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BOOK: Pitch

Todd's second poetry collection from W. W. Norton & Company, Pitch, was a 2012-13 finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and won the Midwest Bookseller's Choice Award, among other honors.

There is a rich physicality in

all of Todd Boss’s poems, a reverent

gusto for representing the tactile aspects of human life. His poems are about

matter in motion… The poems in Pitch are never pretentious but always

acrobatic, sensuous, technically

inventive, muscular, and fun.

Tony Hoagland

To say that the poems in Pitch tend toward music is to state the obvious. Consider the multiple meanings of the book’s title. Consider the collection’s table of contents: poems called “Three Funeral Songs” or “A Waltz for the Lovelorn.”

There’s more than a little country twang in “Luckenbach,” just as there’s

Bach and Bartok in “Overtures on an Overturned Piano.” In Pitch, one feels

in the presence of both a soloist and a skilled composer. — Connie Wanek

The collection opens with these poems, which contextualize the rest of the book, by drawing from Todd's agricultural roots:

It Is Enough to Enter Click here to hear Todd read poems from Pitch.

the templar

halls of museums, for

example, or

the chambers of churches,

and admire

no more than the beauty

there, or

remember the graveness

of stone, or

whatever. You don’t

have to do any

better. You don’t have to


the liturgy or know history

to feel holy

in a gallery or presbytery.

It is enough

to have come just so far.

You need

not be opened any more

than does

a door, standing ajar.

Pitch was inspired by a true story: The time my father lost the family piano off the back of his pickup truck near our Wisconsin farm when I was 12. The resulting poem, "Overtures on an Overturned Piano," is one of my favorite things to read to a crowd. My poems often tell stories, and utilize humor and surprise. Where would we be without stories, humor, or surprise?


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