Poet Todd Boss grew up on a cattle farm in Wisconsin, and was educated at St. Olaf College and the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he received an MFA. Boss’s pared-down, idea-driven poems are propelled by internal rhyme and balance clarity with a nuanced attention to sound. “I think of poems as pieces of music, or a work of architecture,” he told the Utne Reader in 2009. “The poem is a space that you’re inviting someone into for a time. I think a lot about how to build it, how they feel when they’re there, and how they will exit.” Critic Elizabeth Lund observed in a review of Yellowrocket for the Christian Science Monitor that Boss “balanc[es] raw beauty with traditionally poetic topics: growing up on a farm, marriage, and fatherhood. . . . Boss’s writing aches with subtle music, insight, and clearsighted compassion.”
His first poetry collection, Yellowrocket (2008), was named one of the 10 best poetry books of 2008 by Virginia Quarterly Review and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. His second book, Pitch (2012) won the Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award for Poetry. His honors include the Emily Clark Balch Prize for Poetry from Virginia Quarterly Review and the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award. He has also received several Pushcart Prize nominations, a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, and a residency with the Ragdale Foundation. His poetry has been featured on National Public Radio and in former U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser’s newspaper column, “American Life in Poetry.”
Boss is the founding editor of Flurry, an online poetry journal, co-founder of Motionpoems, a non-profit poetry film initiative, and a founding member of the book marketing think-team Squad 365. He lives in Saint Paul with his family.
Poems By TODD BOSS
- More poems by Todd Boss (16 poems)
Audio & PodcastsPoetry Radio Project
"Apple Slices" by Todd Boss
Todd Boss talks about farm life and reads a poem inspired by food for The Splendid Table.
The Effect of Small Things
Poems from Marie Ponsot, Laura Kasischke, Todd Boss, Campbell McGrath, and Kathleen Jamie; plus C.K. Williams on the foreboding of environmental doom.