Tommy Pico

Tommy “Teebs” Pico is the author of the books IRL, Nature Poem, and Junk. He’s been the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Poetry Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Brooklyn Public Library. He co-curates the reading series Poets with Attitude, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributor editor at Literary Hub. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Los Angeles, CA.


  • Restless, intimate and exhilarating.

    —The New York Times

  • Feed, Pico’s latest collection. . . will stop you in your tracks.

    —O, The Oprah Magazine

  • Riveting.

    —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • A dazzling fusion of culture. Feed is as much about what we consume as how we consume. Pico’s lines are ever-growing, ever-expanding. And while we might seem lost in the abundance, the sheer variety, Pico is a skilled enough poet to ground us. … How Pico pulls all this off is his magic. Feed is engrossing, oddly enlightening and, above all, fun to read.

    —Shelf Awareness

  • Funny, irreverent, profound. This book is an ode to love and language and food and what right now sounds like. It’s also a meditation on what it means to belong on/to this planet/universe. Delivered in headlines, texts, conversations, song lyrics, puns, rhymes, and speculation about the possibility of life on other planets, Tommy Pico’s Feed sprawls across time and this country. It is endlessly inventive and stays fun while bringing the heat and weight of a world we’re all helplessly watching burn down. As his character/AKA Teebs says of Oakland rapper Two $hort, the same is true of Tommy Pico in this book and in general: Vigor is the art he argues for.

    —Tommy Orange, author of There There

  • Tommy Pico’s Feed is the poet’s most ambitious work yet. Part tour diary, part tracklist, part play, part by part Pico tops his epic run of books off with this gut-wrenching, gut-busting, gutter mouth offering of a body in lust, in isolation, in danger, in memory, in future and all the transits between. Feed is a feast of Pico’s signature intellect, humor, and linguistic demolition—all sharper than ever. No one corrals our day’s chaos like Pico, who serves it up to us as some of the wildest verse the world has ever seen. Bon appétit, bitches.

    —Danez Smith, author of Homie

  • Tommy Pico is indiscreet, rambunctious, spunky and operatic, on the page and off, a dynamo, a force, a one-man band with one hand behind his back and the other setting a guitar on fire. I feel utterly consumed by his poems, absolutely smitten. This is poetry that makes you sweat.

    —D.A. Powell, author of Useless Landscape, Or A Guide for Boys

  • Feed is an incredibly study in chaos, a plunge into the hectic mind disrupted by headlines that scream tragedy and demand our attention. Pico’s use of language insists on carving space for a new quotidian, in bluntly grappling with the ways we use words on the daily, breaking and re-making the art of poetry. This book is inventive, wild, fresh, urgent—spanning the author at their most vulnerable and their fiercest. Pico is at the forefront of a new poetics, blazing an unchartable trail that we should all attempt to follow. Surrender to the wild friends, for we are in it, and Pico has us by the tips of our tongues.

    —Fatimah Asghar, author of If They Come For Us

  • A brilliant contemplation of love seen through the lenses of food, pop culture, and raw emotion.

    —New York Journal of Books

  • Junk is a true American odyssey, complete with a reluctant hero who defies all odds to survive. Repulsed by the trashiness of empire, the violence of occupation, this book nonetheless searches in earnest for real tenderness, a romance that isn’t corny. . . .  This is poetry of the highest order, on the level of a pop song, with the crystalline visions of a seer. I consumed it greedily, repeatedly, and am forever changed because of it.

    —Jenny Zhang, author of SOUR HEART

  • Pico
    is the master of making the stone stony, of returning the sheer absurdity of
    being to everything, from grief to intimacy to dating apps to donuts. Junk insists
    on the urgency of the quotidian, of, to borrow a phrase from Pico, ‘vibrant
    inconsequence.’ It’s rare to read a book that makes living feel so alive.

    —Kaveh Akbar, author of CALLING A WOLF A WOLF

  • Tommy Pico’s complex and lush third collection, Junk, explodes, rewinds, meditates, and explodes again. It binges and purges—on class, identity, sex, politics, snacks, comfort, and fear. . . . Pico is a master of inclusion, of elevating the mundane to the sublime, of examining absurdity and grave seriousness with equal measure. This is an ambitious long poem, and Pico is uniquely qualified to both drag and celebrate modern day consumption and indulgence with graceful humor and grit.