Every Pebble Shapes the Mountain: (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals

Every Pebble Shapes the Mountain: (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals

CA Conrad
March 14 to March 18, 2016
Tuition Cost: 
Class Size: 
1-Week Intensive

CAConrad wants us to understand how real it is that 95% of poets stop writing when the demands of our lives take over.  This is a workshop gathering and sharpening our tools to always stay attentive, to always be a poet who sees the creative viability of the world around us no matter what life throws at us. 

If the poet Robert Desnos can write his final manuscript as a prisoner in Auschwitz the bar has been set high for any reasons we may imagine are in front of us to prevent our dedication to poetry.  We will work together to construct writing rituals that create an “extreme present” for our writing, spaces where we get to focus on nothing but the hidden poems existing in the world where we stand.  As the great living sage poet Alice Notley says, “Poetry’s so common hardly anyone can find it.”  Rituals for poetry also reconnect us to one another and the natural cycles of life and help put an end to our alienation from the planet.  NOW is the time to experience how the rituals for creating poems have the power to change us in ways we have yet to fully explore.  I completely believe in the strength of poetry and so can you.  At the end of the course, CA will send each student a set of questions about WHAT EXACTLY is going on in their lives and then build a ritual with them around those particular circumstances.

Academic Year: 


CAConrad has successfully used (Soma)tic poetry rituals to overcome depression after the murder of his boyfriend Earth (aka Mark Holmes). He has also created writing rituals using the night sky to design homemade star constellations, another ritual to experience what the impact of hearing the word “drone” has on the human body, and many others from talking with trees, ghosts, translating Shakespeare’s sonnets with crystals, and coping with the destroyed wilderness of our planet.

His childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. The author of 9 books of poetry and essays, the latest is titled While Standing In Line For Death and is forthcoming from Wave Books (September 2017). He is a Pew Fellow and has also received fellowships from Lannan Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, Banff, RADAR, Flying Ojbect and Ucross. For his books, essays, and details on the documentary The Book of Conrad (Delinquent Films 2016), please visit http://CAConrad.blogspot.com

He has taught (Soma)tic rituals to poets, other writers, dancers, and visual artists. His most recent teaching position is a 2017 spring semester Poetry Master Class at Columbia University in New York City. He has taught at the Jack Kerouac Summer Writing Program at Naropa University for the past seven years. He teaches regularly at Evergreen State College, Pratt Institute, the Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam and the OSU creative writing program in Oregon. He has taught or will soon be teaching at Bard, Bennington, Sarah Lawrence, CalArts, Pomona, California College of the Arts, University of Chicago, University of Wyoming, KW Museum in Berlin, CAC Museum in Vilnius, Zurich University of the Arts, Concordia University in Montreal, Warwick University in England, as well as institutions in Bergen, Toronto, and other cities.