#PoetryMonth – Poet @CameronConaway

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To keep with the idea of helping readers discover new poets, I’d like to bring Cameron Conaway to everyone’s attention. Long-time readers of A Life Among the Pages may remember one of my early reviews from years ago of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet. The book is a memoir from Cameron Conaway. It’s one of my favorite memoirs, even to this day. But, even to a big fan of Conaway’s writing like I am, I haven’t gone out there and read much of his poetry. I’d like to help make sure this isn’t the case for others.

I can’t go on and on about how great a poet he is, but I can help direct you to some of his work so you can see for yourself. Below you’ll see a bit about two of his collections. If you consider getting a copy of any, I might suggest looking at Malaria. Conaway is very active in spreading the word about the dangers and issues surrounding Malaria, worldwide. This collection is only one of the ways in which he’s doing this.

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Until You Make the ShoreFour fictionalized female juveniles represent each of the four levels from a juvenile detention center’s Restorative Justice Model. With this as structure, Until You Make the Shore inhabits the humanity of mind, justice and traumatic childhood as it carves its way through systems and harsh realities to find where empathy shines.

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Malaria, PoemsMalaria kills nearly one million people each year. Hundreds of millions more are sickened by the disease, and many of them are permanently disabled. Billions are spent each year to understand it. Researchers know the molecular details of the interaction between the mosquito and our own red blood cells, and the myriad ways in which malaria impacts the global economy and the advancement of humanity. But what of the public? Though its story is told in thousands of articles and in hundreds of books, many in the developed world are unaware of how prevalent malaria still is. Malaria, Poems testifies to the importance of bridging the chasm between science and art. It adds thread to a tattered and tragic global narrative; it is poetry’s attempt to reawaken care in a cold case that keeps killing. According to Cicero the aim of the orator is threefold: to teach, to delight, and to move. Poets during the renaissance embraced this idea, and Malaria, Poems reinvigorates it. Allen Ginsberg called for a poetry of social consciousness, a “bare knuckle warrior poetics.” Cameron Conaway, a former MMA fighter, offers Malaria, Poems both as a response to Ginsberg’s call and as a new call to contemporary poetry.

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To check out Conaway’s other work:

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Chittagong: Poems and Essays

Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet

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About the Author:

Cameron Conaway is a former MMA fighter and the author of 5 books, including Malaria Poems, which was named a “Best Book of 2014” by NPR, and Chittagong, which was praised by the Child Labor Coalition. He leads content marketing at Flow, a task management app used by teams at Tesla Motors, PayPal and Harvard University, among others. As a journalist, he has received the 2015 Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Fellowship. Conaway’s writing has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and can be found in publications such as Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review and Newsweek.

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