Pittsburgh: Release at the Cathedral of Learning

On Thursday, April 26th, the University of Pittsburgh’s Contemporary Writers Series hosted a reading by Philadelphia-based poets, CAConrad and Debrah Morkun.

Debrah Morkun recited incantatory poems from her new book of poetry, The Ida Pingala.  She is also the author of Projection Machine.  Her poems are inspired by experiences like hunting down an abandoned amusement park (initially seen in a recurring dream) in Northern Ohio.  She curates Jubilant Thicket Literary Series as well as General Idea in Philadelphia, PA.        

CA Conrad read from his new book of poetry, A BEAUTIFUL MARSUPIAL AFTERNOON: New (Soma)tics and his previous book of poetry, The Book Of Frank.   The Book of Frank begins with a quote attributed to Conrad’s grandmother: “well of course they’re staring, we’re very interesting.A fist-sized quartz crystal hung from his neck as he read the somatic exercises from his new book, which urge poets to do things like “Predict your death every morning for a fortnight,” and “Allow a storm to thoroughly soak a piece of bread and then eat the bread with an uncomfortable slowness.”  CA Conrad is the recipient of the 2011 Pew Fellowship in the Arts for poetry.  He is also the author of Advanced Elvis Course, Deviant Propulsion, (Soma)tics Midge, and  The City Real & Imagined (in collaboration with Frank Sherlock).

The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series’ events are held in the Cathedral of Learning as well as in Frick Fine Arts, both of which are located in Oakland, on Pitt’s campus.  The events are free to the public.  The next event will be on September 24th (location yet to be announced) and Natasha Trethewey, author of Domestic Work, Bellocq’s Ophelia, and Native Guard, will be reading.  She is the recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, the inaugural 1999 Cave Canem poetry prize, among others.  Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry on several occasions.

Coming from downtown, the public buses, 61A, 67A, and 67B arrive in Oakland (Pitt’s campus).  Coming from the airport, the 28X arrives in Oakland.

–Robert Keiser