Contributing Toads {2:1}

Max Chen

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Jamison Crabtree

Jamison Crabtree is a Black Mountain Institute Ph.D. Fellow at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he lives with eleven long-haired cats (each named after Babysitter’s Club characters) and makes an artistic practice out of ignoring his beard.

Other poems from this series have appeared in DIAGRAM, Radioactive Moat, and Hayden’s Ferry Review.

Tory Adkisson

Tory Adkisson currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he edits poetry for The Journal. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Cave Wall, Sou’wester, Birmingham Poetry Review, Third Coast, and 32 Poems, among others. He finds art in inscrutable places, most of which lie somewhere on the horizon lines of the male body.

Monic Ductan

As for my background, I am a Southern fiction writer and poet from rural Georgia. I have an undergrad degree in Creative Writing from Georgia State University. My work has appeared in Black Magnolias Journal, Stone Highway Review, Montucky Review, and several other journals.

I think dreams are a rare, beautiful type of art. They are full of imagery, sound, ambiguity, and nonsense.

Ruth Baumann

My name is Ruth Baumann. I hope to attend an MFA program someday, but until then, I’ll work in a million restaurants. I consider most things art, except restaurants, although on good days they’re a sort of strange, experimental poetry, too.

Molly Kat

Molly Katherine is a poet and artist studying Literature in the Graduate Program at Binghamton University. In 2010 she went on a three month cross country poetry tour where she lived out of her car and had readings at 45 different venues. Molly’s plans include an MFA in poetry, travelling to every continent, eating lots of chocolate, and opening an all female run art center and independent press that publishes people based solely on talent; where they’ve been published before, who they’ve slept with, and what circle they belong to will have absolutely no bearing. She considers driving the neglected, pock mocked streets of Binghamton and avoiding the holes that are deeper than a foot, art. She thinks the man who waves at her every morning with his shopping cart full of empty beer bottles is art. Ke$ha is not art.

D.R. James

About me: I’ve published poems in several journals and three chapbooks (from Finishing Line Press and Puddinghouse), as well as the collection Since Everything Is All I’ve Got, which came out this past summer from March Street Press. I’ve been teaching writing and literature for 35 years and am currently having a blast working on a low-residency MFA in poetry through Pacific University, where my classmates are younger than my own kids and some profs younger than I. In the everyday, applying my nightly Breathe Right nose strip is an art–just where, the right angle, the perfect pressure. And we all sleep much better.

William Harris

My poetry has appeared in six countries in such literary journals as The Cannon’s Mouth, Ascent Aspirations, and Write On!!! I am a student at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, where I have been lucky enough to study poetry in workshop settings with such poets as Jesse Janeshek, Marilyn Kallet, Arthur Smith, and Marcel Brouwers. I believe poetry is everywhere; contrasting concrete images with abstract notions in my work.

Rachel Lyon

Here’s a bio: Rachel Lyon is just rounding out her third year in the MFA program at Indiana University, where she’s the fiction editor for Indiana Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Arts & Letters, and The Saint Ann’s Review.

Everyday art is attempting a perfect poached egg every morning.

Karissa Morton

Karissa Morton hails from Des Moines, Iowa, and is currently an MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University, where she teaches in the General Studies Writing program. Over three dozen of her poems can be found in journals both online and in print. When not grading papers or writing poems, she spends an inordinate amount of time attempting to make blinchiki——she’s yet to succeed, and therefore assumes there must be not only an art to this, but a secret art.


Jessy Randall

Jessy Randall is the Curator of Special Collections at Colorado College. She and Daniel M. Shapiro have a collection of collaborative poems, Interruptions, forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press. She considers these aspects of everyday life to be art: putting the car in reverse, zippering up zippers, opening doors with keys, and making that circular thumb motion one makes to turn the volume up or down on one’s IPod.

Nathaniel Rounds

A reformed photographer born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Nathaniel S. Rounds writes from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Once you strip the noise and stress from the everyday, your eyes and ears will find art with a capital “A” from your feet to the horizon line.

Daniel Shapiro

Aspects of everyday life that I consider art are the warm coils of an electric blanket and walking down Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh to see two of the city’s skyscrapers peek into my neighborhood over the trees.

Jay Sizemore

Jay Sizemore has never lived by the sea. He has never sat in a dusty attic, clickity-clacking away while the ghosts of his ancestors whispered the secrets of existence in his ears. He writes poems because he has thoughts that beg solidarity, and he hopes the effort of creation strikes as true as the chisel in his gravestone, though he knows his voice blends like the blurred wings of the moth, into the silence of the night. His poetry has recently appeared in the anthology Prompted: An International Collection of Poems, has also appeared in Zephyrus, and in an independent journal called Drainage. He lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife Elizabeth. They have three cats.

Robert Slentz-Kesler

Robert Slentz-Kesler lives and writes in Durham, North Carolina.

Sam Spreckley

Sam Spreckley is a British/Scottish artist specializing in the moving image and experimental film/video. He attended Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee Scotland where he would study Time Based Art and eventually a Masters in Electronic Imaging. The artist has exhibited Nationally and Internationally most recently in Thessaloniki in Greece representing the United Kingdom as part of the European Young Artists Biennial. The artist continues to live and work in Europe undertaking arts residencies and continuing to explore the possibilities of video and film.

and finally.. to answer the question “What aspect of everyday life do you consider art?”

Interesting question! and perhaps a question that can go on and on. My video works are often based upon everyday life, even though at times they can be more abstract. What interests me or better, influences me from life are the smallest details that we often miss. Some of my early works centered around the notions of Hypomania, the way the human mind can at times be in such a heightened state that even the smallest details can seem overpowering or simply more noticeable and poetic. It was this basic premise that began to fascinate me about using a heightened sound design with my video work. Perhaps a moment or time that normally could be seen as banal or unimportant takes on a new sense, a much more powerful sense. So this aspect of ‘everyday’ life really interests me and informs my artwork!

Gaia Veenis

Gaia Patience Veenis lives in San Francisco, California, where she is a graduate student in SFSU’s Creative Writing program. She finds the act of being human to be art in its truest form. She earned a BA in journalism and English at San Diego State University in 2006 because she dreamed of writing about “things that matter” as a young lass, and has been published in the San Diego CityBeat and several other local newspapers and magazines. After being laid off from her job (that she always hated anyway) at a marketing agency in 2009, she decided to skip down a new path. She now works on the fiction and non-fiction she feels passionate about and travels the world sleeping on strangers’ couches whenever she has a bit of free time.

One aspect of everyday life that I consider art is when strangers strike up a conversation in a public place and make an unexpected connection. People don’t talk to each other nearly as much as we should.

Marcos Zotes

Marcos Zotes (Madrid, 1977) is an architect based in New York City. He received his Professional Diploma in Architecture with Distinction from London Metropolitan University, followed by a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design with Honors for Excellence in Design from Columbia University. Marcos has worked internationally in various architecture offices, most notably OMA / Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, and CHORA / Raoul Bunschoten in London, and has taught at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavik.

Marcos is currently pursuing Advanced Architectural Research at GSAPP, Columbia University, and teaching at Barnard and Columbia Colleges Architecture Program.