Tost was born in Springfield, Missouri, and raised in Enumclaw, Washington. He is a graduate of both Green River Community College in Auburn, Washington and College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. Tost graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arkansas. He also holds a Ph.D. in English from Duke University.
He is the founding editor of the online poetry magazine Fascicle and previously a co-editor and co-founder, with Zachary Schomburg, of Octopus Magazine. His poems and essays have appeared in the literary journals Fence, Hambone, Talisman, Mandorla, No: a journal of the arts, Denver Quarterly, Typo, American Literature, Jacket, Verse, Open Letter and elsewhere.
In 2011, Tost's book on Johnny Cash's American Recordings was published by Continuum Books in their 33 1/3 series on classic albums. Critic Joshua Scheiderman wrote that Tost's book "ultimately belongs in the long, rich tradition of texts like Constance Rourke’s American Humor: A Study of the National Character (1931) and Greil Marcus’s The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (1997), ostensibly academic studies of American culture but also works of mythopoesis in their own right."
- Invisible Bride (2004)
- World Jelly (2005)
- Complex Sleep (2007)
- Johnny Cash's American Recordings (criticism, 2011)
- Walt Whitman Award Web page from the Academy of American Poets Web site
- Academy of American Poets Web site: Tony Tost Exhibit/author page, accessed November 17, 2006
- Interview with Lisa Horan at Creative Screenwriting
- Author bio at Brown University
- A Review of Johnny Cash's American Recordings by Tony Tost at Neo-Americanist: an inter-disciplinary online journal for the study of America
- Tony Tost at IMDB
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