Publication Date: September 5, 2017
ISBN# 9781940696553 (7x9.75 160pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781940696546 (7x9.75 160pp, limited edition hardcover)
After his boyfriend Earth’s murder, CAConrad was looking for a (Soma)tic poetry ritual to overcome his depression. This new book of 18 rituals and their resulting poems contains that success, along with other political actions and exercises that testify to poetry’s ability to reconnect us and help put an end to our alienation from the planet.
The poems range widely from delightful to gut-wrenching and can move from despair to defiance to exuberance from line to line: “few things tire me more than/ imagining/ reincarnation/ a child/ struggling/ all over again to/ not favor war/ not surrender to greed.” Conrad consistently surprises, and few, if any, American poets are doing more visionary, disorienting, and wonderful work today.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
At its hilt, this book exposes the little tolerance America has for the queer, the abject, and the mystical forces that Conrad and his poetry call home, and not only does it refuse to apologize, this book reclaims loss, all bruised and defiant experiences, and makes them a testament.
Killer drones, institutional homophobia, police violence and racism, ongoing wars, While Standing in Line for Death makes all of these things impossible to ignore, and by waking us up to these realities, this uncompromising and powerful poetry also wakes us up to the agency of tuning into our own bodies and the ways they are joined to the world.
Colin Herd, 3:AM Magazine
CAConrad’s childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He is the author of 9 books of poetry and essays, including While Standing in Line for Death (forthcoming from Wave Books, 2017), and is also the co-editor of Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners. He is a Pew Fellow and has also received fellowships from Lannan Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, Banff, RADAR, Flying Object and Ucross. For his books, essays, and details on the documentary The Book of Conrad (Delinquent Films, 2016), please visit www.CAConrad.blogspot.com.
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