Monday, May 7, 2018

THE CITY REAL & IMAGINED by CAConrad & Frank Sherlock

Cover photo by Zoe Strauss

The City Real & Imagined

CAConrad & Frank Sherlock

6 x 9 inches / 92 pages
Publication date: May 15
ISBN: 978-0-9965868-9-4
$16

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Bloof Books is thrilled to be reissuing this book-length sequence by CAConrad and Frank Sherlock. Written collaboratively after daily walks through the streets of Philadelphia, the sequence is a natural extension of their friendship and lives as poets in a shared place. 

"This city was/is ours," says Sherlock, "as it is for everyone who lives here, loves here and hates here, for better or worse." "We met at LOVE Park each time, a dozen times total," explains Conrad. "We alternated who would lead the walk through the city, so the experiences were shared. This is a collaboration of shared absorption of Philadelphia, and not at all written in that pass-the-paper back and forth kind of way. This is collaboration on a scale of sensory trust, trust in each other's abilities, trust in what each other will provide for the day, and for the poem."

Out of print for several years, this updated edition has been completely redesigned and expanded, with a cover photo by Zoe Strauss and an afterword by Thom Donovan.


Reviews

"Too often we forget about the 'human' in human geography. This book reminds us that every city is a peopled space. As Carl Sauer writes in his 'Foreword to Historical Geography,' 'We know that habitat must be referred to habit, that habit is the activated learning common to a group, and that it may be endlessly subject to change.' What Conrad and Sherlock really enliven in their book is this sense of 'activated' or 'active learning' that is (and should) be 'endlessly subject to change.' Cities change. Places change. 'Oh bondage up / yours. We echo this in different languages.'"
 —erica kaufman, Jacket2

"In The City Real & Imagined a polyphony of voices speak through Conrad’s and Sherlock's exchanges. Or, to be more specific, Conrad and Sherlock speak with these voices; such voices are not just ethnographic curiosities but come from people the poets see around, talk with, and with whom they share a conversation. Through this conversation with Philadelphia’s neglected, Conrad and Sherlock argue for an open public discourse against American hermeticism." 
—Thom Donovan, Poetry Foundation

"Their works, their lines are made as if
written and photographed
by the street itself
as if the street had eyes (which would be Zoe's lens)
and tongues to speak in honest spurts,
which would be Conrad's contrarian joy bursts
and which would be Frank's calibrated quirks,
the lurks and twists of his combinations:
the pretzel vendor, the 10 dollar T-shirts,
the project roof,
the guy who pushes
that metal-filled shopping cart—
their writing, their art
intertwining, to manifest the frankest proof
of the real, to state and articulate un-conned truth." 
—Rachel Blau DuPlessis (read the rest)

About the authors


CAConrad is the author of 9 books of poetry and essays, the latest is titled While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017). A recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts for Literature, they also received the Believer Magazine Book Award and the Gil Ott Book Award. CA is currently working on a (Soma)tic poetry ritual titled, "Resurrect Extinct Vibration," which investigates effects the vibrational absence of recently extinct species has on the body of the poet and the poems. They teach regularly at the Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam, and their books, essays, films, interviews, rituals and other publications can be found online at http://bit.ly/88CAConrad

Frank Sherlock is the author of Space Between These Lines Not Dedicated, Over Here, The City Real & Imagined (w/ CAConrad), and a collaboration with Brett Evans entitled Ready-to-Eat Individual. Poems beyond the page have found their forms in installations, performances, and exhibitions, including Organize Your Own: The Politics & Poetics of Self-Determination. He is a 2013 Pew Fellow and 2014–15 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia.

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