Photo by Beowulf Sheehan
Tom Comitta (they/them) is the author of The Nature Book (Coffee House Press), Patchwork (Coffee House Press, forthcoming 2025), ◯ (Ugly Ducking Presse), Airport Novella (Troll Thread), SENT (Invisible Venue), First Thought Worst Thought: Collected Books 2011-2014 (Gauss PDF), a print and digital archive of the 40 books he produced in four years. Their fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in WIRED, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Kenyon Review, BOMB, Joyland, and Best American Experimental Writing 2020, with two poems in The New Concrete (Hayward Publishing, UK), an international anthology surveying the “rise of concrete poetry in the digital age.”
From 2011-12 Comitta composed and conducted nine operas with SF Guerrilla Opera, a roving ensemble that gave voice to found texts at numerous sites around the Bay Area including the Civic Center BART station and the Berkeley Art Museum. In 2012 Comitta staged National Novel Writing Night Month (NaNoWriNiMo), a futurist improvement on the popular write-a-novel-in-a-month contest in which they wrote, designed and published novels written in a night. In 2015 The Royal Nonesuch Gallery in Oakland exhibited Comitta’s solo show First Thought Worst Thought, an interactive archive containing the 40 books Comitta composed between 2011 and 2014 as well as accompanying works in video, drawing, digital printing, window decals, and an original computer program. In 2017 The Walker Art Center and The Southern Theater commissioned Comitta and the performance duo Fire Drill to stage Bill: The Musikill, an experimental musical, at Minneapolis’s Momentum Dance Festival.
Comitta has exhibited books, texts and videos at MOCA Grand, Los Angeles; LUMA Foundation, Zürich; swissnex, San Francisco; Reed College, Portland; Robert Berman/E6 Gallery, San Francisco and The Kala Art Institute, Berkeley. They were a 2017 recipient of an Emergency Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Art and a 2023 grant from the New York State Council for the Arts. Comitta has held residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, the Bay Area Video Coalition, Little Paper Planes/Minnesota Street Project, and San Francisco Arts Education Project, where they conducted multimedia writing workshops with San Francisco youth.
SF Weekly’s Write Stuff (2012)
Sarah Griffin on Bowling in Bowlers (2012) password: calmaplomb
calmaplombprombombbalm.com, the online publishing house I ran from 2011-2013
The Glen Park Texting Team, an archive of my work Glenn Park Elementary School students and SF Arts Education Project from 2012-2014
soUNDtext Word Processor 1.0, the interactive text-to-speech computer program I released in 2011