Poet, prize-winning novelist read from their work at Bates

In 2009′s first installment in the Language Arts Live series at Bates College, novelist Magdalena Zurawski and poet CAConrad will read from and discuss their works at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, in Skelton Lounge, Chase Hall, 56 Campus Avenue.

Sponsored by the college’s environmental studies program, English department, the student organization OUTfront, and the John Tagliabue Poetry Fund, this event is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-6326.

The nationally acclaimed Zurawski is won the 2006 Ronald Sukenick American Book Review Prize for Innovative Fiction for her first novel, The Bruise (Fiction Collective 2, 2008). An exercise in voice and sensation, The Bruise follows a young woman, Mā€”, who deals with the repercussions of an encounter with an angel, real or imagined, that leaves a permanent bruise on her forehead.

Zurawski’s previous work has been published in various magazines, including American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets and Talisman. She is a doctoral candidate in the English department of Duke University.

CAConrad’s most recent book of poetry, advanced ELVIS course, will be available in June 2009 from Soft Skull Press. In it, CAConrad explores his love for the King through vignettes and prose poetry. Barbara O’Dair, editor of Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock, describes the collection as, “a set of deadpan, dreamy prose poems work like odd footnotes and musing afterthoughts to a trip to Memphis’s Graceland.”

In 2006, Publisher’s Weekly said that “though he invokes celebrities and poetic mentors from Robert Creeley to Kevin Killian to Courtney Love, the best analogy for the Philadelphia-based Conrad is Allen Ginsberg, who also shocked America with his frankness, denounced hypocrisy in prose poems and in verse declamation, and who also hoped to embody the queer life of his times.”

CAConrad’s poetic roots stem from the heart of Philadelphia, where he grew up as the self-described son of white trash asphyxiation whose childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He is also the author of The Book of Frank (Chax Press, 2009), which won the Gil Ott Book Award.

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