Category Archives: Admin

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Arrival” by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor

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“I NAME GYAL 3”

My home name is gyal
I remember who I am braided gyal
drinking cocoa tea eating fry bake

I make sardines in onion stew
just like mammie teach me
I remember who I am

I remember to say paliwal, not best friend
remember to say bodi, not string beans
remember to say melongen, not eggplant

zaboca, not avocado
remember to say, she bold face, fast an out-ah-place
remember I more bold than she

everybody say, so long you in America
you still have accent
I am the daughter of Elma and Roy
I name gyal, I say.


This selection comes from the collection Arrival, available from Northwestern University Press. Order your copy here. Our curator for May is Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is a poet and workshop facilitator. The recipient of the 2015 Barnes and Noble Writers For Writers Award, she is the founder and curator of Calypso Muse and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series. Cheryl earned an MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast: The University of Southern Maine, and an MSW from Fordham University. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows, and Convincing the Body. A poetry judge for The New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Astraea Foundation, she has facilitated poetry workshops for Cave Canem, Poets & Writers, Poets House, and The Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center. Her poetry has been commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater, and the National Endowment for the Arts for Ronald K. Brown: Evidence, A Dance Company. A VONA fellow, her work has been published in Callaloo, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Pluck!, Killings Journal of Arts & Letters, Adrienne, and Prairie Schooner. Her fourth book, Arrival, is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press in June 2017. Find her online here.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Arrival” by Cheryl Boyce-Taylor

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“POODLES AND SOUR CREAM”

I am the third generation of daughters
whose mother worked as a domestic
in that Great Neck house of poodles and sour cream
girls younger than me
called my mother by a nickname

Genie, what’s for breakfast
Genie, wash my hair
Genie, take my bike out
Genie, get my boots off

my mother who raised me to call elders
tanty, uncle, granny related or not
Tanty Evelyn, Tanty Vida, Uncle Dadoo, Uncle Horatio
even the bum with the limp was called Mister -broke-up-foot

in that cold New York house
my mother spent three years eating mashed potatoes
and sour cream doing sleep-in work
waiting for she green card to come

and every night crying for the beloved daughter
she could not care for while raising the white lady chiren.


This selection comes from the collection Arrival, available from Northwestern University Press. Order your copy here. Our curator for May is Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is a poet and workshop facilitator. The recipient of the 2015 Barnes and Noble Writers For Writers Award, she is the founder and curator of Calypso Muse and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series. Cheryl earned an MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast: The University of Southern Maine, and an MSW from Fordham University. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows, and Convincing the Body. A poetry judge for The New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Astraea Foundation, she has facilitated poetry workshops for Cave Canem, Poets & Writers, Poets House, and The Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center. Her poetry has been commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater, and the National Endowment for the Arts for Ronald K. Brown: Evidence, A Dance Company. A VONA fellow, her work has been published in Callaloo, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Pluck!, Killings Journal of Arts & Letters, Adrienne, and Prairie Schooner. Her fourth book, Arrival, is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press in June 2017. Find her online here.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter” by Aja Monet

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“shell shock”

a 9mm gun, black as a watermelon seed spit
through the mouth of a door–wide-open–a threat
aimed at my mother’s head. my brother is seven.

i am four. my uncle shouts, raise so much
as a finger on them again, i’ll kill you
so
years go by and i am twenty-eight. my brother

is thirty-one and houseless. no words reach
my mother. my uncle is lock’d up again and
i am writing about triggers, afraid for them.


This selection comes from the collection My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, available from Haymarket Books. Order your copy here. Our curator for May is Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

Aja Monet is a Caribbean-American poet, performer, and educator from Brooklyn. She has been awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, as well as the New York City YWCA’s “One to Watch Award.” She is the author of The Black Unicorn Sings and the co-editor, with Saul Williams, of Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. She lives in Little Haiti, Miami, where she is a co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and dedicates her time merging arts and culture in community organizing with the Dream Defenders and the Community Justice Project. Her first full collection of poems My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter was released this month.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter” by Aja Monet

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“america”

the agent said
it made no sense
for me to opt out
of the TSA screening
machine. i told him
it was my right
i intended on exercising it
he sucked his teeth
said i may as well start gettin
used to goin thru the the xray
cuz soon i wont have no rights
to exercise anyhow
so proud
he was
so proud so mean
tellin me about      my rights
his strut away


This selection comes from the collection My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, available from Haymarket Books. Order your copy here. Our curator for May is Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

Aja Monet is a Caribbean-American poet, performer, and educator from Brooklyn. She has been awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, as well as the New York City YWCA’s “One to Watch Award.” She is the author of The Black Unicorn Sings and the co-editor, with Saul Williams, of Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. She lives in Little Haiti, Miami, where she is a co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and dedicates her time merging arts and culture in community organizing with the Dream Defenders and the Community Justice Project. Her first full collection of poems My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter was released this month.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter” by Aja Monet

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“it is what it was”

when your president bails
out the banks
not the students,
it don’t make no difference
if he’s black or blue
all you care about is how much
money you got before
you overdraft on your account
for reading books and writing essays
and all you got to show for it is garnished checks,
cups of noodles, fancy friends,
and terms your family don’t understand
they just wanna know why you got two degrees
and no health care and no decent income
i tell them i got all the ways of talking about the problem
but no way to make solutions
so dear mr. crazy foreign policies, false flags, war
and propaganda, mr. GMOs, chem trails, drones,
and deportations, dear mr. false hopes and bamboozled
dreams, mr. osama bin laden and gaddafi killer,
mr. no power to close gitmo while chastising black folk
to defend your white cousins,
we know trayvon could’ve been your son
sad thing is, he was
he was you, too.


This selection comes from the collection My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, available from Haymarket Books. Order your copy here. Our curator for May is Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

Aja Monet is a Caribbean-American poet, performer, and educator from Brooklyn. She has been awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, as well as the New York City YWCA’s “One to Watch Award.” She is the author of The Black Unicorn Sings and the co-editor, with Saul Williams, of Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. She lives in Little Haiti, Miami, where she is a co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and dedicates her time merging arts and culture in community organizing with the Dream Defenders and the Community Justice Project. Her first full collection of poems My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter was released this month.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.

Sundress Publications Open for Full-Length Poetry Manuscripts


Sundress Publications is opening for submissions of full-length manuscripts. All authors are welcome to submit qualifying manuscripts during our reading period, which runs from May 1st to July 31st, 2017.

We are looking for manuscripts of forty-eight to eighty (48-80) single-spaced pages of poetry; front matter does not count toward your page count. Individual pieces or selections may have been previously published in anthologies, chapbooks, print journals, online journals, etc., but cannot have appeared in any full-length collection, including self-published collections. Single-author and collaborative author manuscripts will be considered. Manuscripts translated from another language will not be accepted. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but we ask that authors notify us immediately if their work has been accepted elsewhere.

The reading fee is $13 per manuscript, though the fee will be waived for entrants who purchase or pre-order any Sundress title. We will also accept nominations for entrants, provided the nominating person either pays the reading fee or makes a qualifying purchase. Authors may submit and/or nominate as many manuscripts as they would like, so long as each is accompanied by a separate reading fee or purchase/pre-order. Entrants and nominators can place book orders or pay submission fees at our store at https://squareup.com/market/sundress-publications.

All manuscripts will be read by members of our editorial board, and we will choose at least two manuscripts for publication. We strive to further our commitment to diversity and seek to encounter as many unique and important voices as possible. We are actively seeking collections from writers of color, trans and gender-nonconforming writers, writers with disabilities, and others whose voices are underrepresented in literary publishing. Selected manuscripts will be offered a standard publication contract, which includes 25 copies of the published book, as well as any additional copies at cost.

To submit, email your Sundress store receipt for submission fee or book purchase, along with your manuscript (DOC, DOCX, or PDF), to sundresspublications@gmail.com. Be sure to note both your name and the title of the manuscript in your email header. For those nominating others for our reading period, please include the name of person, as well as an email address; we will solicit the manuscript directly.

A 501(c)3 non-profit literary press collective founded in 2000, Sundress Publications is entirely volunteer-run, publishes chapbooks and full-length works in both print and digital formats, and hosts a variety of online journals. Although we are conscious of the lack of representation by women writers in literary publishing, we are a non-discriminatory publishing group focused on the creativity of all artists, regardless of race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, education, etc. We are firm believers in fostering artists whose work is worthy of recognition.

To learn more about Sundress, visit our website at sundresspublications.com.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter” by Aja Monet

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“the ways of the many”

you rise a witch bleeding gently in morning
fanning flies from fruit
you slice an avocado open and spoon the pit out
sprinkle sea salt and cayenne pepper
put a pot to boil on the stove
stuff sage and rosebud in a strainer
your hair is messy, eye boogers in the corners
you smell like a sleeping beauty who sweat
her kinks out in the second coming
like sticky dates in soiled hands
olive and enchanted
like bronzed blood panties
washed and hung from a clothes line midafternoon
you are a wildflower just after a thunderstorm
guava juice dripping on a chin
you are what is graceless
hardly regal before noon


This selection comes from the collection My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, available from Haymarket Books. Order your copy here. Our curator for May is Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

Aja Monet is a Caribbean-American poet, performer, and educator from Brooklyn. She has been awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, as well as the New York City YWCA’s “One to Watch Award.” She is the author of The Black Unicorn Sings and the co-editor, with Saul Williams, of Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. She lives in Little Haiti, Miami, where she is a co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and dedicates her time merging arts and culture in community organizing with the Dream Defenders and the Community Justice Project. Her first full collection of poems My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter was released this month.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter” by Aja Monet

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“for the mothers who did the best they could”

she does not know we are sisters
even it be years we don’t speak
on my spirit, sacred as a smile that survives
a good cry, i hold her close

just before the sun rests
on the building across the water
spills a shoulder on the streets
and we lean on love for the first time

in a long while, since two open palms ago
praying or holding a framed memory
i am somebody’s daughter again,
i speak like i belong in her echo,

i watch chaos control a heart,
a wild repression from a distance
loving everybody
from a distance
ease me from spending too much time
with my likeness
from a distance
the cross-fire carnival of childhood
reappearing images
a pinch in every dream
silent as a paper cut
from a distance
a single mother alone
making due with what may
what madness comes of survival of the fittest
if spirits prove we reach beyond
can we love at a distance?
i am rueful and wicked to wait
so long before touching my mother
this soft like i lay our avenue down
for her feet and we walk toward the bus
a skyline humming in our hug
embracing the drops between us
i have kept each tear
never fully fallen
choosing this dimpled
woman as a portal
what i meant was
i am vulnerable
i am a daughter
if i do not hear
my mother’s laughter

it could go years
every room is a prison
every love is a lie
every friend is a foe

i cannot tell the difference
between her wailing and mine
my mother does not know
we are sisters


This selection comes from the collection My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter, available from Haymarket Books. Order your copy here. Our curator for May is Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

Aja Monet is a Caribbean-American poet, performer, and educator from Brooklyn. She has been awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, as well as the New York City YWCA’s “One to Watch Award.” She is the author of The Black Unicorn Sings and the co-editor, with Saul Williams, of Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. She lives in Little Haiti, Miami, where she is a co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and dedicates her time merging arts and culture in community organizing with the Dream Defenders and the Community Justice Project. Her first full collection of poems My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter was released this month.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.

Holler Salon at Firefly Farms

 

Sundress Academy for the Arts to Host Holler Salon at Firefly Farms

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to host a new Holler Salon with a poetry reading and dinner at Firefly Farms.  An extension of our award-winning Sundress Reading Series, Holler Salon aims to encourage conversation and collaboration between creative individuals in a variety of disciplines. The event, to be held Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 from 6-10 PM, will be free and open to the public and will feature poets Chen Chen and Emilia Phillips.

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Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, selected by Jericho Brown for the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and forthcoming spring 2017 from BOA Editions, Ltd. Chen’s work has appeared in two chapbooks and in publications such as Poetry, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Poem-a-Day, Best of the Net, and The Best American Poetry. His work has been recognized by nine Pushcart Prize nominations and by fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Saltonstall Foundation. He holds an MFA from Syracuse University and is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University.

emilia p

Emilia Phillips is the author of two poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, Signaletics (2013) and Groundspeed (2016), and three chapbooks, most recently Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike (Bull City Press, 2015). Her poems and lyric essays appear in Agni, Boston Review, Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ninth Letter, Ploughshares, Poem-a-Day, Poetry, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She received StoryQuarterly’s 2015 Nonfiction Prize, The Journal’s 2012 Poetry Prize, as well as the 2013–2014 Emerging Writer Lectureship from Gettysburg College and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop, U.S. Poets in Mexico, and Vermont Studio Center. She is the Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Centenary University. With her third poetry collection Empty Clip now completed, Phillips is at work on new poems, a collection of lyric essays titled Wound Revisions, and Offset: A Poetry Broadside Digitization Project.

Firefly Farms is a 45-acre farm that focuses on subsistence farming and raising small livestock located at 195 Tobby Hollow Ln, Knoxville, TN. While dinner is provided, attendees are invited to BYOB.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is an artists’ residency that hosts workshops, retreats, and residencies for writers, actors, filmmakers, and visual artists. All are guided by experienced, professional instructors from a variety of creative disciplines who are dedicated to cultivating the arts in East Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is an artists’ residency that hosts workshops, retreats, and residencies for writers, actors, filmmakers, and visual artists. All are guided by experienced, professional instructors from a variety of creative disciplines who are dedicated to cultivating the arts in East Tennessee.

 

Web: http://www.sundressacademyforthearts/                       Facebook: SundressAcademyfortheArts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is an artists’ residency that hosts workshops, retreats, and residencies for writers, actors, filmmakers, and visual artists. All are guided by experienced, professional instructors from a variety of creative disciplines who are dedicated to cultivating the arts in East Tennessee.

 

Web: http://www.sundressacademyforthearts/                       Facebook: SundressAcademyfortheArts

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “how to get over” by t’ai freedom ford

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This selection comes from the debut collection how to get over, available from Red Hen Press. Order your copy here.

t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher and Cave Canem Fellow. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken BoatTupelo Quarterly, Winter Tangerine, ApogeeThe African American Review, Vinyl, Muzzle, RHINO, Poetry and others. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn, but hangs out digitally at: shesaidword.com. Her first poetry collection, how to get over, is available from Red Hen Press.

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye Publishing). Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, BOMB, Paris/Atlantic, and Listen Up! (One World Ballantine). Ekere has travelled across the United States sharing her poetry and ideas about healing. She has taught in New York, London, Amsterdam and Rundu, Namibia. Ekere earned an MFA from Mills College in 2002. She is a mother of three girls and an enthusiast of plant medicine making. Her cinepoems, herbal classes, and other work can be found here.

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