News and Events

Ucross Joins New Partnership Between Pew Fellowships and Artist Residencies

Two writers – CA Conrad and Ken Kalfus – and one composer, Orrin Evans have who been recipients of Pew Fellowships in the Arts will be awarded residencies at the Ucross Foundation in 2012, in a new collaboration that began this year. The partnership includes the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, based in Philadelphia, the Alliance of Artist Communities, the 18th Street Arts Center (Santa Monica), The Banff Centre (Banff, Alberta), Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA), and Ucross. An additional partnership has been initiated between PFA and the MacDowell Colony. For more information on the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, visit www.pcah.org. Read on for further information on CA Conrad and Ken Kalfus.

CA Conrad

People who hear CAConrad read tend to fall in love with him. Living and working in Philadelphia for 25 years, the charismatic, self-taught poet's work falls between poetics, performance, and pedagogy. Conrad'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 collection of poems, The Book of Frank (winner of the Gil Ott Book Award from Chax Press in 2009 and reprinted by Wave Books in 2010), has garnered positive reviews from the Boston Review, Bookforum, and The Huffington Post. He also has five other publications: (Soma)tic Poetry Exercises & Poems (Wave Books, forthcoming in fall 2011); The City Real & Imagined, a collaboration with Frank Sherlock (Factory School, 2010); Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull Press, 2009); (Soma)tic Midge (Faux Press, 2008); and Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull Press, 2006).

Ken Kalfus

Ken Kalfus is the author of two novels, The Commissariat of Enlightenment (2003) and A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and has appeared in several foreign editions, including French and Italian translations. He has also published two collections of stories, Thirst (1998) and Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies (1999), a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Kalfus recently received a Pew Fellowships in the Arts award and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He's written for Harper's, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times. A film adaptation of his short story, "Pu-239," aired on HBO in 2007.

Kalfus was born in New York in 1954, grew up in Plainview, Long Island, and has lived in Paris, Dublin, Belgrade and Moscow. He currently lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron, and their daughter Sky.