Condon’s debut collection of poetry was selected by Marcus Jackson as the winner of the 2018 The Journal / Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize. It will be published by Ohio State University Press in spring 2020.

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Through language both reverent and reckless, Katie Condon’s debut collection renders the body a hymn. Praying Naked is Eden in the midst of the fall, the meat of the apple sweet as sex. In this collection, God is a hopeless and dangerous flirt, mothers die and are resurrected, and disappointing lovers run like hell for the margins. With effortless swagger and confessional candor, Condon lays bare the thrill of lust and its subsequent shame. In poems brimming with “the desire / to be desired” by men, by God, by lovers’ other women, by oneself, she renders a world in which wildflowers are coated in ash and dark bedrooms flicker with the blue-light of longing. Our speaker implores like an undressed wound: “is it wrong to feel a hurt kind of beautiful?” Ecstatic and incisive, Praying Naked is a daring sexual and spiritual reckoning by a breathtaking new poet. 

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E-mail Katie: katiecondon2 [at] gmail [dot] com


Praise for Praying Naked

Praying Naked kicks ass and elbows the sky as Condon follows the desire that created her, a gift from her mother. Each prayer is a poem of sacred abandon. Condon is a poet who looks you in the eyes as she sings.
— Joy Harjo, U.S. Poet Laureate

‘Here I am / in a century that has its eyes // shut tight—don’t I know exactly / why I’m here’ . . . So begins Katie Condon’s first collection of poems, which wrestles with belief and flesh in equal measure. God appears alongside lovers, the sacred alongside the profane, with desire—both the ecstasy and weight of it—woven inside and through it all. Consider a line like ‘The stars are what the dead get hard for’ . . . see how it has the power to make us all sit up a little straighter, to (re) consider our place in the universe. Beautiful, thrilling, strange, and surprising—a cautious celebration, a hopeful elegy.
— Nick Flynn, author of I WILL DESTROY YOU and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City