The Book of Frank: The Power of Manifestation and Writing as Ritual

by Elizabeth Kirwin

A NEW expanded Book of Frank is now available from Wave Books in Seattle. What a SMART move for Wave Books to publish an expanded Book of Frank. Buy it NOW.

CAConrad's Book Launch in Philadelphia on February 15th: The Book of Frank.  In the minds of some writers lives that contagious and continuous subject which captivates their own imagination and constitutes their best work.  The Book of Frank is such a creation.

Manuscripts, like writers, have whole lives to reveal, and histories to be told. Frank began his journey in this world circa the early 1990s when CAConrad first began to write and perform The Book of Frank.  Frank was published in chapbook form by Insight to Riot Press in Philadelphia in 1996. During a benefit reading for Short Mountain Sanctuary in Philadelphia, Frank was introduced to the faery community that same year. CAConrad painted himself blue and read as “faery krishna.”

Frank has been around.  Already. His antics are well loved by many and hated by authority, which makes us love Frank even more. My own father picked this book up by accident and quickly put it down when he read the first poem about Frank’s father, looking for his daughter’s cunt.

photo: Janet Mason was a founding member of Insight to Riot Press.

Janet Mason was one of the Insight to Riot founders.
Yet we never seem to tire of Frank’s wonder and fuck you attitude about the world.  Because here he is again, taking another turn at us, his public.

As Jim Cory, one of the founders of Insight to Riot press put it kindly, Frank excited Jonathan Williams, founder of Jargon Society, who wanted to publish him in Jim Coryfull length form.  Alas, Frank was held up in the brambles of Scaly Mountain for some 13 years. Williams was laid to rest before Frank would make it to print. The cover of The Book of Frank is a testament to the fact that Jonathan Williams was working with the manuscript and the poet to refine its contents and present Frank to the world again.  The cover art, by Hak Vogrin, was originally selected by Williams to illustrate the entire book. One of Vogrin’s pieces graces the front cover.

So, how did Frank sneak away from Scaly Mountain in the Highlands of North Carolina and find his way back to Philadelphia? CAConrad won the Gil Ott book award in 2008. The Book of Frank was published by Chax Press in 2009 as his, and our, reward.

photo: Thom Donovan, and many from literary Philadelphia were on hand for the book launch. CAConrad handed out chocolate to the crowd.

Tom Donovan

I am happy the entire book was finally published in Philadelphia, because it was certainly written in the city. How do I know this? CAConrad is a longtime Philadelphian. And, I lived with Frank for nearly three years — that’s how I know.

People have asked CAConrad what Frank looks like.  I cannot really tell and I don’t care anyway.
I can say that Frank is funky, smart, daring — even dangerous — and he has a wicked sense of humor.

(Click the links below to listen to Frank audio poems.)

Frank is an accomplished magician. He can conjure anything at will and shapeshift in an instant. He sees right through the disguises of others and when they deceive him he goes for the jugularFrank is a lover of men, but for some reason he keeps a wife. Frank’s mother is a monster towards him, and Frank’s father loves him even less. Frank is not just the product of a dysfunctional family and a non-comformist, he whips up a heap of trouble wherever he goes.  He’s outspoken, righteous, and sometimes quite cruel or exceedingly loving towards others in public.

In essence, Frank lives up to his name quite well.

Visit for more information about the poet or email CAConrad directly to book a reading.