Category Archives: News and Noteworthy

Sundress Releases Marvels by MR Sheffield

Sundress Releases Marvels by MR Sheffield

Marvels by MR Sheffield

Sundress Publications announces the pre-release of MR Sheffield’s new collection, Marvels. An “irreducible kind of book that pivots on every page, refuses to be pinned down” says Julie Marie Wade, author of Catechism: A Love Story and SIX, cautioning that “this book will wild you, Reader, gently.”

MR Sheffield’s Marvels is a séance; a chant of snake bites, wrens, and spiders, nesting and untangling; the instinct of a mother disoriented by her grief; a daughter finding her way in sex and obsession; a family broken and searching for something to pull it back together. Sheffield utilizes H.D. Northrop’s found poems, which describe various creatures, to reveal the wild, instinctive nature of human emotion by repurposing Northrop’s descriptions and applying them to a family. Sheffield couples the poems with manipulated original images from Northrop’s text to drive the skepticism of the poems. Multiplied spiders in the wrong color, transposed boa constrictors, and streaked antelope eyes are juxtaposed with poems about familial grief and resentment, alerting the reader to her instincts. This is the collection that steps back and reveals that instead of visiting an exhibit, admiring the lifelike animals from the soft fur to the magnetizing eyes, we are the exhibit, propped up and trapped behind the glass.

“When the narrator of MR Sheffield’s collection imagines “making a nest of you,” we are invited to make a nest back. Each word and image in this text builds a found and invented structure, layer by layer, for us to writhe around inside of. This multimodal work aims to enthrall us with a nontraditional, visual magic, both human and animal.”

— Nicole Oquendo, author of Telomeres and some prophets

“‘…there is no grief like this and no name for it,’ Sheffield’s speaker confesses in ‘the boa-constrictor,’ which, like all poems inside Marvels, uncoils to reveal monstrous truths about love and loss in a wilderness haunted by the familial. I have yet to find my way out of Sheffield’s collection, months after entering—I don’t believe I’ll ever want to. Between admiring the partnering images and found language from H.D. Northrop’s book of the same name, this collection asks readers—no, dares them—to put their face close to its glass and tap.”

— James A.H. White

MR Sheffield’s work has been published in Black Warrior Review, Hayden’s FerryReview, The Florida Review, and other publications. This is her first book.

Pre-order at https://squareup.com/market/sundress-publications

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Nominations Open for 2018 Best of the Net Anthology

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Nominations are now open for the annual Best of the Net anthology from Sundress Publications. This anthology promotes the diverse and growing collection of voices who are publishing their work online and serves to bring greater respect to an innovative and continually expanding medium.

Nominations must have originally appeared online, and must have been first published or appeared on the web between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

Nominations must come from the editor of the publication (journal, chapbook, online press, etc.), or, if the work is self-published, it must be sent by the author. For journals and presses, each entry may include up to six poems, two stories, and two works of creative nonfiction for consideration. For individuals sending self-published work, please send no more than two pieces regardless of genre.

Please include both the URL of the poem, story, or essay as well as a full text version in a Word or RTF document. Nominations must also include the author’s name and email address as well as the name, contact info, and URL of the journal.

Submissions must be sent via email to bestofthenet@sundresspublications.com between July 1st and September 30th, 2018.

See the full submission guidelines here: http://www.sundresspublications.com/bestof/submit.htm

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Summer 2018 Fiction Writing Retreat

SAFTALOGO

Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces
2018 Summer Fiction Writing Retreat

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is thrilled to announce its Summer Fiction Writing Retreat, which runs from Friday, June 15 to 17, 2018.  The three-day, two-night camping retreat will be held at SAFTA’s own Firefly Farms in Knoxville, Tennessee.  This year’s retreat will focus on generative fiction writing and include two break-out sessions, “Conflict and POV as Perspective” and “Writing the Travel Narrative,” plus discussions on kicking writer’s block, publishing, and more.

A weekend pass includes one-on-one and group instruction, writing supplies, food, drinks, transportation to and from the airport, and all on-site amenities for $250.  Tents, sleeping bags, and other camping equipment are available to rent for $25.  Payment plans are available if you reserve by April 17, 2018; inquire via email for details.

The event will be open to writers of all backgrounds and provide an opportunity to work with many talented, published fiction writers from around the country, including Mary Miller and Jeanne Thornton.

unnamed-1Mary Miller is the author of two collections of short stories, Big World (Short Flight/Long Drive Books, 2009) and Always Happy Hour (Liveright, 2017), as well as a novel, The Last Days of California (Liveright, 2014), which has been optioned for film by Amazon Studios. Her stories have appeared in the Oxford American, Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, McSweeney’s Quarterly, American Short Fiction, Mississippi Review, and many others. She is a former James A. Michener Fellow in Fiction at the University of Texas and John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at Ole Miss. 

Jeanne Thornton is the author of The Black Emerald and thornton_author-photo_smallThe Dream of Doctor Bantam, the latter a Lambda Literary Award finalist for 2012. She is the co-publisher of Instar Books and the creator of the webcomics Bad Mother and The Man Who Hates Fun. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in n+1, WIRED, WSQ, CURA, and other places. She lives in Brooklyn. Find her online at:  http://fictioncircus.com/Jeanne.

Space at this workshop is limited to 15 writers, so reserve your place today at:
https://squareup.com/market/sundress-publications

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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

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SAFTA Presents the December Installment of the Reading Series

SAFTA

Sundress Academy for the Arts December Reading Series

The Sundress Reading Series is excited to welcome Ivelisse Rodriguez, Caitlin Hamilton Summie, and Tom C. Hunley for the December installment of our reading series! The event will take place on Sunday, December 3rd, 2-4 p.m. at Hexagon Brewing Co.

Ivelisse 2

Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Ivelisse Rodriguez grew up in Holyoke, Massachusetts. She earned a B.A. in English from Columbia University, an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College, and a Ph.D. in English-creative writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her short story collection, Love War Stories, is forthcoming from The Feminist Press in summer 2018. Her fiction chapbook The Belindas was published in 2017. She has also published fiction in All about Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color, Obsidian, Label Me Latina/o, Kweli, the Boston Review, the Bilingual Review, Aster(ix), and other publications. She is the founder and editor of an interview series, published in Centro Voices, the e-magazine of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, focused on contemporary Puerto Rican writers in order to highlight the current status and the continuity of a Puerto Rican literary tradition from the continental US that spans over a century. She was a senior fiction editor at Kweli and is a Kimbilio fellow and a VONA/Voices alum. She is currently working on the novel ‘The Last Salsa Singer’ about 70s era salsa musicians in Puerto Rico.


Caitlin Hamilton Summie, photo by Colin Summie
Caitlin Hamilton Summie
earned an MFA with Distinction from Colorado State University, and her short stories have been published in Beloit Fiction Journal, Wisconsin Review, Puerto del Sol, Mud Season Review, Hypertext Magazine, South85 Journal, Long Story, Short, and more. Her first book, a short story collection called TO LAY TO REST OUR GHOSTS, was published in August by Fomite to excellent reviews nationwide. Most recently her poetry was published in The Literary Nest. She spent many years in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Colorado before settling with her family in Knoxville, Tennessee. She co-owns the book marketing firm, Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, founded in 2003. Find her online at caitlinhamiltonsummie.com.

TomHunley

Tom C. Hunley is a professor in the MFA/BA Creative Writing programs at Western Kentucky University, the director of Steel Toe Books, and the lead singer/guitarist for Night of the Living Dead Poets Society. His sixth full-length poetry collection, Here Lies, is forthcoming from Stephen F. Austin State University Press. He has also authored six chapbooks and two scholarly books. He is the co-editor, with Dr. Alexandria Peary, of Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015). Over 400 of his poems have appeared in journals such as 5 AMAtlanta ReviewCimarron ReviewCrab Orchard Review,Exquisite CorpseLos Angeles ReviewNew Orleans ReviewNew York QuarterlyNorth American ReviewRiver StyxSmartish PaceSouthern Indiana ReviewThe PinchTriQuarterlyVirginia Quarterly ReviewThe Writer, and Zone 3. Garrison Keillor has read several of Tom’s poems on The Writer’s Almanac.

The Sundress Reading Series is free and open to the public!

An Open Letter to TriQuarterly

Dear TriQuarterly:

You don’t know me. Even if I chose to sign this open letter with my real name, you wouldn’t. I’m not an A-lister; I don’t have one of those names that everyone recognizes, like Billy Collins or A.E. Stallings or James Franco.

Still, I’d like to talk to you about your letter. You know, the one that goes like this:

The editors at TriQuarterly recently sent you a notice that your submission was not accepted for publication. I want to clarify that, due to very high volume and limited publication space, our staff was unable to review your submission. Our intent was to give you the opportunity to publish elsewhere, though I realize that our original email was not as clear as I had hoped. I apologize if this has caused any confusion.

At the risk of sounding dense, I am confused. Your letter invites more questions than it answers, and I’d like to pose some of them now:

  1. How can a magazine with, as stated on your website, nineteen people on the masthead be incapable of handling its submission load?
  2. Related, most magazines that are overwhelmed simply close submissions. Why didn’t you do that?
  3. Should your letter be read as a poorly phrased euphemism for Just so you’re aware, we saw your name on your cover letter, didn’t recognize it, and decided to reject outright? If so, why even allow unsolicited submissions?
  4. A few individuals have defended TriQuarterly‘s decision to reject work unread to “give [the submitter] the opportunity to publish elsewhere.” Yet you accept simultaneous submissions. In what universe does it make sense for a magazine to reject submissions unread when those works can be sent to other markets?
  5. There is some scuttlebutt on social media that this maneuver was the work of a lone gunman rogue editor. If this is true, how could a single editor do this without any oversight? If it’s not, should we trust a magazine that would scapegoat someone in this fashion?
  6. For that matter, why would any magazine, especially one with TriQuarterly‘s reputation, think this letter was a good idea? (I’m reminded of Chris Rock’s proclamation to Jerry Lewis in Bigger and Blacker: “Lie to me!”)

I suspect that you will, in time, address some (if not all) of these questions. Perhaps they will even be satisfactory to some writers out there. Rest assured, though, that I won’t be one of them. No matter how well crafted your damage control is, I will refuse to submit to you again.

I won’t be alone.

Meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be writing, submitting, and publishing. You know, doing the work that will make my name so well known, you’ll be there to accept my work without reading it.

Sincerely,
One Nameless Writer

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