2011 Pew Fellow

1/4: CAConrad, 2011 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.
2/4: Excerpt from CAConrad’s The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010).
3/4: “Touch Yourself for Art” by CAConrad.
4/4: “Lemongrass” by CAConrad.

“The reader is as creative as the writer, filtering poems through experience. A poem is a thousand poems if a thousand different people read it.”

Living and working in Philadelphia for 25 years, CAConrad’s (b. 1966) work falls between poetics, performance, and pedagogy. The charismatic, self-taught poet’s most visionary works are writings he calls “(Soma)tic poetry,” instructions and recipes that invite the reader-listener into deeply embodied experiences. “The aim of (Soma)tic poetry and poetics is the realization of two things about my work,” writes Conrad. “One: Everything around me has the potential to spur new modes of thought and imaginative output. Two: The most vital ingredient to bringing humane, sustainable changes to our world is creativity. Poetry and other art disciplines are forms of courage.”

Conrad’s publications include The Book of Frank (winner of the Gil Ott Book Award from Chax Press in 2009 and reprinted by Wave Books in 2010); The City Real & Imagined, a collaboration with Frank Sherlock (Factory School, 2010); Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull Press, 2009); and Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull Press, 2006), and others. In 2012, Wave Books published A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon (2012), a collection of 27 new and previously published exercises and their emerging poems. Of this book, Sean Singer of The Rumpus writes: “The (Soma)tic exercises are innovative and crucial to our art form. Conrad must be one of the most original practitioners of poetry forging new territory.”

Conrad has participated in several artists residencies with support from the Center: the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming in late summer 2012; the Leighton Artists’ Colony at Banff, Canada, in April 2013; and the MacDowell Colony in fall 2013.


Raphael Xavier presents Raphstravaganza, a contemporary circus-style performance featuring street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Conductor Mark Shapiro is music director of the Prince Edward Island Symphony, and artistic director of Cantori New York and the Monmouth Civic Chorus.

Grants & Grantees

At age 33, Germaine Ingram (Pew Fellow, 2010) took up dance under the tutelage of a Philadelphia tap legend, the late LaVaughn Robinson (a 1992 Pew Fellow).

Collaborators & Colleagues

A conductor of opera and of choral-and-orchestral works, Robert Porco has been the director of choruses for the Cleveland Orchestra since 1998.

Grants & Grantees

In 1993 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 16 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 13 dance organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

Located outside of West Philadelphia, The Woodlands Trust for Historic Preservation is a 54-acre, 18th-century garden, cemetery, and mansion that offers the public one of the nation’s most architecturally sophisticated neoclassical houses from the years following the American Revolution.

Grants & Grantees

James Sugg (Pew Fellow, 2010) describes himself as a bridge—a bridge between music and theater, composer and performer, and traditional and ensemble-generated theater.

Pew Fellow and Philadelphia Poet Laureate Yolanda Wisher leads a poetry workshop and story circle in Historic Germantown.

In its 20th anniversary season, Orchestra 2001 presented An Opera, an Operetta, and a Songbook, a three-part performance of orchestral vocal compositions.

Pew Fellow Christopher Colucci on his progression from musician to sound designer, the music and books that inspire him, and more.

Grants & Grantees

Classical Arab musician Kinan Abou-afach (Pew Fellow, 2013) was born in Damascus, Syria, where he learned traditional Arabic repertoire on the oud, an Arabic lute.

Dancer, choreographer, and Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier tells the autobiographical story of an artistic journey defined by sacrifice, passion, and transcendence.