Born in New Zealand (12/18/42), Conrad is an
internationally acclaimed poet, playwright and
"outsider" artist. She is the author of three books.
Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and
magazines in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the
U.K. They have also been widely anthologized (The
Oxford Book of Modern New Zealand Poetry, Kiwi and
Emu, and The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand
Conrad’s first book - This Fig Tree Has Thorns - is considered a modern-day classic. A French translation, published by Infrablu Press in Paris in 1996, sold out within two weeks. She is also represented in the Bloomsbury Book of Women Writers (U.K.) and has been the subject of several documentary films, including one that is now in progress. Conrad's paintings and clay icons have been exhibited in major galleries in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
Groping in darkness, I erect MY BELOVED at the centre of my creative life. Around this sticky mandala, I spin. All the while the heart screams in its rickety cage... for love... love. I use the object of my of my desire to peg down the abstract ideas I'm secretly courting. I court the abstract... The bulwark of love is the artifice I use... I must work secretly, in hidden places. I must not draw attention to the fact I'm groping under life's yoke. I must feed the fires - the fires of torment, the fires of desire - where love is crucified by its own purpose. For these fires, I choose the largest and juiciest logs... It's the idea behind the idea behind the idea one winsomely suckles...
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