Poetry. TOKYOATOTO is made of and from a hand-written book composed by the poet Sam Truitt during a 2019 Tokyo sojourn. The writing includes, among other elements, descriptions, impressions, insights into Japanese life and culture and the concrete exigencies of negotiating a foreign land. This last is complicated as Truitt lived in Tokyo for four years from the age of three: Japanese was very close to his first language, as Japan was close to being his first culture. This acts as a backfield to the writing as Truitt both seeks and betimes touches traces of their influence. TOKYOATOTO'S structure is unique in that Truitt seeks to foreground that movement toward originality by reproducing in facsimile the pages of the hand-written book. An engaging, thoughtful and sometimes profound glimpse into contemporary life in Tokyo from a perspective of complicated naivete, TOKYOATOTO is a fast, entertaining poetic tramp full of pratfalls, missed connections, and surrenders in which, as the author writes on a Tokyo subway passage, "one senses a web each of us hold together & against & around us like a net knit of civility not docility as there are some faraway landscapes in our mind & in our heart & our bodies are dreaming all of them uniting to listen to the underground hum its magic."
Sam Truitt was born in Washington, DC, and raised there and in Tokyo, Japan. He is the author of the ten works in the VERTICAL ELEGIES series, TOKYOATOTO (Station Hill Press, 2020), among others in print and other media, and the co-editor of IN|FILTRATION (Station Hill Press, 2016); and Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Early Books of Bernadette Mayer. Robert Creeley likened Truitt to "a contemporary Everyman," and he is the recipient, among other recognitions, of numerous Fund for Poetry awards, a Contemporary Poetry Award from the University of Georgia, and a Howard Fellowship. The producer and a co-host of the podcast Baffling Combustions and Director of Station Hill Press, he lives in Woodstock, NY. Author City: WOODSTOCK, NY USA