Todd Boss

poet, public artist, filmmaker, lyricist
 
 

Todd Boss, a critically-acclaimed poet, librettist, public artist, and film producer, holds a diverse career with a passion for collaboration. His works for both page and stage, have been read and produced throughout the world.

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.

With a strong sensitivity to the marriage of words and music, Todd has worked closely with composers as a librettist and lyricist. His first evening-length opera, Panic, a verse retelling of Knut Hamsun’s 1896 novella Pan and collaboration with Boston Conservatory’s Andy Vores, premiered in 2014. Most frequently, Boss collaborates on libretti for choral and dramatic works with award-winning composer Jake Runestad. Together, Todd and Jake have written commissioned works for the Choral Arts Society of Washington D.C., the Dallas Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, the Larimer Chorale & Orchestra, Cal State Long Beach, and others. Their collaborations have been heard around the world at venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall.

Deeply interested in allowing anyone to encounter meaningful art, 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’s passion for helping contemporary poetry reach a wider audience led him to become 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 and has had showings across the country from Los Angeles to New York City. More at motionpoems.org

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. Learn more at toddbosspoet.com
 
 

Condensed Bio for Musical Collaborations

 
Todd Boss, a critically-acclaimed poet, librettist, public artist, and film producer, holds a diverse career with a passion for collaboration. His works for both page and stage, have been read and produced throughout the world. 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. Boss frequently collaborates on libretti for choral and dramatic works with award-winning composer Jake Runestad. Together, Todd and Jake have written commissioned works for the Choral Arts Society of Washington D.C., the Dallas Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, the Larimer Chorale & Orchestra, Cal State Long Beach, and others. Their collaborations have been heard around the world at venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall. 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. Learn more at toddbosspoet.com