Ashley Toliver is the author of Spectra (Coffee House Press, 2018) and a chapbook, Ideal Machine (Poor Claudia, 2014). She teaches poetry at the Attic Institute in southeast Portland and serves as poetry editor at Moss. A journal of the Pacific Northwest. Her work has been supported by fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets. She received her MFA from Brown University in 2013.


What will you be presenting about? Childhood associations with food

Best piece of advice you ever got about cooking: “The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight...

[Breadmaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells... there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of

meditation in a music-throbbing chapel that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.” —M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

If you could only eat one meal forever, it would be: Bread and butter

Favorite food: Bread and butter

Recommended reading: Poetry.

Best meals: There are two: a birthday dinner at LA restaurant Bestia, and a Dave’s Double with large fries and chocolate frosty from Wendy’s.

Food you'd like to try: Everything.