Contributing Toads {5:3}

Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams

Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams has received the Whiting Writers Award, a Rona Jaffe National Literary Award, and a fellowship from the North Carolina Art Council. She is the author of The Man Who Danced with Dolls, and her work has appeared in the Oxford American, Southern Humanities, and storySouth, among other places. Abrams currently lives in Wilmington, North Carolina and teaches at UNC Wilmington. "Dodging my neighbor with the heavy tread who screams 'hey, neighbor!'--the scream is pure in its motives: designed to induce panic; lying still so as not to disturb my dog, Seamus, while he snores; having my galoshes about when it's raining; pretty dinners for one, with enough wine to go to bed like a sailor."

Allison Berry Blevins

Allison Berry Blevins received her MFA at Queens University of Charlotte and is a Lecturer for the Women's Studies Program at Pittsburg State University and the Department of English and Philosophy at Missouri Southern State University. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as the minnesota review, Sinister Wisdom, Pilgrimage, and Josephine Quarterly. She lives in Joplin, Missouri, with her wife and two children. "I think of myself mostly as a mother. Art for me is the color of the water after my children bathe, running my finger over something sticky on the counter, or any physical touch that makes my eyes widen. Art is every moment of my day when being a mother feels divine or every moment my body manages to feel like more than a mother."

Jonathan Brooks

Jonathan Brooks is an award winning Photographer/Visual Artist, whose work has been exhibited in Miami, NYC, Amsterdam, France, Germany, and the UK. His work was just part of a digital display at The Louvre, is being used as decor in a Twentieth Century Fox film starring Anna Kendrick and Zac Efron, was featured on the CW Network's The Vampire Diaries, and is available at West Elm. In 2014, he was awarded Best In Show/Photo Of The Year at the inaugural Miami Photo Salon Festival during Miami's prestigious Art Week. The same week, his work was featured on a German TV popular primetime show 'Nur die Liebe zählt'. In 2013, his work was featured on one of the biggest billboards in New York's Time Square and he finished his first short film as a Top Ten Finalist in Digital Photo Pro and HD Video Pro Magazine's 7th Annual Emerging Pro Still and Motion Competition. Brooks graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree from the University of Miami with a Communications Double Major (Advertising and Fine Arts: Photography) and a minor in Marketing. Check out his website at "Everything. As an artist, I consider all aspects of everyday life ART. From the clothes you choose to wear in the morning to the way you place things around the house, from the things on your to-do list to the songs you play in your car...I believe life is our canvas and the things we do create the final collective."

Bess Cooley

Bess Cooley’s poems have previously appeared in Spry and Mason’s Road. She is an MFA candidate at Purdue University and managing editor of Sycamore Review. "I swim for exercise and am always looking to the bottom of the pool as I swim. It’s lined with perfectly square, perfectly small tiles that make right angles to each other, diamonds, mathematically straight lines. On top of that are chaotic speckles from the light on the water—waves, flashes, bends. Alongside the neat tiles, the light looks completely disorganized. Then the water moves when I jump in, when I slice my hands in, when I flip at the wall…my movements become part of this tapestry that’s playing out below me. I’m not sure I’m making art as I do this, but it’s that noticing, the movements, the lines, the light, watching it all come together."

Nandini Dhar

Nandini Dhar is the author of the chapbook Lullabies Are Barbed Wire Nations (Two of Cups Press, 2014). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Potomac Review, PANK, Los Angeles Review, Whiskey Island, Bitter Oleander, Cream City Review and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of the journal Elsewhere. Nandini hails from Kolkata, India, and divides her time between her hometown and Miami, Florida, where she works as an Assistant Professor of English at Florida International University. "I am interested in representing childhood in complex ways, moving beyond the categories of 'childhood memory' and nostalgia. More specifically, I am interested in the questions of how children's lives intersect with historical and political memory and how such memories, in turn, politicizes them. In order to write such stories, I also heavily depend on South Asian/Indian/Bengali cultural productions, histories, folklore, literature, translating their shadows in a language that came to me through extremely violent processes of history."

Mike Dockins

Mike Dockins was born in 1972 and grew up in Yonkers NY. He holds a B.S. from SUNY Brockport (1999), an MFA from UMASS Amherst (2002), and a PhD from Georgia State University (2010). His poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, The Gettysburg Review, Third Coast, Quarterly West, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, PANK, and in the 2007 edition of Best American Poetry. His critically-acclaimed first book of poems, Slouching in the Path of a Comet (Sage Hill Press, 2007), moved 850 copies before going out of print, but will be re-issued by C&R Press in the spring of 2016. His second collection, Letter to So-and-So from Wherever, won the Maxine Kumin Award in Poetry, and was published by C&R Press in November 2014. For the last 15 years he has taught creative writing with John Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth (CTY) summer program. Mike moonlights as a singer-songwriter. Fame For Zoe, a full-length album (2005) from his acoustic-pop duo Clop, is available on iTunes. He lives currently in Brockport, NY. "The 'mythography' project started innocently enough—poems addressed to (or about) other writer friends. But then I started branching out, exploring the nature of the mythography form itself (whatever it even is), and the subjects expanded to include cats, an airport, my hometown, and here—“You, Reader.” This is much of what I love about ART—how the artist will push boundaries for the purpose of, if nothing else, seeing what will happen. These poems happened. I don't think they (the poems) will change the world, but so what? They changed my world (and continue to do so as I write more of them), and maybe they could change the world of their (the poems’) readers, even in some unobservable, microscopic, quarky way-who knows?"

Rebecca Eades

Rebecca Eades received her MFA from UNC Wilmington. She currently lives, writes, and works in the coastal community. She's kind of a beach bum. She has work forthcoming in Stoneboat. "Pine cones, dirt zen piles, and finding images in the bathroom floor are all some kind of art."

Andrew Chuani Ho

Influenced by contemporary pop-culture and the history of painting, Andrew's imaginary world embodies an amalgam of emotions and experiences. His work remains both vicarious and introspective at its core as he attempts to build an encompassing narrative adorned with cartoon motifs and lush environments.

Michael Levan

Michael Levan has work in recent or forthcoming issues of Hobart, Hunger Mountain, Indiana Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Radar Poetry, Mid-American Review, and American Literary Review. He is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Saint Francis and writes reviews for American Microreviews and Interviews. He lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with his wife, Molly, and children, Atticus and Dahlia. "Transferring a nine-month-old who's fallen asleep on top of you to her crib without waking her up is art."

Lindsay Metivier

Lindsay Metivier was born in Burlington, Vermont and currently lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2008 she earned a BFA in Photography and a BA in Art Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2011 she founded Aviary Gallery & Digital Lab in Jamaica Plain. Additionally she teaches photography and works as a photographer on a freelance basis. Her work has been shown most recently at the Dorchester Art Project, Door 3 Gallery, Stonecrop Gallery, Nave Gallery and in a Humble Arts Foundation online exhibition. "I grew up the daughter of a garbage man and the granddaughter of a hoarder who wore lipstick on her cheeks and owned an antiques store called Trash and Treasures. Every day my father went home with a truck full of treasures her family would wear, keep or sell at summer yard sales. Winter weekends were spent filling bags for dollars at church sales. This experience helped me to see art in the unusual, the discarded, the unseen."

Laura Scrivano

Laura Scrivano is an award-winning writer and director, whose work spans narrative film, theatre, music videos, commercials, live art and digital content. Her films have screened at festivals around the world including Cannes, Sundance, Budapest, Glasgow and BFI Flare, London. Laura directed the viral hit THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE, showcased at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in partnership with YouTube and featured by The Ellen Degeneres Show, The Huffington Post, Stephen Fry, Buzzfeed and The Guardian. The film has been watched over a million times online in English, French, Spanish and Chinese, and screened at over twenty film festivals worldwide. In 2013 she was awarded the European Union Film Award for her short THE ORCHARD and nominated for best director and best screenplay at the St Kilda Film Festival for RICOCHET. Laura is currently in production on THE PASSION, a short film series for The Guardian, and developing her first feature. Some of her favourite things are David Lynch, French New Wave, time travel, coffee and dancing. "Riding the subway car shoulder to shoulder with a stranger, the unique time displacement of air travel, a perfectly made expresso, the Manhattan skyline, a ripe tomato, a sentence containing a well placed curse."

Alethea Magdalena Tusher

Alethea Magdalena Tusher is an MFA candidate in the creative writing program at the University of Notre Dame and has a poem published in PRØOF. "Art is when a kid almost crashed into me on his bike, but instead hopped a wheely and landed on his feet without ever directly acknowledging me."