Mike Tyler
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Mike Tyler

New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR

New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR
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""Tyler puns and plays with words and teases the reader again and again" ***** FIVE STARS"

"The Magical Tour of Words"
Review text: These are stories from a hotel or hotel stories or stories that a ho tells or a ho sells-- isn't that what hos sometimes do in hotels? That's my little riff on Mike Taylor who lived for seven or eight years at the Carlton Arms Hotel in Manhatten after a girlfriend locked him out of his apartment where he wrote these interlocking, interracting, acting-out short stories where the characters, a variegated group-- some with pretty girl disease (PGD), others who spend a lot of time getting high or using the F word, a dog named Bijou, a couple with a green card marriage and a "young kid English painter of cartoons on walls" et al -- come in and out of, much as people visit hotels.

Interesting as these characters and the situations they get into may be, HOTEL STORIES is ultimately about the language. Mr. Tyler puns and plays with words and teases the reader again and again. Omelettes morph into amulets, beauty is in the eye of the beholdee, those who are already out do not have to attend an outing, a rubber duck wears a condom, extraneous = extra-anus, and we are off to a wonderful, wonderful wedding-- so odd. (At times I felt as if I were reading a Walt Whitman who was on marijuana. Maybe that's why he called his magnum opus "Leaves of Grass.")

Then there are passages that rise to the level of poetry. (Okay. Forget the fat woman joke and the urban myth section.) Mr. Tyler's description of the day of that wedding: "The weather was special. The weather was a special delivery from, whatever. It was beautiful. The day. The sun. The leaves. The colors but not just that, how they decided to fall. Like they were choreographed. The leaves and their colors knew when to take off, knew the time to take off, knew how to take off and in what order. They fell as the b 'n b (bed and breakfast, bride and groom) stood there stabilized by glory." The author's description of how lawyers parse sentences is so right-on as well as his telling us that word processors aren't really word processors but have other professions in real life like, say poets. And surely his statement that walking in museums makes you tired should be reprinted on T shirts.

Having rambled on about how much I love Mr. Taylor's language, I'm not sure I have a clue as to what this book is really about. To lift his metaphor (my favorite in the entire book) about European cities, I "feel like a sock in a dryer." Enough said. - Foster Corbin - H. F. Corbin, amazon.com


""Mike Tyler is what our computer drained brains need to transiently hack our social media existence and get back to playing with our brains."***** FIVE STARS"

"Mike Tyler and Language as an Art Form"
Review text: What's important to me is the limits of the language. If we allow the limits of the language to limit what it means to be alive, then we've got a problem. There's this tension, where the words are the only thing we have to express what we are, and there is so much more.' Apparently conceptual artist/writer Mike Tyler steps onto the springboard of his newest book and pulls us into a word salad that he calls 'CAT IS DOG (or is that DOG IS CAT?) - the world as it is not as language makes it in 762 remarkable sayings'. And for those to whom the art of Mike Tyler is new - without the exposure to his brilliant little book HOTEL STORIES - may need the following few extractions from a description of him: 'Mike Tyler is a non-academic, post-beat American poet. He first became known during the 1990s poetry revival centered around the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City. He has been dubbed the "most dangerous poet in America" because he once broke an arm while doing a reading. Tyler was born in Greenwich Village. His paternal grandfather is the educator Ralph W. Tyler, Sr. He attended Stuyvesant High School and was a student of the writer Frank McCourt. He dropped out. From 1994 to 2002 he was the poet-in-residence at the artist decorated Carlton Arms Hotel in New York City living in a room with a felt rhino. A plaque (cardboard) celebrating his stay currently hangs on the door of the room. His book, "From Colorado to Georgia" is available in the rooms of the hotel. Tyler's writing style has been described as terse, epigrammatic epiphanies. He is concerned with language, both beautiful and otherwise, as a political activity, and the "muddle-class" as a group robbed of language, and so robbed of a voice. He is known for his poem "The Most Beautiful Word in the American Language" Resist.' And other rather infamous bits of his poetry include lines such as 'is it o.k. to yell fire/at a fire' and 'Just before/the end of the world/somebody said/to somebody else/"Hey, look, it's not like it's the end of the world". Just some very brief information about this amazing artist.

DOG IS CAT/ CAT IS DOG is 106 pages of stacked quick and very remarkable phrases, combinations of words that need time to sink in to make them fully appreciated. But is that what Tyler wants, our 'appreciation'? It is doubtful, for it seems he is most concerned with teasing our sleeping neurons into imaginative action. Does he think these little phrases as a unit or just scatter them at us like a riff? I think it is the former, because plays with words pop up and echo and make us look back and trip forward to see if we are missing something - and we are. Example: acceptance is evil/ can't is go/ row is wade/ dive is hollow/ width is length/ short is view/ society is not/ ourselves is self. Or on another page: cupboard is bi/ economics is threadbare/ biology is biology/ society is sincere/ happiness is unhealthy/ so is what/ sew is read/ design is disunity.

What Tyler does in inviting us to make something of our own about his work is to muddy the waters of expectations and poke fun at how we communicate, how we express the inexpressible, and how utterly delightful it is to play with words as though the universe were a confused Scrabble game. He is fun, he is naughty at times, he is profound, he is - unique. Mike Tyler is what our computer drained brains need to transiently hack our social media existence and get back to playing with our brains.:Grady Harp, May 11, 2011 - Grady Harp, amazon.com


""welcome to the new poetry, so urgent in its need to break from tradition and get the word out that sometimes it tries to defy gravity""

"The New, Guerrilla Poets Act Out at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
A selection from the article: “It’s Friday night at the Nuyorican Poets Café and Mike Tyler is dying to read a poem. But there’s a long list of people ahead of him on the open room’s sign-up sheet, and he can’t wait anymore. So Tyler takes his poem outside to 3rd Street. With a few friends watching, “the Iggy Pop of poetry” uses the flatbed of a truck for a stage on wich to pace and prowl. Tyler doesn’t recite “V Is for Dot Dot Dot,” he exorcises it like it was the demon within. On the poem’s last lines –“right now/under hot/young American/hoping not/V is for Vietnam” he springs to the top of a wire fence, then dives to the sidewalk, landing on his left arm. Which breaks the elbow. Welcome to the new poetry, so urgent in its need to break from tradition and get the words out that sometimes it tries to defy gravity.” Evelyn McDonnell, VIllage Voice - The Village Voice


""ironic, existential agonies""

"The Beats Are Back", article title.

- New York Magazine


"“attacks the senses in his slouching slam dance against logic ... makes good on the promise to deliver the “language of the future” – now.”"

"Nuyorican performance draws the audience in"
A selection from the article: “Mike Tyler attacks the senses in his slouching slam dance against logic. With the deliberate style of a stand-up comic, Tyler is capable of rambling semi-coherent diatribes that galvanize audience members or terse one-word poems such as the one titled “Nixon’s Dead” (“Good!”). Tyler’s work makes good on the program notes’ promise to deliver the “language of the future” – now.” Gordon Bolar, Anchorage Daily News - Anchorage Daily News


"“unforgettable… captivating...spectacular.”"

"Off the beaten path of New York City, but right on target"
A selection from the article: “Tyler’s style was unforgettable. Frequently moving, jumping, even taking his clothes off on stage, he was captivating. At one point, his pants almost fell off as he was reciting. He frequently dropped, threw, and kicked his poetry papers all over. He picked up whatever poetry was lying around and read it – half of it was on the floor under the front row’s feet. “Love conquers all, including the participants,” was a favorite line. Spectacular.” Leah Nickerson, The Vermont Cynic
- The Vermont Cynic


"“kinetically underlined”"

"Nuyoricans throw body and soul into poetry" by Randy Gragg - The Oreglonian


"“the world’s most dangerous poet”"

"Nuyorican Poets Amplify The World"
A selection from the article: “Mike Tyler lived up to his reputation as “the world’s most dangerous poet” one famous night outside the Nuyorican Poet’s Café in New York City. Tired of a better-known writer spoiling the mood inside the wordclub on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, he bolted outside, climbed a fence and began asserting himself. His passion, or his pride, got the best of him, for he proceeded to fall and break an arm. With pain cams a lesson “We’re told every day: Look down, be logical, be passive, be correct,” explained Tyler from the Lobby of the Carlton Arms Hotel in Manhattan, where he lives in a room decorated with felt rhino. “Well, my theory is: Never look down; it’s dangerous. Logic – logic broke my arm.” by Geoff Gehman, The Morning Call – Allentown, PA - The Morning Call


"“linguistic constructions that seek to push “the American language” into the future.”"

“Tyler is immersed in his own codes, his own linguistic constructions that seek to push “the American language” into the future. He anguishes over "the muddle class, " which he has been alienated from poetry by the academics who have "museumified" it. Poetry must return to being "the sensation of meaning."” - Voice Literary Supplement


"“Ezra Pound out of Beavis and Butt-head”"

"Any Rhyme or Reason?"
A selection form the article: “This guy (Tyler) got up on stage at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and said – well, actually, whined, “I’m going to read this poem. But I need your help, I want You to fill in the missing words.” We, the audience, laughed nervously. “I’ve got words that I think fit, but yours might be, you know, better.” This guy was wearing cut-off jeans, trainers with socks and an anorak with the hood up. He had not endeared himself to us. I mean, this is the ICA, it’s London, this audience is so cool the bar doesn’t bother sticking ice. And there’s this geezer with hairy knees in an anorak claiming to be a poet – I mean, for Christ’s sake, he hasn’t even got sunglasses on. Anyway, he starts reading his poetry which is sort of Ezra Pound out of Beavis and Butt-head. I particularly liked this one: Just before / The end of the world / Somebody said / To Somebody else / “Hey, look, it’s not like it’s the end of the world”” - The London Sunday Times - The London Sunday Times


"“Language always invigorating, carefully deranged and almost magical.”"

"Way Live"
A selection from the article: “Mike Tyler is all over the stage, pacing, or turning in a quick circle, and then dropping back to the black-draped back wall like a left fielder running down a long fly ball. He crouches down, then he’s up on his toes, knock kneed and prancing. His voice is something like this too, a high-pitched, hysterically strangled voice. And then a cool rational voice steps in and comments, sets things in order, puts us at ease. He asks us our most beautiful words, and we shout them out, and he tells us words for several minutes, one beautiful word after another, and then he tells us, “The most beautiful word in the American language is…’resist!’” He screams it, and the poem is over. I like seeing Mike get physical, the poems trying to come out of his body. His language is always invigorating, carefully deranged and almost magical” Edwin Shaw, Santa Barbara Independent - Santa Barbara Independent


"“the Iggy Pop of poetry”"

"Café Society: The New Guerilla Poets Act Out at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe."
A Selection from the article: “It’s Friday night at the Nuyorican Poets Café and Mike Tyler is dying to read a poem. But there’s a long list of people ahead of him on the open room’s sign-up sheet, and he can’t wait anymore. So Tyler takes his poem outside to 3rd Street. With a few friends watching, “the Iggy Pop of poetry” uses the flatbed of a truck for a stage on which to pace and prowl. Tyler doesn’t recite “V Is for Dot Dot Dot,” he exorcises it like it was the demon within. On the poem’s last lines –“right now/under hot/young American/hoping not/V is for Vietnam” he springs to the top of a wire fence, then dives to the sidewalk, landing on his left arm. Which breaks the elbow. Welcome to the new poetry, so urgent in its need to break from tradition and get the words out that sometimes it tries to defy gravity.” by Evelyn McDonnell
- The Village Voice


"“Beck fell under the charismatic spell of poet-performer Mike Tyler”"

"As he worked on honing his songwriting craft, Beck fell under the charismatic spell of poet-performer Mike Tyler, at the time the publisher of American Idealism Rag or A.I.R." - SPIN


"“the most dangerous poet in America”"

"Where have all the flowers gone as poets cut up rough" by Roger Tredre - The Observer, London


""the most brilliant of his generation""

Taken from a review of Mike Tyler's "From Colorado to Georgia" - about.com


Discography

Books:

From Tyler’s No. America Series:

Dog Is Cat, Mike Tyler (TACBD, Distributed through Ingram Book Group, 2011, 110 pages, Hardcover, ISBN: 978-59937-010-1, $17.95).

HOTEL STORIES, Mike Tyler (TACBD, Distributed through Ingram Book Group, 2009, 318 pages, Hardcover, ISBN: 978-59937-011-8, $24.95).

the unauthorized biography of adam and eve, Mike Tyler (TACBD, Distributed through Ingram Book Group, 2009, 110 pages, Hardcover, ISBN: 978-59937-008-8, $17.95).

The Warm Animals, Mike Tyler (TACBD, Distributed through Ingram Book Group, 2010, 108 pages, Hardcover, ISBN: 978-159937-002-6, $17.95).

TACBD Classics:

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, Foreword by Mike Tyler (TACBD, Distributed through Ingram Book Group, 2009, 270 pages, Paperback, ISBN: 978-59937-701-8, $7.95).

Early Releases:

The Park(ing Lot), Mike Tyler (TACBD, Washington Square Arts, 2000, 264 pages, Hardcover, ISBN: 0-9655055-1-0, $14.95).

From Colorado to Georgia, Mike Tyler (The Carlton Arms Hotel, 1997, 482 pages, Paperback, ISBN: 978-0965505505, $39.95).

Tyler’s Poetry is included in:

Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Miguel Algarin (Editor), Bob Holman (Editor), Nicole Blackman (Author) (Holt Paperbacks, 1994, 554 pages, Paperback, ISBN: 978-0805032574, $21.99).

The United States of Poetry, Joshua Blum , Bob Holman, Mark Pellington (Harry N. Abrams, 1996, 176 pages, Paperback, ISBN: 978-0810939271, $29.95).

Audio Books:
the unauthorized biography of adam and eve, Mike Tyler (TACBD, Distributed through Amazon.com, 2009, Unabridged Audiobook Edition, ISBN: 978-1599371085, $29.95).

Movies:

the unauthorized biography of adam and eve, Mike Tyler, Cole Murray (TACBD, Distributed through Amazon.com, 105 Minutes, Color, UPC: 6-6066292327-9, $24.95).

Performance History*:

USA:
Bennington College, Vermont
Central Park SummerStage, New York City
Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle WA
Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN
Portland Art Museum, Oregon
Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
University of California/Santa Barbara
Flynn Theatre, Burlington, VT
Johnson College, VT
University of Miami, FL
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, FL
University of North Carolina/Charlotte
Lincoln Center “Serious Fun!” Festival, NYC
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Lafayette College, Easton, PA
Buffalo State University, Buffalo, NY
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Duke University, Durham, NC
University of North Carolina, Ashville
Wesleyan College, Macon, GA
OutNorth, Anchorage, Alaska (NPN engagement)
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Arts Resources Department, El Paso, TX
Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Europe:
LiteraturWERKstatt, Berlin
Sydney Festival & Carnival, Australia

UK:
Institute of Contemporary Art, London
Central Club, Reading
NIA Center, Manchester
The Green Room, Manchester
Salisbury College & Art Centre, Salisbury
Gold Club, Nottingham
Huddersfield Poetry Festival, Huddersfield
North Kensington Arts Forum, London
The Gantry, Southampton
The Tabernacle, London

* this list is NOT complete

Photos

Bio

Mike Tyler is a celebrated artistic writer, poet, musician, director, and heavy tipper. His work captures the essence of city life (a NYC native), the fundamentals of love, and the eccentricities of “humane beans.”

Tyler began life, as a poet, in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. His family: journalists and educators.

While attending Stuyvesant High School, Tyler studied under acclaimed writer Frank McCourt and was awarded the Scholastic Achievement Award for his piece "Sneakers" - a Dramatic Script. He later dropped out.

In the 1990's Tyler's words began to take the stage (and various other places) at New York City's Nuyorican Poets Café. One of his most infamous performances occurred outside of the Café on Friday November 30, 1992. Eager to read his poem, Tyler decided to forgo the line inside and to use instead the flatbed of a truck outside on 3rd Street for a stage. His lively performance ended with a dive onto the sidewalk, where he landed on his left arm, breaking it at the elbow. The Village Voice then dubbed Tyler "the world’s most dangerous poet".

One other notable performance from this time occurred inside the Café where Tyler received a zero in a poetry slam. Reported a now-defunct glossy weekly: "Preaching poet Mike Tyler - a cross between Iggy Pop and Jimmy Swaggart - yells about morality from the stage. One of the three judges gives Tyler a zero. Allen Ginsberg boos. Others hiss." Tyler was elated.

As Tyler began performing his poetry at various music clubs in Manhattan, he was credited as having influenced the musician Beck. Spin Magazine wrote: "Beck fell under the charismatic spell of poet-performer Mike Tyler."

With the Nuyorican Poets, Tyler toured nationally from NYC’s Lincoln Center to Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival and internationally from London’s ICA to the Sydney Festival. Several of Tyler's poems from this time were included in the anthology Aloud: Voices From the Nuyorican Poets Café (Holt Paperbacks, 1994). The book is often featured on national college reading lists. 

From 1994 to 2002 Tyler served as poet-in-residence at the artist-decorated Carlton Arms Hotel, living in a room with a felt rhino. A plaque (cardboard) celebrating Tyler’s stay at the hotel currently hangs on the door of his old room. Tyler’s book, From Colorado to Georgia, (The Carlton Arms Hotel, 1997) is available in the rooms of the hotel.

Tyler’s other book from this time, The Park(ing Lot) (Washington Square Arts 2000), features cover art by the graffiti artist Banksy. Later, Banksy stenciled (from the book), Tyler’s line “only the ridiculous survive” outside of London’s Paddington Station.

The No. America Series: fiction, poetry, drama, and philosophy (one book for every US state) began as Tyler's feverish post-teenage conceit and is currently being released non-consecutively in hardcover, audio-book, and e-book formats. The most recent releases from the series include;  the unauthorized biography of adam and eve (2008, Ingram Book Group, DRAMA), HOTEL STORIES (2009, Ingram Book Group, FICTION), The Warm Animals (2010, Ingram Book Group, POETRY) and Dog Is Cat (2011, Ingram Book Group, SAYINGS).

The unauthorized biography of adam and eve was turned into a film and is available on DVD and on-line.

In addition to his own books, Tyler's written work includes appearances in New York Magazine, The Sunday Times (London), The Village Voice, The Poetry Project, The United States of Poetry (Abrams), BOMB Magazine, The Observer (London), The MTV Annual Music Awards Program, and several other anthologies and reviews.

Currently, Tyler is planning a national college reading tour, the release of three more books from The No. America Series, his second music CD (Produced by BL'EVE, Platinum Beat Service), and several other projects including a clothing (with poetry lines) line.

Tyler's products are available through all major online retailers, independent bookstores, and his website (www.cutepoet.com).