poet, public artist, filmmaker, lyricist
Todd Boss grew up on an 80-acre cattle farm in west central Wisconsin where he helped his parents in garden, field, and forest.
Boss’s 2008 poetry debut, Yellowrocket was followed by Pitch in 2012 and Tough Luck forthcoming in 2017, all from W. W. Norton & Co.
Todd’s poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, The London Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Best American Poetry, and Virginia Quarterly Review, which called Yellowrocket “one of the year’s 10 best poetry books” and awarded Todd the Emily Clark Balch Prize. Yellowrocket was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and was named a Midwest Booksellers’ Honor Book for Poetry. Pitch was also a Minnesota Book Award finalist and won the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award.
Todd is also a public artist. In a 2012 public art installation, Todd anchored 35 oversized life rings in the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis to mark the 5th anniversary of the 35W Bridge collapse. He paired the month-long installation with his 35-poem cycle, “Fragments for the 35W Bridge,” which the Star Tribune printed in its entirety on opening day. The project was a collaboration with Swedish artist Maja Spasova.
Todd’s second installation, a monumental poetry film projection onto the entire block-wide facade of Saint Paul’s historic Union Depot, had its debut in October 2014.
Todd is also a librettist. Todd’s first evening-length song cycle, Panic, a verse retelling of Knut Hamsun’s 1896 novella Pan, premiered in Spring 2014 by Boston Conservatory’s Andy Vores. Boss also collaborates on choral texts frequently with award-winning composer Jake Runestad.
Todd is also a film producer. Todd is the founding Executive and Artistic Director of Motionpoems, the world’s only poetry film company. Motionpoems’ annual season of 12-15 films premieres annually at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Todd lives in Minneapolis where he teaches at the Loft Literary Center, has served on the board of directors of Ten Thousand Things Theater Company, and has been artist in residence at the Target Studio at the Weisman Art Museum of the University of Minnesota.