Poet and visual artist Todd Colby attended the University of Iowa, where he and fellow students started the band Drunken Boat in the 1980s. He moved to New York City to attend graduate school at Brooklyn College before Drunken Boat began touring and releasing CDs. His first poetry collection, Ripsnort, was published in 1994, followed by Cush (1995), Riot in the Charm Factory (1999), Tremble & Shine (2004), and Splash State (2014). The New York School poets, punk rock, spoken-word poetry, John Ashbery, and the modernists, including William Carlos Williams and Gertrude Stein, all influenced his poetry.

Colby is on the board of directors of the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, where he teaches workshops. He has collaborated with artists Marianne Vitale and David Lantow and edited the anthology Heights of the Marvelous: A New York Anthology (2000). Colby wrote a poem a day about the 2012 Tour de France for Bicycling magazine online.