Tost was born in Springfield, Missouri, and raised in Enumclaw, Washington. He is a graduate of 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 is the founding editor of the online poetry magazine Fascicle and previously a co-editor and co-founder, with Zachary Schomburg, of Octopus Magazine Tost's engagement with poetry's social, political, aesthetic, and ethical dynamics extends into the poetry blogosphere, through his weblog The Unquiet Grave, or an ongoing dialogue with other weblogs, such as Ron Silliman's blog: Silliman's Blog
His poems have appeared in the literary journals Fence, Field, Spinning Jenny, Typo, Quarter After Eight, Goodfoot, Localist, can we have our ball back?, and others. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.