Professor Vincent Toro, an English Kills Review contributor, is a poet and playwright from New York, where he teaches for The City University of New York’s Bronx Community College and The DreamYard Project, a nonprofit organization that places working artists in the schools and local communities. He has an MFA from Rutgers University, received a 2014 Poet’s House Emerging Poet’s Fellowship, and was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry for 2014. Ahsahta Press recently awarded Toro with the Sawtooth Poetry Prize; his manuscript of poems, just released in February 2016, is titled Stereo.Island.Mosaic.
Melissa Adamo: Congratulations, Vincent, on winning the Sawtooth Poetry Prize! Stereo. Island. Mosaic. is a stunning collection. How are you feeling now that your first poetry collection is out there in the world?
Vincent Toro: Thank you for the kind words. The first and strongest sensation I’ve felt since the book came out is one of relief. I’ve been dreaming of writing a book since the age of 17. I’m 40 now. The meal had been cooking for a long time. I think when I got the call from Janet Holmes about The Sawtooth Prize, the first thing I did was sigh because I thought maybe I could rest for a second and stop scaling the cliff, which is of course a myth. The climbing doesn’t cease. But at least you get to camp out for a night and make s’mores before you have to keep climbing in the morning.