Thursday, January 28, 2010

The other day, when I compared CA Conrad with Ben Franklin, I wasn’t just being cute or snarky. I had something specific in mind. CA is the glue in Philadelphia, a role more or less parallel to the one that the late Gil Ott was taking when I first moved here in 1995, the lone figure who appears to be known, respected, even loved by people in every literary scene in this quite diverse city. As Franklin was to civil society in Philadelphia in the late 18th century, Conrad is to Philly’s literary community of the 21st – the indispensible person. Conrad holds no teaching position at any of the region’s universities & has never received a Pew Fellowship or MacArthur, but is himself as crucial to the vitality of poetry here as any institution we have. Here is a video that CA did for A. Lee Abelson’s Poeteevee, which is off to a great start.