggle of existing through the Corona Virus pandemic, and the effort to arrive at a new way of falling in love with the world as it is, not as it was.
It is safe to say that Amanda Paradise will more than likely become a definitive text in terms of how poetry effectively articulated the COVID pandemic as a symptom of a bigger issue: governmental violence that affects not only humans, but animals and the earth itself. And yet it is also noteworthy for the way in which Conrad utilizes their poetic voice as a force for empowerment and strength, as a way to resist and transcend political oppression. This is what truly makes their work special and meaningful.
Andrea Syzdek, Against the Grain
This book cements CAConrad as a deeply original voice committed to plumbing humanity's plights in unusual ways.
Starred review in Publishers Weekly
In Amanda Paradise, past and future lives collide; entire epochs pass in one line-break; extinct bodies and feelings are resurrected so that CAConrad can reclaim a little more time(lessness).
Jay Ying, Poetry Foundation
But if rooted firmly in the frequency of the immediate world, the poems are equally oriented to the horizon.
Poets & Writers
In addition to being the latest addition to CAConrad’s eminently interesting but confounding body of work, it might just be the most interesting-yet-confounding to date.
Kevin O'Rourke, Michigan Quarterly Review
Conrad is a great example of a poet whose work invests in the ritual performance of writing — more so, one might say, than investing in the poem as a product itself, if one wants to divide the product from the process.
Eric Shoemaker, Jacket2
Despite the strains of grief and loss thread through these poems, the shapes and gestures of Amanda Paradise display a high level of formal inventiveness, play and even joyfulness. Honestly, there is such a sense of joyous celebration and of acknowledging the small moments and gestures...that CAConrad appears to refuse to let go, despite whatever else might occur. And in the end, perhaps this might be the very key to our ongoing emotional health, if not even our continued survival.
Rob Mclennan, Periodicities: A Journal of Poetry and Poetics
The beautiful poems in Amanda Paradise are gifts and time capsules, sharp in their capturing of the present and majestic in their ability to offer shards of what else could be possible.
Britt McGillivray, Minola Review
Living all time all the time / Not just preparing but living with past, present, future selves / The moments that would bring us to our knees
Xan Schwartz, Cleveland Review of Books
CAConrad has been working with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual since 1975. Their latest books are Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return (forthcoming, 2024) and AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration (Wave Books, 2021). The Book of Frank is now available in nine different languages. Other titles include While Standing in Line for Death, ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tic for the Future Wilderness, and A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics. They received a Creative Capital grant, a Pew Fellowship, a Lambda Literary Award, and a Believer Magazine Book Award. With Robert Dewhurst and Joshua Beckman, they co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners. In 2022 Augusto Cascales made a film of their play The Obituary Show. They recently had their first solo exhibition at Fluent Gallery in Santander, Spain, titled 13 Moons: Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return. They teach at Columbia University in New York City and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Please visit them online at https://linktr.ee/CAConrad88.
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
ISBN# 9781950268429 (6.5 x 9, 136pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781950268436 (6.5 x 9, 136pp, limited edition hardcover)