2008 – Amber Contains the Sun, co-authored with Sally Clarke, Vivienne Glance, Carol Millner, Flora Smith, funded by the Department of Culture and the Arts WA and launched at the Perth Writers’ Festival in 2009 .
Shane McCauley comments on poems in Amber contains the Sun “Matters metaphysical are also pursued in the poems of Chris Konrad, though there is a constant awareness of quotidian reality as well. The two are brought startlingly together in ‘Saw a Man Falling’, in which the daydreaming cafe customer seems to see a ‘man falling from the sky’ and follows his trajectory in an intriguing demonstration of empathy. The daydreamer, and the reader, is left to interpret Konrad’s vision. Apart from poems that allude to history, science, mythology, art and literature, there is also a keen sense of place. He skilfully paints with words: ‘Silk sand creates miniature crab sculptures /casting long shadows’ (from Middleton Beach).Chris Konrad, like his fellow poets, is fascinated by what can and cannot be expressed, the boundaries of the possible. He concludes ‘ Vipassana Moment’ with ‘What I need to say/ held just between my lips.’”
2012 – Sandfire, co-authored with Flora Smith and Rose Van Son, published by Sunline Press.
William Yeoman of the West Australian said “The depth of talent in these WA writers is breathtaking”
A huge thank you to Julienne van Loon who launched Sandfire. Julienne had this to say about ‘I read my ancestors’:
“Christopher Konrad’s collection, titled “I read my ancestors,” opens the collection. His work travels the north and west, contemplating the Australian landscape and its people. The poem ‘Tree’ caught my attention on first reading. I recognised the cloudless sun’, the ‘red rock ridge’, the glance that ‘reaches contours trilling a Braille outline on the horizon.’ (22). There’s an intimacy and an honesty here with regards to country. And here, as well as elsewhere in the collection, a razor sharp, sometimes unforgiving attentiveness to language. ‘Reflections on sin, suffering, hope and the true way’ is another favourite of mine on first reading. Here, truth is a ‘guillotine’; the poem and its tightrope something upon which we record ‘not the sure steps but only the stumble [and] the falter’ (28). Christopher’s work had me reaching for the dictionary at times; his vocabulary is excellent, and his usage innovative. He has me re-reading, reconsidering, deeply appreciating his work. My taste for Buddhism and for writing about Buddhism was more than satisfied by Christopher’s poem ‘Blood Memories’ – though an interest in physics might equally tantalise here. The subject is time, its queer, discontinuous nature, and the capacity to feel its progress, and its promise in an almost visceral sense. Fascinating. Another personal favourite, towards the end of Christopher’s collection is ‘Shanti’ in which landscape and our place in it, looms large. ‘It is the wind in one’s face that makes one wise,’ he writes. How beautifully true.(38).”
2014 Letters to Mark published by Regime Books.
Go to their web site here
This type of text comes along rarely in Australian poetry; it is one that marries considerable poetic skill with serious philosophical thought through the use of innovative and lively structure and language.
Letters to Mark is an extraordinary piece, and I cannot pretend to follow its many strands of symbolism, philosophy and theology, but I enjoyed the read/ride – like white water rafting without a paddle … there are parts that I could hear being declaimed, read aloud, crying to be performed. Rhetorical, but in a truly charismatic sense …an oceanically rich work …
There are so many stars in the constellation of Letters to Mark. It’s hard to pull threads out of the tapestry, but consider the uncanny resonance of ‘Hymn to Failure’, ‘Ethics of Instinct’, ‘Modernist’, ‘Leap of Faith’, ‘Antinomian’, ‘Finding Don Juan Matus’ and the entire section ‘Half a Century’. Each poem in this collection pulses in its constellation, with the eternal coherence of a multiverse. The narrative power reminds me of Charles Olson’s The Maximus Poems. I look forward to latching on to other novas in this highly original published collection by Christopher Konrad.
Wild and ruthless poetry
2016 Argot published by Pomonal Publishing.
Go to their web site here https://pomonalpublishing.wordpress.com/home/our-blog/
Argot: cant, slang, jargon, vernacular, idiom, patter,
In this collection of poems, Christopher Konrad explores the domain of the personal, perhaps even secret speech; the half hidden languages derived from culture, family, and desire. Employing that slippage of language which only poetry can properly convey – the liminal, free-floating structure of the written or spoken word – enabling it to be just what we make of it, moment by moment, in a changing emotional, cultural, linguistic and historical context.
‘The finely–crafted narrative power of Christopher Konrad’s latest collection Argot is unmistakable. This is a rare poetic volume of far-reaching philosophical insight but with a musical sense for the intimate transactions of everyday life. Konrad’s intonations of history and nature emphasise an Australian immersion yet, at the same time, transcend the limits of a preconceived geographical space. Argot is living proof that poetry is an experience in itself, not merely a representation of experience. I highly recommend this lyrical, thoughtful and expansive work.’ Dr John Ryan, writer, cultural theorist, ethnographer, and Honorary Research Fellow at UWA
Roland Leach, poet and proprietor of Sunline Press, says: “Argot is a great collection; an erudite collection in fact. So many new angles … the number of forms used and everything seemed unexpected and a surprise.”
First prize in the Creatrix Poetry Prize 2009 (WA) for the poem ‘Trakl’; First Prize in the Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2009 (WA) for ‘Thaumaturge’; First Prize and Third Prize in Spilt Ink Poetry Prize 2012; First Prize Glen Philips Poetry Prize 2015. Chris also won First Prize in the Todhunter Literary Award 2012 (WA) for his short story The soldier’s wife also published in the Westerly 58, (1) 2013. He has received many other awards including having his poem ‘Window onto the Bay’ published in The Best Australian Poems 2013.
Judge of Edith Cowan University Talus Poetry Competition 2010 and on the panel judging the Creatrix Prize 2013.
Co-editor and co-author of Breath of the Sea, an anthology of Western Australian poetry, put together under the auspice of the Peter Cowan Writer’s Centre.
Please find Christopher’s PhD thesis ‘Who is it that writes’ at Edith Cowan University
You can purchase a copy of Letters to Mark or Argot here