Born on January 1, 1966, in Topeka, Kansas, CAConrad is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return (Wave Books, 2024), You Don’t Have What It Takes to Be My Nemesis (Penguin UK, 2023), Amanda Paradise: Resurrect Extinct Vibration (Wave Books, 2021); While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017); Ecodeviance: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Wave Books, 2014); Philip Seymour Hoffman (were you high when you said this?) (Worms Press, 2014); A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics (Wave Books, 2012); and The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010), recipient of the Gil Ott Book Award. They also authored a book of nonfiction essays, Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull Press, 2009).
CAConrad is known for their development of (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals. Former U.S. 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.”
About their work, poet Eileen Myles writes,
[CAConrad] always argues (from the inside of their poems) for a poetry of radical inclusivity while keeping a very queer shoulder to the wheel. Their kind of queerness strikes me as non-polarizing, not intentionally but because of the fullness of their exposition, a kind of gigantism that seems to me to be most deeply informed by love, and a tenderness for the ravages and tumult of existence.
CAConrad’s honors include a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a PEN Josephine Miles Award, a Creative Capital grant, a Lambda Literary Award, and fellowships from the Banff Art Center, the Lannan Foundation, MacDowell, Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Poetry Foundation, and Ucross Foundation. CAConrad conducts lectures and workshops on (Soma)tics and Ecopoetics.
CAConrad exhibits their poems as art objects in places such as Futura Gallery in Prague, Robert Grunenberg Gallery in Berlin, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York City, Vielmetter Gallery in Lost Angels, Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong, the Deering Estate in Miami, Batalha Centro de Cinema in Porto, Portugal, and other places. In 2022 there was a solo exhibition of CAConrad’s poems in FLUENT Gallery in Santander, Spain, which Alex Alonso curated, titled “13 Moons.”
CAConrad teaches at Columbia University in New York City and at the Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. They live in Greenfield, Massachusetts.