CAConrad has worked with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual since 1975. As a young poet, CA lived in Philadelphia, where they lost many loved ones during the early years of the AIDS crisis, as documented in the essay, "SIN BUG: AIDS, Poetry, and Queer Resilience in Philadelphia." The center of the Philadelphia poetry community at the time was Etheridge Knight, Sonia Sanchez, Essex Hemphill, and Gil Ott. CA's other influences include Emily Dickinson, Audre Lorde, Eileen Myles, Will Alexander, and Alice Notley.
In 2005 CA began working with (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals. The poems in CA's latest book AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration (Wave Books, 2021) 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. 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."
CA 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, Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong, and as part of the 2021 Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art. In 2022 there was a solo exhibition of CA's poems in FLUENT Gallery in Santander, Spain, which Alex Alonso curated, titled "13 Moons: Listen to the Golden Boomerang's Return." In Brighton, England, CA's poem "Glitter in My Wounds" is the title of a new exhibition of emerging artists. In 2023 there will be a solo exhibition of CA's poems at Batalha Centro de Cinema in Porto, Portugal, curated by Alice dos Reis and Pedro Neves Marques, titled "Hidden in the Cave We Forge of One Another."
In 2023 CA will celebrate the 30th anniversary of writing The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010), which is now available in 9 different languages. Penguin UK will soon release a new edition of The Book of Frank and a selection of (Soma)tic poetry rituals and their resulting poems. CA is also the author of 9 other books of poetry, which include While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017), ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Wave Books, 2014), and A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics (Wave Books, 2012). Along with Robert Dewhurst and Joshua Beckman, CA co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015).
They received a Creative Capital grant, a Pew Fellowship, a Lambda Literary Award, and a Believer Magazine Book Award. Their play The Obituary Show was made into a film in 2022 by Augusto Cascales. They currently live in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and will teach at UMass, Amherst, in the MFA creative writing program from fall 2022 to spring 2023. They teach at Columbia University in New York City and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Please visit their website linktr.ee/CAConrad88