Contributing Toads {6:3}

Jessica Rae Bergamino

Jessica Rae Bergamino is the author of several chapbooks, most recently The Desiring Object or Voyager Two Explains to the Gathering of Stars How She Came to Glow Among Them (Sundress Publications, 2016). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, The Cincinatti Review, Gulf Coast, The Journal, and Salt Hill. She holds an MFA from the University of Washington and is currently a doctoral student in literature and creative writing at the University of Utah. "Survival, casseroles, and resistance."

Alexis Rhone Fancher

Alexis Rhone Fancher’s poem, “when I turned fourteen, my mother’s sister took me to lunch and said:” was chosen by Edward Hirsch for inclusion in The Best American Poetry of 2016. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems, (Sybaritic Press, 2014), and State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (KYSO Flash Press, 2015). She is published in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Wide Awake:Poets of Los Angeles, Hobart, H_NGM_N, and elsewhere. Since 2013 Alexis has been nominated for eleven Pushcart Prizes and four Best of The Net awards. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. "I’m privileged to write full time, and when I’m not writing, I’m photographing the inhabitants of my beloved Los Angeles, where I inhabit a downtown loft/studio space in a repurposed 1924 bank building adorned with griffins, columns, and delicious façades."

Jessica Fjeld

Jessica Fjeld is the author of the chapbooks The Tide (Pilot Books) and On animate life (Poetry Society of America), for which she received the PSA's Chapbook Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in Conduit, Fou, iO, jubilat, Poetry, and elsewhere. In 2015, she was awarded a "Discovery" Poetry Prize by the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center and the Boston Review. She lives in Boston and works as a lawyer and teacher. "Practicing compassion for others, of which the most important and most difficult piece is actually listening."

J.I. Kleinberg

Bellingham, Washington, freelance writer, artist and Pushcart-nominated poet J.I. Kleinberg is co-editor of Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington (Other Mind Press 2015). Selections from her series (1200+) of found-word collages have appeared recently in Diagram, Otoliths, Hedgerow, Yew Journal, Shadowgraph, Atlas & Alice, and elsewhere. "Art is the question mark that lingers from dreams, the day's untested vocabulary of light, the semi-colon of an afternoon nap, the raw syntax of experiment, the single sentence that does not end with sleep."

Jessica Lai

Jolene Lai is a Los Angeles-based artist and illustrator born and raised in Singapore. After studying painting at Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore, Jolene studied graphic design at UCLA and spent a year working at movie-poster design house, The Refinery Creative, before returning to focus on fine art. She works primarily with oil on canvas or mixed media on water color paper. With bold use of color, shape and intricate detail, she creates images with a seductive aesthetic and subject matter that weaves in emotions of whimsy, melancholy, irony and absurdity. Lai seeks to engage her audience in works that are approachable, newly imagined spaces that the viewer is invited to explore on their own terms. "Walking down the street, sipping coffee and thinking about nothing."

Ösel Jessica Plante

Ösel Jessica Plante’s poetry, and flash fiction, has appeared or is forthcoming in the Best Small Fictions 2016 anthology, Mid-American Review, Mississippi Review, New Ohio Review, Rattle, Salamander, Zone 3, and others. She is pursuing a PhD in Poetry at Florida State University. "I recently attended a reading by the scholar/poet Andrew Epstein who teaches here at Florida State University. His latest book, 'Attention Equals Life: The Pursuit of the Everyday in Contemporary Poetry and Culture,' discusses how poets, and the act of attention--not just seeing, allow for epiphanic moments to be discovered in the daily and quotidian. This resonates because I've often thought of myself, poetically, as a magpie. I collect any number of bright, shiny things and carry them back to my creative brain space: bits of conversation, a sudden view moon over a Waffle House, an arresting sensation of loss or longing for someone, who? have I met them? or is it a longing for self? Anyway, all these items and ideas, feelings and sensations, generally swirl in my mind until inspiration runs them out and together onto the page as a draft. I never know what a poem will look like beforehand. I believe anything, from blow drying your hair to blowing up a flat tire, can be made into art, and I, through a willingness to attend to these moments, somehow, am the art before the ART."

Roger Salucci

The artist painter, Roger Salucci was born in Beaucaire, Provence, near Avignon in the south of France in 1942. His father was originally from Florence, Italy. His mother was originary of La Falda, Argentina. In 1970, he took first place in the Autumn Salon in Paris as a painter of less than thirty. Later, he exhibited in London, Dusseldorf, Haamburg, Quito, Buenos-Aires, Los Angeles and several french towns of Europe. He won a prize in London biennale 2015. The famous composer, Francis Lai bought about 40 paintings from him. "In my everyday life, I explore its diversity with my thoughts and emotions. I read reality in my own way. From abstract elements, I create figurative forms. They have their own language, their own signs. I always use pure colors because I don’t want to mix them in order to obtain special effects. If you see a work of mine, it will appear very different from various angles and distances. My hope is to be read by an audience. you will perhaps manage to discover some secrets in my work which is personal. I don't copy anybody."

Meghan Tutolo

Meghan Tutolo is an artist with some writing degrees and two cats with smooshy faces. She romances olives and Italian food for a living and teaches composition at a local college. When she isn’t writing or grading, she can be found sleepless painting, doodling, poeming, playing her guitar or stalking cats on Instagram. “I have this poem out there about thinking everything is art, even the arrangement of salad bar veggies on my plate. Pretty romantic stuff. Over the years, I’ve learned that finding the meaning in everything, every detail, is what makes life both magical and excruciating. Being tuned in is probably my tragic flaw—I’m just lucky I can make it a song.”

Florencia Varela

Florencia Varela's poems have appeared in journals such as Western Humanities Review, Drunken Boat, Diagram, The Destroyer, Phantom Limb, Gulf Coast, and Washington Square Journal. She completed her MFA in poetry at Columbia University. Her chapbook, Outside of Sleep, was published in 2012 by Dancing Girl Press. She currently lives in Brooklyn. "Proactively applying creative and critical thinking to buying flowers, brushing the dog, gift-wrapping, listening to Nocturnes--it's all in a day's artwork."