38 pages, 7 x 12″ paper, wire bound on two sides with bookboard backing;
TC Tolbert’s debut book of poetry uncovers the landscape of life ever in motion. In language flickering with love, loss, and liminality, and with adamantine accuracy, this work bridges many seemingly distant land masses: female and male, girl and boy, music and silence, body and space. Territories embodies the poet’s transition “from woman to something less visibly female” and reveals the cyclic journeys of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the person contextualized by an outward societal framework. “Having lived through the funnel both ways,” TC Tolbert acknowledges and bravely challenges traditional schemes of hegemony with a conscious commitment to the unique multiplicity of the self, who is at once (and always) transitory and timeless.
TC Tolbert, author of Territories of Folding, was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he grew up a scrappy Southern girl enjoying, as s/he told Ms. Marsha of local television fame, “eating dirt and getting dirty.” (The more things change…) TC earned a B.A. in English with a minor in History from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1998. S/he then went on to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2001 where he found the name he’d been searching for: TigerCakes. New name and little white dog (Isabella) in tow, s/he moved to Tucson and earned his MFA in Creative Writing in 2005 from The University of Arizona.
As a genderqueer feminist, photographer, thinker, and poet committed to social justice, TC has been a part of several artistic collaborations including Boys R Us, Transgender Awareness Week, and Invisible City. S/he began volunteering with Casa Libre en la Solana in 2005 and currently serves as the Assistant Director. S/he worked with Eon, the queer youth center, from 2004-2007, first as a volunteer, then as Youth Outreach Specialist, and finally as Prism Project Coordinator.
S/he has taught writing for youth at all grade levels and is currently an Adjunct Instructor at The University of Arizona and Pima Community College. Since 2007, s/he has regularly collaborated with Movement Salon – a group of movement artists, writers, and a musician who practice and perform the art of improvisation. In his free time s/he can be found working with Read Between the Bars, a books-to-prisoners collective in Tucson. S/he has also spent his last seven summers leading wilderness trips for Outward Bound in Maine and Colorado. In the fall of 2010, TC created the Made for Flight project. Made for Flight is a youth empowerment project that utilizes creative writing and kite building to commemorate murdered transgender people and dismantle homophobia and transphobia.
In 2004, TC’s sonnet crown, “Beg Approval,” was chosen by Matthea Harvey for the University of Arizona /Academy of American Poets Award. In 2006, selections from Reconstruction of a Bird were chosen as the runner up in the Arizona Statewide Poetry Competition by Olga Broumas. In 2009 and 2010, his manuscript, Gephyromania, was a finalist for the Sawtooth Poetry Prize from Ahsahta Press. In 2010, his work won the Arizona Statewide Poetry Competition, chosen by Linda Russo. TC’s chapbook, Territories of Folding, will be published by Kore Press in the spring of 2011.
TC’s poems can be found, or are forthcoming, in Drunken Boat, jubilat, The Pinch, Shampoo, Volt, The Drunken Boat, and A Trunk of Delirium.