“ ‘Well of course they’re staring, we’re very interesting,’ is the sweet epigraph, attributed to ‘my grandmother,’ for CAConrad’s collection, The Book of Frank (Wave Books). And, my, but all here is interesting; staring cannot be avoided. Through a seductively simple, innocent telling, Frank’s surreal world unfolds in compelling fashion: page-to-page we’re taken on a joyful gallop across an often tragic landscape.
In her afterword to this generous edition, the poet Eileen Myles aptly refers to the poems as ‘extreme miniatures—agonized fables,’ likening CAConrad’s work to Russell Edson’s. These compulsive, comic and grim pieces also call to mind John Berryman’s “Dreamsongs” (Berryman’s Huffy Henry even makes a cameo appearance.)
CAConrad’s visual imagination is a particular strength. To wit—
This is startlingly original poetry. Who wouldn’t stare?”—Open Books: A Poem Emporium, Seattle
CAConrad will read at Open Books this Saturday (April 30) at 7:30 pm, along with the poet Jeremy Halinen.