NEWER POST

A Conversation with Baltimore Food Biz Leader Eddie Dopkin, Part 2

OLDER POST

Arts and Crafts Bungalow In Mt. Washington

Culture

Baltimore Poet Chris Toll Earns Tearful, Funny Memorial Service

2 Written by: | Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 9:49am

I’ve been to my share of funerals, but last night’s tearful and comic (but mostly tearful) tribute to visionary poet and collage artist Chris Toll at Ruck Funeral Home in Towson — on what would have been his 65th birthday — holds a few distinctions. First, the whole service was coordinated and emceed by Chris’s sons — a heart-wrenching, emotionally exhausting task, no doubt. Second, the place was packed. There had to have been something like 200 people there, with some standing in the back. Third, there was frequent clapping.

Several of Chris’s relatives and friends took the mic to eulogize him and read from his work. The event felt something like a teary, banter-heavy poetry reading, and so applause was a natural consequence, despite the sad occasion.

Chris Toll was an absolute force of nature in Baltimore’s literary community. His apocalyptic poems with lines like “I’ll be a desperate 17-year-old bisexual virgin / till the day I die” and “Art is the bed where I cry myself to sleep” and “Love is so hard/ and it’s all we came to do” won him the admiration of his fellow-poets, and his willingness to engage with younger writers’ work made him a decades-long influence on the scene.

Chris’s publisher, Adam Robinson, collected memories of the visionary poet in a post on alt-lit blog HTMLGIANT (complete with Emily Dickinson’s birth and death dates).

You can see his work here.

A recently completed manuscript, Life on Earth, is forthcoming from Joel Dailey’s press.

Leave a Reply



NEWER POST

A Conversation with Baltimore Food Biz Leader Eddie Dopkin, Part 2

OLDER POST

Arts and Crafts Bungalow In Mt. Washington

Most Comments This Week

Recent Comments

Pam Schuh
Baltimore Police Department Amends “Use of Force” Policy in Favor of De-Escalation

"Moral of the story, resist arrest, get hurt or killed and get gobs of money from the City...

Karla Pearlstein
1,600 Sq. Ft. Cottage In Roland Park: A Renovation Opportunity

"Yes, I totally agree with Nick. Free standing appliances are not part of the...

bonnie hockstein
O’Malley Back to Doing What He Does Best in DNC Speech

"I never really liked this guy because he whined a lot. I did appreciate his progressive...

Ruth Anne Randolph
Beach House Blues: Sorority of the Beleaguered Housewives

"Loved this. Keep it coming Lindsay😎

Nick
1,600 Sq. Ft. Cottage In Roland Park: A Renovation Opportunity

"I agree! Fingers crossed the Roland Park kitchen (and rest of the house) remains intact....