Contributing Toads {2:3}

Rachel Bennett

My poetry has appeared in Avocet, Big City Lit, elimae, I-70 Review, New Madrid, Smartish Pace, and The Portland Review, among others. I'm an alumnus of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop Irish Writing Program in Dublin, have given readings at Cornelia Street Café and KGB Bar in New York City, and live and write in Brooklyn. Here at the end of this particularly hot summer, I can tell you that everyday life affords art in the form of bells, bodegas, conversations on stoops, and vanilla softserve from musical trucks, with crushed peanuts.

Anne Charlton

I am currently preparing to enter Vanderbilt University's Master of Fine Arts program in poetry after graduating from Purdue University with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing. My poetry has been published in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, the Bell Tower (Purdue's undergraduate literary magazine), and the Purdue Exponent's Literary Edition. A few aspects of everyday life that I consider art include writing in cursive, sending letters, the way light falls through trees onto wooden picnic tables, being from a certain place, really delicious turkey sandwiches and the play-like quality of combining ingredients for a new recipe in a crisp, clean mixing bowl - all of which tend to spring from interactions from those people in a life who serve as north stars.

Christina Cook

Christina Cook is the author of Lake Effect (Finishing Line Press, June 2012). Her work has appeared most recently in New Ohio Review, Dos Passos Review, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review. She holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a contributing editor for Inertia Magazine and assistant editor at Cerise Press. Christina is the senior writer for the president of Dartmouth College. An aspect of everyday life that I consider art ~ the exaggerated shadows the sun makes of things as it falls. I see these as momentary aspects of a physical form created by the mundane play of darkness and light; the reduction of a form to a shadow that is part of the form but also separate from it.

Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is author of a poetry chapbook, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N BKS, 2012). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 1913, Court Green, Forklift Ohio, ILK, Inter | rupture, Radioactive Moat, and elsewhere. He serves as an Assistant Editor for YesYes Books and co-curates The Dollhouse Reading Series in Chicago. I think a person's posture is a form of art. A person walking upright probably believes in the power and intimidation structure. A person slouching gives gravity and other laws of physics more control. Also graffiti is art - see a lot of it riding the trains in Chicago. Although most graffiti artists around here just tag their signatures and not much else, which I find odd. That would be like me crossing out the name on the front of a book and signing my name in its place.

Patrick Dougherty

Patrick Dougherty was born in Oklahoma, but grew up in North Carolina, where he roamed the woods as a child. As an adult, he combined his carpentry skills with his love of nature and began to learn about primitive techniques of building and to experiment with tree saplings as construction material. Beginning about 1980 with small works, fashioned in his backyard, he quickly moved from single pieces on conventional pedestals to monumental site-specific installations that require sticks by the truckload. To date he has built over two hundred thirty such massive sculptures all over the world. His home is his handmade house of log outside Chapel Hill, NC where he lives with his wife Linda and son Sam.

Lee Etheredge IV

Lee Etheredge IV is an artist living and working in Shanghai China. He was born in 1968 in the United States. After completing a Medical Degree in1995, he gave up a career in medicine and moved to New York to study drawing, painting and sculpture. His work combines this artistic training with a scientific background and his affinity for conceptual, language and process driven art. He lived and worked in New York for over 15 years, until 2011 when he relocated to Shanghai. He has works in both public and private collections. typingisthinkingitypetoseeitypetohearhistoryisinlanguagelettersaremarkslettersarenumberslanguageisacode formetheformationofnewwordsandsoundswhenwordsarestrungtogetherisart

Jennifer Gravley

Jennifer Gravley works for a university press located on an industrial boulevard. Her work has appeared in La Petite Zine, Laurel Review, and Puerto del Sol, among others. One artful aspect of everyday life I consider striking is how we are not the sole owners and proprietors of our own stories, how others constantly hijack, subvert, rewrite, and otherwise just take over the stories/mythologies of our own lives for their own purposes, due to their own perceptions (or misperceptions), and just because they must to make sense of us.

Megan Hudgins

Megan Hudgins is an MA in Creative Writing graduate from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where she was the Editing Assistant for the renowned literary journal, Sou'wester. Some of her poetry can be found at Anti-poetry.com as well as at SIUE's River Bluff Review. When her cat vomits on the carpet, he often tries to cover it up and, by doing so, creates the most perfect carpet-corona. If that's not art....

Lucien Darjeun Meadows

Lucien Darjeun Meadows is a being concerned with Be-ing. He began writing as a child among the mountains of Monongalia County, West Virginia. For Lucien, poetry is an alchemical process informed by the confluence of myth and modernity, the narration of self, and the construction of gender identity. His poetry has appeared in journals such as Appalachian Heritage, Battered Suitcase, and Quarterly West. Lucien is an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he lives with his cosmic cohort, radiant muse, divine spark!— and a plastic cat named Euripides. Lucien may be contacted at (aelfkin@gmail.com). Art is re-presentation of existence; thus, art is always around us. Each day, I find art in touring the supermarket produce aisles, tying my vegan shoes, and riding Igor, my bicycle.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye is one Texan who loves summer. She truly hopes Rick Perry might be defeated one of these years. She is also a native St. Louisan and a Palestinian-American and has written or edited around 33 books. Washing dishes by hand, arranging the clean dishes on a fresh tea towel, has always struck me as a graceful, peaceful act of daily art. Looking at the quietly drying silverware all lined up...

Tony Rickaby

Tony Rickaby’s conceptual works, installations and paintings have been shown throughout Europe and the US. His current practice concerns historical and autobiographical reflections on parts of South London, where he lives. He has written for Anderbo, Aspidistra, Athregeum, Dark Sky, Streetcake, Word Riot, Young, Fresh & Relevant and produced animations and visual poems for Counterexample Poetics, Cricket, Drunken Boat, Locus Novus, Otholiths and Suss. www.tonyrickaby.co.uk

Jack Ridl

Jack Ridl's new collection Practicing to Walk like a Heron will be published in 2013 by Wayne State University Press. He loves being part of Toad's wild ride. Walking our dog is an art. I never know where he's headed and his nose takes me places I would otherwise never discover and savor. When I come home and he's glad to see me it's kinda like when I come across a work of any art that says, "I don't give a damn; yer okay."

Bobby Rogers

Bobby C. Rogers grew up in West Tennessee and was educated at Union University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and the University of Virginia. His book Paper Anniversary won the 2009 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize at University of Pittsburgh Press and was nominated for the Poets’ Prize. He is Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He lives in Memphis with his wife and son and daughter. Art in everyday life? Paper bookmarks from no-longer-in-business bookstores, an outfield assist, oxidized copper flashing around brick chimneys, cuff links.

Drew Tanner

Drew Tanner is a writer, photographer and web developer who lives with his wife and daughter in a two-room schoolhouse near Huntersville, West Virginia. He has one dog, one cat, three jobs and twelve cameras. He experiences art every day in his work as a writer and photographer--in the cadences and drawls of speech and the shifting of light through the trees and mountains.