Author Archives: tomcomitta

About tomcomitta

I am a poet working across digital, analog, and physical media.

Born to Run (Heavy Breathing, 2018) is an audio chapbook that collages descriptions of running and jogging from about 60 novels. There’s everything in here from Stephen King’s The Running Man to Cynthia Voigt’s The Runner, with a sprinkling of authors like Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie and Samuel R. Delany. To experience this piece, a listener would get on a treadmill, elliptical or any artificial exercise device, put on headphones and press play.

Born to Run premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in June 2018. This summer it will appear in Meme Space, Taipei, and the Bangkok Biennial. Listen in the player below, on SoundCloud or on Heavy Breathing’s website.


Recent News

6/19/18 – “First Impressions” published in BOMB Magazine. From the introduction: ““First Impressions” consists entirely of first sentences from 268 short stories published in The New Yorker over the past 20 years, from 1997 to 2017, all of which are cited below. After collecting every first sentence, I found they fell into a number of patterns, some surprising, others obvious: points of view, different tenses, genre fiction like western and military, stories set in small-town America, stories set in Montana (oddly there were a lot), etc. I then arranged these patterns into a sequence of vignettes, a short story in its own right.” Read it here.

5/9/18 – “Our Dictionary Yields to None: Jez Burrows and Tom Comitta in Conversation” published in The Believer. Burrows and I happened to write collage fiction unaware of each other, so The Believer asked us to have a public conversation about how and why we write this way. Read it here.

3/28/18 – Reading with Jaap Blonk and Pauline Gloss at the Poetic Research Bureau, LA. Doors at 7:30, performance at 8:00. You can check out Blonk’s work here; Gloss’s work here; and my sound poetry on the sound page of this site here.

11/13/17 – Airport Novella published by Troll Thread. This book takes four gestures that I found to be ubiquitous in airport novels/popular fiction—nodding, shrugging, odd looks, and gasps—and collages them into four chapters, one for each gesture. Given the source material (Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer, a novel commissioned by Donald Trump, etc.) and my literary constraints, you could say the book shapes trash into a kind of origami. Read it here.

7/13, 7/14, 7/15/17 – Bill: The Musikill at The Southern Theater, Minneapolis. This musical collaboration between me and the choreography duo Fire Drill (Emily Gastineau and Billy Mullaney) premiered in July as part of Momentum: New Dance Works 2017, a festival produced by the Cowles Center, the Jerome Foundation, the Southern Theater and the Walker Art Center. Watch the July 14 performance on Vimeo or YouTube or learn more on the Bill: The Musikill page.

4/9/17 – Open Rehearsal and Research Talk with Fire Drill (Emily Gastineau and Billy Mullaney) at The Cowles Center, Minneapolis. More information can be found on the Facebook invitation here.

4/3/17 – Reading with Kaveh Akbar at The Poetry Project, NYC as part of their Monday night reading series curated by Judah Rubin. My contribution to this event is supported in part by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

4/1/17 – Reading with Jibade-Khalil Huffman at The Ace Hotel, Palm Springs as part of Desert X, an new biennial. This event is a collaboration between Desert X and the Los Angeles Review of Books. My contribution to this event is supported in part by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

3/4/17 – San Francisco Arts Education Project has installed my book (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013) as an unbound coloring book in Rise Up!, an exhibition for school-age children that collects artist responses to “the state of our nation.” The show is up through May 6 at SF Arts Ed’s Minnesota Street Project gallery. More info on their website.

More news can be found on the About page.