Born on February 14, 1950 in Toronto, Canada, Richard Truhlar is a poet, fictioneer, visual artist, text/sound/musical composer and performer, editor and publisher. He began writing poetry and prose at the age of 11, and had his first published work in 1971.
In 1975 he co-founded Phenomenon Press with fellow writer John Riddell, and together they edited and published the avant-garde periodical Kontakte. In the same year, Truhlar established the Kontakte Writers in Performance Series which featured readings and performances by most of Canada's foremost experimental writers. The Series ran for a total of 10 years and featured over 100 artists including Sheila Watson, bpNichol, Michael Ondaatje, Henri Chopin, Bernard Heidsieck and Nicole Brossard.
A great believer in performance collaboration, Truhlar was an active member of the sound poetry group Owen Sound. Over a ten year period, this poetry performance ensemble gave 80 readings across Canada, in the USA and Europe. In the late 1970s, he joined with musician Glenn Frew to form the new wave rock band Warm Jets, after which he formed the electroacoustic chamber music ensemble Tekst. Founded in 1980, Tekst explored the interface between writing and music in original ways, gave a number of major performances, and published four albums of their compositions. Truhlar also collaborated with such artists as Steve McCaffery, Susan Frykberg, bpNichol, Michael Chocholak, and Eugene Martynec.
He was a founding editor/publisher of Underwhich Editions where, along with a number of other writers, he published books, chapbooks, broadsides, microfiche, leaflets and progressive audio recordings of sound poetry and electroacoustic music.
In the field of broadcasting, Truhlar distinguished himself through the production of literary programs. He produced two series for radio station CJRT-FM: The Art of Sound Poetry, and Canadian Poetry in the 1980s, where such guests as The Four Horsemen, Victor Coleman and Christopher Dewdney were interviewed and read from their works. He also worked as a volunteer staff member at radio station CKLN-FM, where he created, produced and hosted the live broadcast of In Other Words, a programme devoted to contemporary writing; and he hosted the first live interview in Canada with composer Philip Glass for the CBC's Two New Hours.
In the field of electroacoustic composition, Truhlar has had five albums of his music and text-sound works released, and has had numerous broadcasts of his work throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.
He is presently co-publisher/editor of Teksteditions along with Beverley Daurio.
[Photo credit: Sharon Harris]