"If you build a bridge, a lion may cross it and eat you. But if you don't build a bridge, you will never cross."

Cory Markert

Cory Lee Markert was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Louis and Diana. He has lived on the West Coast of the United States most of his life. When he was a boy he wanted to be a rapper. Today, he considers himself a West Coast poet. The earliest part of his childhood was spent in Los Angeles. His father attended UCLA from 1970 to 1980. When Cory was a boy, his father moved the family to Nebraska after he got a job at Chadron State University as an associate professor. After two years, his father moved the family back to California and became a professor at Fresno State University. Cory attended public schools in Clovis, California, a conservative area. He graduated from Buchanan High School, an exemplary school, in 1995. During his senior year he privately struggled with a lack of confidence.

While Cory was in college, he needed to pay his bills. He got a job delivering pizza. He graduated from Stanislaus State with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, and began his career as a substitute teacher in a diverse and challenging school district in the city of Stockton. He also taught English for one school year as an adult school teacher. The adults, who came from more than 40 countries, enjoyed his lessons. He went on to receive a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix, along with a California teaching credential. Cory has also worked as a warehouse worker, a mailman, and an independent contractor for the Department of Rehabilitation, where he helped the visually impaired reach their educational goals.

It excites Cory to share different perceptions and ways of arranging words. He considers the English language to be a treasure chest because of its history, and the vast number of words it contains for endless possibilities of creative expression.

The Pizza Toad and Other Poems is Cory’s first major literary work. When he is not busy writing, he enjoys cooking and visiting museums.