Category Archives: Sundress

Poetry Broadsides of Ina Cariño’s poem “Feast” Available for Pre-Order

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Sundress Publications is thrilled to announce that broadsides of Ina Cariño’s poem “Feast” are available for pre-order. “Feast” was the winner of our 2017 Poetry Broadside Contest. The broadsides will be printed at Sundress Academy for the Arts on a full-size working 19th century Challenge copy of a C&P old-style letterpress.

The broadside publication of “Feast” is now available for pre-order for $15 at our online store.

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Josephine “Ina” Cariño’s work has appeared in such journals as New American Fiction (New Rivers Press), One (Jacar Press), and december. She grew up in the mountains of the Philippines, a folkloric and aesthetic background to many of her poems. Cariño currently resides in Raleigh, NC, where she is pursuing her MFA in creative writing at North Carolina State University.

Like much of Cariño’s work, “Feast” is built on childhood memory, the natural world, and the interplay between life and death. The broadside edition combines her work with an original piece by Mariana Sierra, graphic designer at Sundress Publications.

Feast photo


Order yours today at:

Find out more about our publications, contests, and submission calls at

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Summer 2018 Fiction Writing Retreat


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:

Space at this workshop is limited to 15 writers, so reserve your place today at:


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


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.

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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


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!

Meet Our New Reading Series Coordinator: Brynn Martin

As a born-and-raised Kansan, nothing could have prepared me for a rainy-evening drive down curving Tennessee roads to a little house in a holler just outside of Knoxville.

I’d been invited to a SAFTA workshop by Luci Brown, who I met and became friends with through our MFA program at the University of Tennessee. I was new to the state, new to graduate school, and aching for more friends, so I agreed to tag along. I’d heard something about Sundress and a farm from other people in the program, but it wasn’t until we pulled up to the property that I started to get it. I was charmed by the rain-soaked leaves covering the paving stones that lead to the front porch and even more enchanted with what was inside the house – a cozy living room full of other writers excited to talk about craft and generous enough to provide me, a newbie to poetry, with feedback on my work.

The weekly workshop was the gateway to my time with SAFTA and has remained a consistent part of my weekly schedule. Even so, it was the people who kept me coming back and who pulled me further in to the community of writers connected to Sundress. I got involved in Stirring as a guest editor, with Firefly Farms as a diligent-if-untrained farmhand and professional ATV driver, and I’m thrilled to now serve as SAFTA’s reading series Coordinator.


I fell into indifference with poetry in high school because of AP English classes, but that indifference was transformed into adoration when, during my senior year, a teacher introduced me to spoken word. My commitment to poetry and writing has snowballed since then, becoming a Bachelor’s degree in English and then a Master’s in poetry. My studies informed my desire to make poetry more accessible to a broader audience; poetry is dreamy and I want to share it with everyone. Through my work with SAFTA, I hope to do just that.


When I’m not hanging out with my SAFTA pals or attempting to write poetry, I’m with my cat, Luna, who is objectively the most beautiful cat there’s ever been. I also enjoy painting, watching Game of Thrones and Parks and Recreation, witty banter, and pretending to know things about interior design and tequila.


Brynn Martin is a Kansas native living in Knoxville, where she recently received her MFA in poetry from the University of Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared in Public Pool and Contrary Magazine. She loves ee cummings and cats almost equally.

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Help the Sundress Academy for the Arts This Holiday Season!

Sundress Publications and the Sundress Academy for the Arts want to say THANK YOU to the nearly 50 donors who gave to this year’s fundraising campaign!  It is with your help and generosity that we are able to continue to grow!

We’re in the process of building a new barn at Firefly Farms, our forty-five acre instructional, residency, and outreach center. Much of the equipment we have for our visiting artists and staff—including a drafting table, antique letterpress, and specialized tools—must share space with livestock feeds and farm equipment in our basement. This barn will allow us to reclaim the space and transform it from a general-purpose storage area to a workspace for visiting artists and writers as well as a reading space for our quarterly Holler Salons!

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While the crowd-funding campaign is over, we are still taking donations for a number of items this holiday season!  We are still selling our 2016 calendars, entitled “Breaking the Binary,” which feature gender-swapped images of work.  We are also selling 2×2″ spaces inside the barn where you can have one of your own poems or one of your favorite poems immortalized in our Poetry Barn, where we will host readings and events on the SAFTA property! (Makes a GREAT holiday gift!)  We are also currently looking for people to sponsor an LGBTQ writer for this year’s OUTSpoken series, which starts up in January!


As a volunteer-run organization, all of the proceeds go directly growing our organization and supporting the arts both in Knoxville and the country at large.  And of course, they also go to help keep warm the farm’s mascot & Hero of Canton, Jayne!

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T.A. Noonan“People who don’t really know Jayne like to say that he’s a big jackass, but that’s because they misunderstand his commitment to the arts. He sings everyday, his beautiful music echoing throughout the holler. Of course, he loves when his fans support his creative efforts—I mean, who doesn’t?—but even if no one was listening, he’d be out there singing. He just does it for the love of the music. What’s more, he really believes in supporting and working with other creators. He makes it a point to spend time with every writer, actor, artist, and musician who visits Firefly Farms. I guess the most amazing thing about Jayne is that he’s such an amazing leader, tough but loyal to everyone around him. He’s no jackass; he’s a badass.”
—T.A. Noonan, close friend of Jayne and former long-term resident at Firefly Farms

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“My residency at Firefly Farms was eye-opening in many ways. It’s not often we are afforded uninterrupted silence and given huge spans of time devoted singularly to writing. It is a gift. I hung out with Jayne for the first two steamy weeks in early September, and I turned to him whenever I felt stuck. In workshops, I was given so much encouragement and constructive critique, and cemented my goal of applying to MFA programs in creative nonfiction. All of the applications are now ready to turn in, and two of my essays in the collection were written and revised exclusively at SAFTA. My experience with Jayne made me unafraid of my artistic future and so excited to be a member of the literary community.”
—Gabrielle Montesanti, Writer and Former SAFTA Resident


From left to right: Jayne’s Posse (Winky, Henry Kissinger, Ms. Pac-Man, Chronos), Jayne

To support the Sundress Academy for the Arts and get cool swag, naming rights to one of SAFTA’s chickens, discounted Sundress titles, or get your poem printed on Jayne’s new barn for future fellows to read, visit our store today!

If you are already one of Jayne’s fantastic backers, please spread the word by sharing our campaign.

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Sundress Presents… Sandra Marchetti and Sarah Einstein on July 20!

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Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present Sandra Marchetti and Sarah Einstein as a part of their July Reading Series. The event will take place at The Birdhouse, 800 N 4th Ave in Knoxville, on July 20 at 3:00PM.

Sandra Marchetti’s debut full-length collection of poems, Confluence, will be published in Gold Wake Press’ 2014 Print Series. An illustrated fine press edition of her essays and poetry entitled, A Detail in the Landscape, is also forthcoming from Eating Dog Press. Sandy is the author of a chapbook, The Canopy, available from Midwest Writing Center Press, and has served as the Guest Editor of Stirring: A Literary Collection. She won Second Prize in Prick of the Spindle’s 2014 Poetry Open and her poems appear in The Journal, Subtropics, The Hollins Critic, Sugar House Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Green Mountains Review, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland and elsewhere.

Sarah Einstein lives in Athens, OH, where she is a PhD student in Creative Nonfiction at Ohio University. Her work has previously appeared in Ninth Letter, Fringe Magazine, PANK, and other journals, and has been awarded a Pushcart Prize. Her micro-collection, Remnants of Passion, was published by Shebooks on June 25th. She was recently announced as this year’s winner of the AWP Creative Nonfiction Prize for her manuscript, Mot: A Memoir.


Flyer by our wonderful graphic design intern, Megan Magray!

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Now available: The Old Cities

At turns both funny and devastating, Marcel Brouwers‘ debut collection, The Old Cities, takes you on a linguistic adventure around the world and home again. The poems here are playful, smart, and never boring. This is a collection that any lover of language and travel should own. Pick up your copy from AmazonBarnes & Noble, or the Sundress store–just in time for the holidays!

The Old Cities

The Old Cities by Marcel Brouwers

“Marcel Brouwers’ debut collection The Old Cities is a travelogue of local and national curiosities, and in that the poems range so freely, there is a glide to this work, a welcoming ease. In that every subject in poetry, considered both carefully and freely, is as skewed as we are, these poems reveal, piecemeal–what other way, honestly, do we live out most of our lives–who we are at our least pretentious and most lively. The reader of these poems will find a plurality of intimated joys and sorrows. And, as well, a voice that is never merely shrewd but, and more consistently than any reader has a right to expect, ready at any moment to redress the ironies it registers so aptly. I love this book because it is in love with oddness. And it’s word-wise: just read the first poem: not a received noun or a stock phrase that isn’t affectively queried. If language got us into this mess, these poems seem to say, language will have to get us out.”

— William Olsen, author of Sand Theory

“These poems come at us much as contemporary culture comes at us, full-bore, multi-barreled, incessant. They engage with the frenzy of our time, and, in perhaps one of poetry’s most vital functions, they are subversive. They question, they put every thought under review. These are powerful, wistful, bemused poems–the health of poetry has just improved.”

— Arthur Smith, author of The Late World: Poems

“One of my teachers in graduate school once told me that a ‘decent’ first book of poems only needs about three ‘very good’ poems. If this is true, then it must be that Marcel Brouwers’ debut collection The Old Cities is an exceptional book. There are echoes of, among others, Frost and William Matthews–not bad company–but these poems are all Brouwers. His voice is equally compassionate and ironic, his vision equally expansive and precise, evidenced in a poem about his country: ‘Children who die go down as heroes / gone down.’ Humor often sidles up to grief in these poems, but it’s the pathos that rings the loudest: ‘I’m not in favor of the end / but it’s hard to think of what’s missing, a love / that wishes it be different and how it ultimately is.’ Just one of many beautiful moments The Old Cities possesses.”

— Alexander Long, author of Still Life

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