Todd Boss

Todd (Ryan) Boss (born December 6, 1968) is an American poet, installation artist, and film producer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has published several collections of poetry and contributed to literary journals. He has also produced a large body of poetry intended for musical setting, most frequently in collaboration with the composer Jake Runestad.

Todd Boss
Born(1968-12-06)December 6, 1968
Marshfield, Wisconsin, United States
OccupationPoet, installation artist, film producer
Alma materSt Olaf College


Boss was born in Marshfield, Wisconsin,[1][2][3] but raised until age six on a dairy farm in Colby, Wisconsin, when his parents moved to a cattle farm in Fall Creek, Wisconsin. He attended St. Olaf College from 1987 to 1991, earning a BA in English and speech-theater. He then pursued graduate studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage between 1992 and 1994, earning an MFA in creative writing. In Minneapolis, he teaches at the Loft Literary Center and has been an artist-in-residence at the Weisman Art Museum of the University of Minnesota.[citation needed] He is the father of two children.[citation needed]

Activities and awardsEdit

Collections of poetry authored by Todd Boss include Yellowrocket (2008),[4] Pitch (2012) and Tough Luck. His poems have also appeared in Poetry, the American Poetry Review, The London Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Best American Poetry, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, which awarded Todd its Emily Clark Belch Prize in 2009 for his collection Yellowrocket. Pitch won the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award in 2012.[5][6]

As an installation artist, Boss created a 2012 memorial to a 2007 bridge collapse in Minneapolis in collaboration with the Swedish artist Maja Spasova. The installation was paired with a cycle of 35 poems: “Fragments for the 35W Bridge”.[7] He also arranged for a monumental poetry film projection onto the façade of the historic Union Depot in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2014.[8]

As an author of poetry for musical setting, Boss has collaborated with Jake Runestad on four choral works: And So I Go On, Waves, One Flock, and Ave Verum. He also wrote the poetry for the song cycle Panic by Andy Vores, which was first performed at the Boston Conservatory in 2014.

Boss is the founding executive and artistic director of Motionpoems, a poetry film company. Motionpoems has produced over 100 short adaptions of poetry that have premiered at the Walker Art Center, the Hammer Museum, and other venues.[9]

Poetry collectionsEdit

  • Yellowrocket (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008), ISBN 9780393067682
  • Pitch (New York: W.W. Norton, 2012), ISBN 9780393345520
  • Tough Luck (New York: W.W. Norton, 2017), ISBN 9780393608625


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  4. ^ Leo, Katie (March 2009). "Todd Boss: A Generous New Voice in American Poetry". Utne Reader. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
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  7. ^ "Readers' I-35W bridge poems inspire". Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 3, 2012.
  8. ^ Colossal Film Installation to Transform Union Depot.
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External linksEdit