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admin / January 31st, 2018   Gallery,Photoshoots & Portraits,Articles/Interviews

them article nico tortorella“I want people to read this book and to go inside themselves and to fall in love with themselves a little bit.”

by Meredith Talusan for them.

Before he walked into Cond Nasts offices for a chat about his upcoming debut poetry collection, All of It Is You, whose existence is public as of today, I knew Nico Tortorella as the rugged yet uber-sensitive tattoo-artist love interest Josh in TV Lands Younger, who gives everyone the impression of being a lothario heartbreaker, only to prove himself kind and loyal even against his own best judgment. Id followed the show for two seasons before finding out that Nico was openly bisexual, an admirable stance in an entertainment industry that still makes it hard for leading men who arent straight, and a world that continues to frown upon bisexual men both within and outside the LGBTQ+ community.

The person I spent time with ended up having many of the thoughtful and sensitive qualities I admired from my previous encounters with his image, along with a self-awareness about the privileges that come from passing as straight, and being good-looking (okay, really good-looking) according to mainstream norms. But what comes through the most in our interaction surrounding his poetry book is Nicos need to express his ideas beyond the image that the world has set out for him, an impulse that feels quintessentially queer.

So my first question is, why poetry?

I guess I’ve always written in verse. I was never that great in school, not because I couldn’t be, just because I didn’t really care, but early on, being musically inclined, everything that I wrote came out in verse. And then I had this podcast for the last couple of years, The Love Bomb, and it was just so natural for me to write a piece about the person that I was having in on that episode, and it just happened to come out in a sonnet of sorts.

I opened each episode with spoken word, and when I stopped the podcast and really started focusing on books, the original book that I had in mind that I really shopped around is this narrative hybrid that’s actually going to be the next book that comes out. But basically my publishers at Random House were like, we want to do a poetry book. It came to me, and I was like, oh my God, this is the greatest opportunity ever. I’ve never worked on something before that I’ve had to put so much energy into every single day. I’ve always written longer-form poetry, and this book, given its nature and its size, and the page count, I had to chop down my voice for specific poems, and that for me was the most difficult part, deliver the message as efficiently as possible in the smallest amount of space.

I came up with the idea to do it in three sections, Body, Earth, Universe, and then mapped out titles for 200 plus different pieces in order, that was like two days, and then I just started writing in that order from beginning to end. I always thought I was going to jump around writing, but the second I sat down and started writing it made so much sense for me to start with the first one and then blow through.

all of it is you book nico tortorella It sounds like it was just inside you.

That’s just a whole other conversation too. I channel-write a lot where I kinda like black out, like totally sober blackout, just direct from source let something pour out of me and kind of just unedited, what you see is what you get. And that’s really what this book is, it’s a stream-of-consciousness really, it’s a journal. I journaled for 45 days in verse, also while I went to Peru and did ayahuasca for a week and a half. And this book is exactly that. It’s very raw, unedited, and there really wasn’t a whole lot of planning that went into it. But for me that’s the practical magic in it.

What would you say to somebody who sees you publishing a poetry book and says, ah, just another celebrity publishing a poetry book?

Right in the beginning I check all of my privilege at the door first and foremost. And I realize how special it is that I was even given this opportunity to write this poetry book, very much so has to do with what I look like, the color of my skin, my straightpassingness, my cisness. I totally, fully realize that. And I think that with that though for me comes a responsibility to really attempt to just be a voice for something that’s much greater than who I am as an individual. And that for me is my driving force in all of life.

If anyone wants to look at this book as like, it’s just some good-looking white actor dude that has a poetry book, fine, I totally understand that. I’ll say it with them. But hopefully, and I believe there is, there’s so much more in this book that speaks on and in the voice of a oneness, that’s love-driven more than anything. I think historically it has, as fucked up as this is…. for so long I represent the person who gets opportunities like this, and gets the oppoortunity to get certain messages across. And if I can tap into that and use it for good rather than using it for myself, I don’t think there should be anything wrong with that.

Describe the poems to us.

They’re all different. I write like I speak, and my mind moves faster than my mouth does. And I think that reads on the page. You can visually see my mind ahead of my mouth. (pauses) How do you even describe poems? They’re like deliveries from the inner-workings of my own brain.

them article nico tortorella And what are they about?

We start with sperm, and then we go all the way to alien, and then pretty much cover everything in between. We cover all of the human body, a lot of it, not all of it, I mean this book could have easily been 5,000 pages. We cover the body, and then we go through the earth, and then we go through the universe, the galaxies, planets, cosmos, all that good stuff, and the whole book is written in second-person, in you’s, so when you’re reading the poems it becomes a really personal relationship with the words, because every poem sounds like I’m talking about the reader. And for me that is the most special thing about it. It’s finding the us in even the most simple of things. For me each poem is a mirror. Some of them are really simple, some of them have word play, and are laced with idioms of sorts and others are about me and my family and specific relationships that I have. I don’t know I think the best way to describe it is it’s a full, transformational journey from the seed to the universe, the original big bang to the big big bang.

What are your hopes for the book? How do you envision the book being out in the world?

The cover of this book is a version of a merkaba, with the six-pointed star, which is two tetrahedrons linked together that represent perfect opposites of each other: masculine / feminine, manifest / unmanifest. And it has been known historically as this chariot, this vehicle, this throne of God. And it kinda popped up all over the planet way way back in the day, at the same time in different parts. And for me it’s been showing up in my meditations and just in my waking life. Every time I close my eyes I see it. I just got it tattoed on my chest two days ago. And it really for me is a mechanism of delivery, and it flies, and that’s why I put it on the cover of this book. I want this book to fly. I know that every single poem isn’t perfect, but to me perfection is wildly flawed and I want a piece of this to resonate. I want people to read this book and to go inside themselves and to fall in love with themselves a little bit. And if that happens even on the most micro of levels, I think I’ve done my job.

All of It Is You is available for pre-order today.



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‘All Of It Is You’ Poetry Book



A debut poetry collection from actor Nico Tortorella exploring “all of it,” from the smallest cells in our bodies to the outer limits of our universe.

  Amazon USA        Amazon UK

The Love Bomb
Actor Nico Tortorella explores love and the labels associated with it. An At Will Radio Production.
  iTunes        Photos        Official
Current Projects
Younger
Nico as Josh
A newly single, 40-year-old mother tries to get back into the working world with her friends' help.
Hunter&Game
Nico as Carson
An aspiring Catalan filmmaker captures the week leading up to the debut album release of Brooklyn-based electronic music duo Hunter&Game
Affiliates
Jay RyanMarie AvgeropoulosTyler Blackburn

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