Contributing Toads {6:2}

Peter Croteau

Peter Croteau was born in Boston, MA in 1988. Moving many times through various tract house suburbs as a youth gave him a further understanding of the differences and similarities in the landscape across the USA. He became most interested in the concepts of the in-between and the sublime in the landscape and how the two may intersect. He considers himself to be an explorer of mundane spaces looking to transform the everyday into something otherworldly through the use of 8x10 and 4x5 view cameras. Peter received his Masters of Fine Arts in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 and his Bachelors of Science in Photography from Drexel University in 2010. He currently lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Adam Day

Adam Day is the author of the collection of poetry, Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Emerging Writers Award. His work has appeared in the Boston Review, Kenyon Review, APR, AGNI, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. He also directs the Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden, Scotland, and Bernheim Forest. "Getting in and out of the shower."

Jake Dypka

Jake Dypka is a commercial and content filmmaker based in London. "Art isn't always present in everyday life but is something to strive for on a daily basis. The aspects of life I consider art working as a filmmaker in London are those rare moments you create something purely for the pleasure of creating rather than to please other people. I find can find this in small parts on a day to day but they are hard fought for. The line between art and creativity become blurred I think. When we create something we aren't always being artistic often just logical or lateral in our thinking. Art needs to be more honest and personal than most day to day creativity. Sometimes I walk around the streets with my stills camera just to create something for the pleasure rather than any personal gain. I feel no pressure with personal photography so I have the freedom to take bad photos. At those points I feel closer to art than any other. Art takes courage. Something I wish I had much more of. The idea unmade is just an idea but art is thought transformed into something real. That gap between the idea and tangible thing is the real magic. That is the gap I think we all struggle with the most on a day to day basis. There must be people out there who have had the most incredible artistic ideas but were too scared, lazy, or busy with the real world to turn them into reality. Those ideas are now lost and can't be considered art. So no. The way I make tea isn't art. Nor is the tune I hum to myself. Art is a rarer thing that appears when people are given the time, space, freedom, and comfort to express something truly. Hollie McNish makes art, I just make films sometimes."

Barbara Harroun

Barbara Harroun is an Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University. Her most recent work is forthcoming or appearing in Fiction Southeast, Watershed Review, Rappahannock Review and Iron Horse Literary Review. Her favorite creative endeavors are her awesome kids, Annaleigh and Jack. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she can be found walking her beloved dog, Banjo, or engaging in literacy activism and radical optimism. She can be found at barbaraharroun.com. "Daily art comes in the form of finding the correct ratio of cream and coffee each morning, moving her body for pleasure rather than punitive measures, paying attention, and seeking new ways to get her kids to burble over with laughter."

Amorak Huey

Amorak Huey, a former newspaper editor and reporter, is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump(Sundress, 2015) and the chapbooks The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014) and A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly, forthcoming in 2016). He teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His poems appear in The Best American Poetry 2012The Southern ReviewThe CollagistOxford American, and elsewhere. "I've been thinking about geography and art. Where we are; the world around us; how we invent place; how place invents us. These poems are trying to explore those connections. Also, time; how place does not stand still."

Jessie Janeshek

Jessie Janeshek's second full-length book of poems, The Shaky Phase, is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press. Her chapbooks are Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia, (dancing girl press, 2016), and Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming, 2017). Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010) is her first full-length collection. An Assistant Professor of English and the Director of Writing at Bethany College, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. She co-edited the literary anthology Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers (KWG Press, 2008). Read more at jessiejaneshek.net. "Legwarmers, a lipstick named Dark Era"

Rob Kenagy

Rob Kenagy's work has appeared in Vinyl, Best of the Net, Forklift, Ohio and elsewhere. He makes music with Early Aughts and is one half of BIG LOTTO. "Active and creative listening."

Jennifer L. Knox

The New York Times Book Review said Jennifer L. Knox's new book, Days of Shame and Failure, "hits, with deceptive ease, all the poetic marks a reader could want: intellectual curiosity, emotional impact, beautiful language, surprising revelation and arresting imagery." Jennifer is the author of four books of poems. Her work has appeared four times in the Best American Poetry series as well as The New York Times, The New Yorker, and American Poetry Review. She teaches at Iowa State University and is really a parakeet. "The question, 'what aspect of everyday life do you consider art?' assumes that most aspect of everyday life are not art. I believe they contain each other. Where else would we get art if not from everyday life? The Weekend Epiphany Specialtime Art Store? Though certainly aspects of everyday life can seem decidedly UNarftul—meetings, schedules, and listening to people complain about schedules. Bullshit is not art, though some people turn bullshitting into an art. Faye, our Jack Russell terrier, is an artful bullshitter. Whenever it's time to go for a walk, Faye has to run and hide under the table and evade us for at least five minutes before she'll let us put the leash on her. It's pretty funny. But I'm fairly certain that most things can cross over the Jello wall into art if I'm open to their unique truth."

Eugenia Loli

Eugenia is a filmmaker and a modern vintage collage artist. Before art took over her life, she was in the technology sector. She's originally from Greece, but for many years now she has lived in California. "It's important for me to 'say' something with my artwork, so for the vast majority of my work there's a meaning behind them. I usually do this via presenting a 'narrative' scene in my collages, like there's something bigger going on than what's merely depicted. Sometimes the scene is witty or sarcastic, some times it's horrific with a sense of danger or urgency, some times it's chill. I leave it to the viewer's imagination to fill-in the blanks of the story plot." See more of her work at http://eugenialoli.tictail.com/.

Kathleen McGookey

Kathleen McGookey’s most recent book is Stay (Press 53). Her book Heart in a Jar is forthcoming from White Pine Press in Spring 2017. Her work has appeared in journals including Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Field, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and Quarterly West. She has received grants from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. "I think talking with very young children (seven and under), really listening to what they say and talking with them, is an art. Often I have a joyous, unexpected, exhilarating conversation with a young child, if I can just listen to what they are interested in. It certainly helps that I no longer have children this age."

Susan Blackwell Ramsey

Susan Blackwell Ramsey's poems have appeared in The Southern Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review and Poetry Northwest, among other journals, and in Best American Poetry; her book, A Mind Like This, won the Prairie Schooner Poetry Book Prize. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which exists. "Around this house, gardening is the closest we come to experiencing art on a daily basis, since it's hard work where the illusion of control is shattered at regular intervals, both by repeated failures and by unexpected beauty we facilitated but ultimately didn't create. Also, there are bugs."

Emma Steinkraus

Emma Steinkraus studied at Williams College and the University of Iowa; she co-edits Company Journal. You can find out more at emmasteinkraus.com.

Laryssa Wirstiuk

Laryssa Wirstiuk is a poet and writer based in Los Angeles, where she lives with her miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo. Her writing has been published in Word Riot, Gargoyle Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Atticus Review, among other venues. You can view her portfolio here: http://www.laryssawirstiuk.com. "Standing on a sidewalk in a big city, looking up, and prompting a curious stranger to also look is a daily art."