Contributing Toads {2:2}

Marck L. Beggs

Marck L. Beggs lives a complicated life in a cabin by a pond in Arkansas, sort of like Thoreau with technology. When he is not writing or singing his quasi-folk songs, he can sometimes be found watching the weeds proliferate in his garden as he daydreams of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and butternut squash. Needless to say, he cites Whitman as a major influence. He is the author of three collections of poetry: Catastrophic Chords, Libido Café, and Godworm. He plays in a psychedelic folk-duo named Bohemian Sauce, and his wife, Carly, is one hot tomato. Between her and the cat, the cabin is full of shifting art. The three dogs are not as pretty. Lately, he has decided that the call of the whippoorwill is the most beautiful noise on Earth.

Alfred Brown IV

Alfred Brown IV is a PhD candidate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and plays music with the band DANGERS. A story of his will soon be published in Fence. The art of his everyday includes a plywood bed, a dying drought-resistant garden, and the Cruyff Turn.

Andrea Cohen

Andrea Cohen’s most recent books are Kentucky Derby and Long Division (Salmon Poetry.) She directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, MA.

Lawrence Kaplun

Lawrence Kaplun’s poems have appeared in Gay & Lesbian Review, Red River Review, and Sonora Review. He lives in Brooklyn.

An aspect in my everyday life that I consider art: Since I live in New York City, and ride the train on a daily basis, the music that occurs during travel (whether on the train itself or at the train station) is something I try not to take for granted. On any given morning or night, I can hear the saxophone, trumpet, violin, flute, harp, harmonica, bango, guitar, keyboard, or an occasional opera singer at the train stations I pass through. Sometimes, I only hear a moment of it. Then other times, my destination is no longer the priority. A few weeks ago, I listened to a jazz trio at Union Square for fifteen minutes. It was a great moment of solitude before going back up to the heavy rush of the street.

Carr Kizzier

Carr Kizzier lives in Baltimore. His work has appeared in B&W, Uncropped, and the Best of Carriage House. ‘The shadows of the streetlights leaking through the curtains vibrate on the walls at 2am, hinting at the mysteries I want to reveal in my work.’

Matt Mauch

One aspect of daily life (or at least “every day on the weekend life”) I consider poetry is spinning stacks of 50¢ used albums on the old GE Solid State “Wildcat” record player I used to have when was eight years old, and found while clearing out storage space at my parents’ house a year or so ago, watching the younger of our two cats as she is absolutely fascinated with the machinations of music via vinyl.

Matt Mauch is the author of Prayer Book (Lowbrow Press) and the forthcoming chapbook The Brilliance of the Sparrow (Mondo Bummer). His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Salt Hill, NOÖ Journal, H_NGM_N, DIAGRAM, Willow Springs, The Los Angeles Review, Sonora Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Spinning Jenny, and elsewhere. Host of the various readings that comprise the Great Twin Cities Poetry Read (GTCPR) + Road Show, and editor of the annual anthology Poetry City, USA, Mauch teaches writing and literature in the AFA program at Normandale Community College. He lives in Minneapolis.

Antonio McAfee

I would like to claim that every aspect of everyday is art, or at very least fodder for art. Specifically, I find daily interpersonal experiences art.

Raised in Baltimore, MD, Antonio McAfee received his BFA in Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. With a portfolio of historically anchored interdisciplinary digital photography he attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a MFA in photography. Afterwards, Antonio spent a brief period in London and western Europe where he began To The Day (working title) an ongoing photography series. In 2010, he spent the year in Johannesburg, South Africa as a Fulbright scholar studying Arts and Culture Management at the University of Witwatersrand from which he earned a Post-Graduate Diploma. McAfee has hosted radio shows at VOW 90.5 FM University of Witwatersrand and WQHS UPenn Student Radio Station. Currently, Antonio is a visual artist living and working in Baltimore. He is adjunct faculty at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and Northern Virginia Community College, and a 2012 Fulbright Alumni Ambassador.

Nathan McClain

Nathan McClain currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Quarterly West, The Journal, Nimrod, Cave Wall, Linebreak and Best New Poets. He is currently a MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College.

Aspect(s) of everyday life that I consider art: I find cooking, which, admittedly, I don’t do enough of, to be wonderfully artistic; there’s something about gathering the little parts of a meal and shaping a whole that I find wonderful. Unless, of course, you’re cooking for one; then maybe it’s just sad.

Jordan Pennington

Jordan Pennington is studying creative writing as an undergrad at the University of Central Arkansas. He has been published at, New Wave Vomit, and Mad Swirl.

Two aspects of everyday life that he considers art are trying not to sound rude or creepy on the telephone and winning the affection of house cats.

John Popielaski

Some of my poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Freshwater, Post Road, Redivider, and The Tulane Review. Also, my collection Isn’t It Romantic? won the 2011 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize and is forthcoming from Texas Review Press.

An aspect of life that I consider to be art is the appearance and disappearance of the pileated woodpecker at the suet pack I often stare at for periods of time I could be doing something more constructive.

Wendy Rawlings

Wendy Rawlings is the author of The Agnostics and Come Back Irish. She teaches creative writing in the University of Alabama’s MFA and undergraduate programs and lives with her husband, the poet Joel Brouwer, and three black rescue dogs: Jinx, Nana and Buck, in downtown Tuscaloosa. Aspects of everyday life she considers to be art include running fast up the steep hill near her house and petting three dogs at the same time.

Camilo Roldán

Camilo Roldán is a poet and translator living in New York City. He is the author of a chapbook of translations, Amílkar U., Nadaísta in Translation (These Signals Press) and a co-curator for the Triptych Reading Series at The 11th Street Bar. Camilo is nearly blind and has difficulty delineating figure ground relationships, so he often feels like everything is art.

Jean-Pierre Parra

“In the distance of the dream” or “Dans le lointain du rêve” (english and french), poems and pictures published at Editions DESSABLES. The book will presented at the North Charleston art festival where Mariannic Parra is invited to exhibit fifteen tableaux in May 2012.

Words brought on the page, paintings brought to the canvas, to state the unexpected in the expected future.

Poems translated from the french by David Sawaya.

Joseph Salvatore

Joseph Salvatore has published fiction and criticism in The Brooklyn Rail, Dossier Journal, H.O.W. Journal, LIT, New York Tyrant, Open City, Post Road, Salt Hill, Sleeping Fish, Willow Springs, 110 Stories (NYU Press, 2001), and Routeledge’s Encyclopedia of Queer Culture (2003). He is a frequent fiction reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, and an assistant professor at The New School, where he founded their literary journal, LIT, and where he was awarded the University’s Award for Teaching Excellence. He is an associate book review editor for The Brooklyn Rail. His debut collection of short stories, To Assume a Pleasing Shape, from BOA Editions, was published 2011. He lives in New York City.

An aspect of everyday life considered art would be morning coffee prep: from mixing light- and dark-roasted beans, to grinding, coning, tamping, kettling, boiling, blossoming, filtered-first-pour followed by calibrated next. And next and next. Until a cupping I go.

Jared Salyers

Jared Salyers is a working poet who currently lives and writes in Mt. Sterling, KY. He has served as an Instructor of English at Morehead State University for the past 4 years. He is currently compiling a manuscript which he hopes will soon become his first collection of poetry.

Jesse Wide

Jesse Wide currently lives and teaches high school in Atlanta, Georgia. He was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, and considers it his home. Jesse enjoys spending time with his new wife, Emily, and attempts to write a bit each night around 10pm, EST.

I find my most generative artistic moments from day to day come when I am in transport—in the car or on a train. I value how succinct, random, and elucidating these transitions can be.