NYS WRITERS INSTITUTE
2007 NATIONAL POETRY SERIES WINNER, TO PRESENT HIS MULTI-VOICED “COLLAPSIBLE POETICS THEATER” ON STAGE
NYS Writers Institute, March 10, 2009
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
8:00 p.m. Reading/Performance | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
Rodrigo Toscano, winner of the 2007 National Poetry Series, together with other speakers, will read and perform his multi-voiced poetical work for the stage, “Collapsible Poetics Theater” (2007), published by UAlbany’s Fence Books, on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in Assembly Hall, Campus Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. he will present an informal seminar in the same location. The events are free and open to the public.
Rodrigo Toscano’s “Collapsible Poetics Theater” is one of five winners of the 2007 National Poetry Series (NPS). The first of this prestigious series to be published by UAlbany’s Fence Books, the work is a genre-expanding force to be reckoned with: a set of polyvocal pieces meant to be read on stage by multiple players.
National Poetry Series competition judge Marjorie Welish said, “Part carnivalesque rap, part sleight-of-hand shuffle, ‘Collapsible Poetics Theater’ maneuvers its way through public language of several sorts to give theater a Realpolitik poetic voice…. The poetry, built of linguistic slippage, occurs all the more readily for the bilingual speaker or the ex-patriot, whose frames of reference are plural and yet destabilized. With a cape, confetti and placard, two players and Master of Ceremonies conduct their feints and dodges about concepts of engagement and faith…. The art of play has found a talented proponent.”
Toscano’s earlier collections include “To Leveling Swerve” (2005), “Platform” (2003), “The Disparities” (2002) and the book-length poem “Partisans” (1999), a widely admired treatise-in-verse on the relationship between labor and language. Barrett Watten, one of the founding poets of the Language poetry movement, said in praise of “Partisans” that Toscano “brilliantly renews a tradition of poetics based in the structuring work of grammar….” “Publishers Weekly” declared that “‘Partisans’ has been quietly acquiring a reputation as a brilliant intervention on the order of George Oppen’s ‘Of Being Numerous,’ reimagining social relations through an activating grammatical conceit.”
Of “To Leveling Swerve,” “Publishers Weekly” said, “A startling synthesis of spoken-word’s accessible velocity, lyric’s sensate self-positioning and a Roman rhetor’s impassioned, dramatic political advocacy comes to full fruition in this fourth collection from Toscano.”
Toscano’s work has been featured in “The Best American Poetry 2004” and other anthologies. His polyvocal pieces, poetics plays, body-movement poems, and radio pieces have been performed and broadcast widely. His work has been translated into French, German, Italian, and Catalonian. Toscano is originally from Southern California. He works in Manhattan at the Labor Institute, and lives in Brooklyn.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.