The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Love & a Loaded Gun by Emily Rose Cole


This selection comes from Love & a Loaded Gun, available from Minerva Rising Press. Order your copy here.

Emily Rose Cole is the author of a chapbook, Love & a Loaded Gun, from Minerva Rising Press. She has received awards from Jabberwock Review, Philadelphia Stories, and the Academy of American Poets. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2018, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Pinch, and Southern Indiana Review, among others. She holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is pursuing a PhD in Poetry and Disability Studies at the University of Cincinnati.

Samantha Edmonds‘ work appears or is forthcoming in Mississippi Review, Black Warrior Review, Pleiades, The Pinch, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. She serves as the Fiction Editor for Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts, the Community Outreach Director for Sundress Academy for the Arts, and is an MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee. She currently lives in Knoxville.Visit her online at: www.samanthaedmonds.com

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Project Bookshelf: Nikki A. Sambitsky

My bookshelves house more than just books: they hold my life’s journey upon their shelves. Though the shelves themselves are beginning to buckle under the weight of the books, knickknacks, and magazines, my two bookcases still stand tall and proud. On one shelf sits a pile of Poets & Writers and The Sun magazines, while another holds a stack of cookbooks that were both purchased and handed down to me in my early 20’s.

Yes, my bookshelves tell the story of my literary evolution. I can stand in front of them and pinpoint the exact moment when I stopped being a journalist and began being a creative nonfiction essayist.

 

I believe that transition takes place somewhere where The Elements of Style by Strunk and White bumps up against Bluets by Maggie Nelson.

Look even deeper among the neatly organized rows, and you can see where my love of unconventional nonfiction began and my need to read traditional creative nonfiction ended. That, I believe, can be seen in my second bookcase on the first shelf where Wild by Cheryl Strayed touches Book of Mutter by Kate Zambreno, which touches On Looking by Lia Purpura, which touches Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes. (Please also see Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak, and Lying by Lauren Slater, which are both located on the smaller bookcase, second shelf down.)

I’m proud to say that my bookshelves showcase growth, evolution, a deep desire to stretch, read, learn, imagine, and fly. 

Nikki A. Sambitsky earned her MFA in creative writing, specifically focusing on the lyric/fragment essay (creative nonfiction) from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program. Sambitsky holds a BA in journalism from Central Connecticut State University. She is currently working on her collection of lyric/fragment essays, which center on mental illness, her family, and her husband and two autistic children. Sambitsky enjoys writing essays that explore family, family issues, and autism. Her journalism work and creative nonfiction has appeared in many publications including The Helix, Gravel Magazine, and West Hartford Magazine. She was a scholarship recipient to the 2018 Slice Literary Writers’ Conference, and her essay, “Happy Birthday (Numb)” was selected as a finalist in the nonfiction category for the Slice Literary Writers’ Conference Emerging Writers Contest. Sambitsky was also a scholarship recipient to the 2018 Murphy Writing Workshop of Stockton University. Her most recent essay, “Penny Drop,” is slated for publication in Longridge Review, in November 2018. She lives with her husband, two children, and way too many animals in a peaceful, rural, area of Connecticut.

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CookBook Recipes: Grandma Chavez’s Mexican Arroz, by Sarah A. Chavez

head shot 2After I had been living outside California and far from family for about five years, I started to try to make my Abuela’s recipes. My whole life, we had eaten her rice, beans, tamales, chorizo con huevos, and enchiladas during regular monthly and holiday/birthday visits. These were beloved foods, expected foods. Not once do I remember a childhood visit that did not feature her 32-quart dented, silver-colored pot half full of rice. There was always enough for my father, the person he was dating, my two uncles (the women they were dating), me, my sister, my grandpa, and a possible neighbor or unexpected friend. And then there were the leftovers. Almost as special as eating the fluffy pink rice in her warm cozy kitchen with the gauzy white half curtains that waved in the breeze of the ceiling fan was the Ziploc bag of rice you got to take home. If you were really lucky, it also came with a Ziploc bag of frijoles, some foil-wrapped tortillas, and a plastic grocery bag full of oranges or nectarines from their backyard. No one in the history of visits has ever left my Abuela’s house hungry or empty-handed.

It was summer when I asked to learn her rice recipe during one of my longer visits in from the Midwest where I was attending graduate school. This was years before the stroke that blocked a significant portion of the English she worked so hard to learn during her sixty years in the U.S., before the subdural hematoma which left a scar the circumference of a baseball stretching from the left ear back, the stitching eerily similar. And so typical for her, when the hair grew back, it was all thick salt with an edge of pepper, soon cut in the most stylish fashion. Even in the kitchen so many hours of the day, her nails were done, slacks pressed, a bright-colored blouse under her red apron. I did not inherit her sense of fashion or interest in the domestic, but I wanted to eat that rice whenever the spirit moved me.

What I didn’t know was that there was no recipe, no measurements in the way that I understood them. She didn’t use measuring cups or teaspoons.

“Sure, Mija,” she said when I asked to watch her. “You just go like this.” This became a blur of coffee mugs and eye-balled ingredients. I had a notebook with me, writing down what I thought the standard measurements might be. But two weeks later, back across the plains, my rice was somehow both oily and dry. I called her, “Grandma, how much? You know, how many teaspoons of salt?” I asked. She seemed confused by the question.

“No teaspoons,” her voice echoed from the phone speaker on the counter while I stood in the middle of the kitchen staring at my new cast iron skillet, vegetarian bullion, and long-grain rice. “Just do like I showed you.”

 

Grandma Chavez’s Mexican Arroz

Serves: ~ 8

 

Ingredients:

1 coffee mug full of rice (the inexpensive white one)

3 coffee mugs full of water

Enough oil

Half of a white onion cut into 4 wedges

2 regular spoonfuls of tomato paste (almost half of a tiny can)

Really heaping soup spoonful of caldo con sabor de pollo (the green packaging)

A cupped palm of salt

 

Directions:

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium open flame heat. Pour oil into the pan until the bottom is covered and it looks like a little too much. Rinse the mugful of rice two or three times under cold tap water, check that there are no bad grains—if you find bad ones, take out the bad ones.

Brown rice in oil until they are tanned like your brown hand (but not burned). Add spoonfuls of tomato paste and one mug of water, stir around. Add spoonful of powder pollo and another mug of water. Push the rice around in the pan with an old wooden spatula until pollo powder is dissolved. Pour the other mugful of water, maybe add a little more tomato paste, dump in the salt. Push everything around (without spilling the water) until it looks about right. Place onion wedges cut side down in the pan with the rice. Lower heat to medium-low, cover with whichever pot lid isn’t too small. Pot lids can be substituted with corning ware lids or old cookie sheets with an oversized can of something placed on top to weigh it down.

Check the rice in 20 mins. Smell it, then push around to mix, and take out a small spoonful to taste. Maybe add more water, or don’t. Put the lid back on for another 10 – 15 mins.

When rice is pink and on the verge of mushy, take pan off the heat and leave it on the stove for people to take bites of while they walk through the kitchen before transferring it to a corning dish and placing on the table for dinner.

 


Sarah A. Chavez, a mestiza born and raised in the California Central Valley, is the author of the poetry collections, Hands That Break & Scar (Sundress Publications, 2017) and All Day, Talking (dancing girl press, 2014), selections of which were awarded the Susan Atefat Peckham Fellowship. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in the anthologies Xicanx: Mexican American Writers of the 21st Century and Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzalduan Borderlands as well as the journals Brevity, North American ReviewPretty Owl Poetry, Atticus Review, and The Fourth River Tributaries Series, among others. She recently joined the faculty at the University of Washington Tacoma where she teaches creative writing and Latinx/Chicanx-focused courses. She serves as the poetry coordinator for the Best of the Net Anthology, is a proud member of the Macondo Writers Workshop, and is a ravenous consumer of all manner of carbohydrate.

Sarah Chavez’s Hands that Break and Scar

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Girl by Donna Vorreyer


This selection comes from The Girl, available from Porkbelly Press. Order your copy here. Our curator is Danielle Alexander.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, most recently The Girl (Porkbelly Press).  Her poems and reviews have appeared in numerous journals including Waxwing, Rhino, Quarterly West, Poet Lore, Diode and Sugar House Review.

Danielle Alexander is a writer, editor, and book maker based in Portland, Oregon. She is a managing editor of Sundress Publications’ The Wardrobe, a daily blog featuring the work of women and genderqueer writers. Her writing has appeared in The Bandit Zine, and she has self-published two poetry chapbooks, two artist books, and the zine Ten Lists: A Workbook for Anxiety (2017). You can find her online at danielle-alexander.com.

Sundress Reading Series Presents Natalie Sypolt, Connie Jordan Green, Shane Stricker

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Sundress Reading Series Presents Natalie Sypolt, Connie Jordan Green, Shane Stricker

The Sundress Reading Series is excited to welcome Natalie Sypolt, Connie Jordan Green, and Shane Stricker to the December installment of our reading series! The event will take place at 2 pm on December 2nd in Knoxville, TN at Hexagon Brewery, 1002 Dutch Valley Dr ste 101, Knoxville, TN 37918. The reading is free and open to the public.

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 3.26.56 PMNatalie Sypolt lives and writes in West Virginia.  She received her MFA in fiction from West Virginia University and currently teaches writing and literature.  Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Kenyon Review Online, Willow Springs Review,  Appalachian Heritage and other literary journals. Natalie serves as a literary editor for the Anthology of Appalachian Writers and runs the high school portion of the West Virginia Writers Workshop. Her first book, The Sound of Holding Your Breath, came out in November 2018 from West Virginia University Press.


Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 3.26.51 PMConnie Jordan Green
is the author of two novels for young people (The War at Home and Emmy), both reissued in soft cover by Tellico Books, an imprint of Iris Publishing; two poetry chapbooks, Slow Children Playing and Regret Comes to Tea, from Finishing Line Press; two poetry collections, Household Inventory, winner of the Brick Road Poetry Press 2013 Award, and most recently, Darwin’s Breath from Iris Press. The novels have received various awards: The War at Home was placed on the ALA List of Best Books for Young Adults, both books were selected by the New York City Library as books for the Teen Age, The War at Home was nominated to the 1991-92 Volunteer State Book Award Master List, and Emmy was selected as a Notable 1992 Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. Green is included in Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia (University Press of Kentucky). Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including most recently Connecticut River Review; Cumberland River Review; Jimson Weed; Potomac Review; STILL; Drafthorse; The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III, Contemporary Appalachia, and Volume VI, Tennessee; and Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volumes V through VIII.

Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 3.26.44 PMShane Stricker holds an MFA from West Virginia University and is in his second year of coursework toward a PhD at the University of Tennessee. He was a 2016 fellow at the Writing by Writers Workshop at Tomales Bay. His work appears in The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Midwestern Gothic, Moon City Review, and other magazines and journals.

 

 

The Sundress Reading Series is an award-winning literary reading series held monthly at 2 p.m. at Hexagon Brewing Co. just outside of downtown Knoxville.

 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Girl by Donna Vorreyer


This selection comes from The Girl, available from Porkbelly Press. Order your copy here. Our curator is Danielle Alexander.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, most recently The Girl (Porkbelly Press).  Her poems and reviews have appeared in numerous journals including Waxwing, Rhino, Quarterly West, Poet Lore, Diode and Sugar House Review.

Danielle Alexander is a writer, editor, and book maker based in Portland, Oregon. She is a managing editor of Sundress Publications’ The Wardrobe, a daily blog featuring the work of women and genderqueer writers. Her writing has appeared in The Bandit Zine, and she has self-published two poetry chapbooks, two artist books, and the zine Ten Lists: A Workbook for Anxiety (2017). You can find her online at danielle-alexander.com.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Girl by Donna Vorreyer


This selection comes from The Girl, available from Porkbelly Press. Order your copy here. Our curator is Danielle Alexander.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, most recently The Girl (Porkbelly Press).  Her poems and reviews have appeared in numerous journals including Waxwing, Rhino, Quarterly West, Poet Lore, Diode and Sugar House Review.

Danielle Alexander is a writer, editor, and book maker based in Portland, Oregon. She is a managing editor of Sundress Publications’ The Wardrobe, a daily blog featuring the work of women and genderqueer writers. Her writing has appeared in The Bandit Zine, and she has self-published two poetry chapbooks, two artist books, and the zine Ten Lists: A Workbook for Anxiety (2017). You can find her online at danielle-alexander.com.

A-Line: Amorak Huey’s Seducing the Asparagus Queen

Sundress Publications is pleased to present A-Line, a new review series. A-Line will feature reviews of new books and chapbooks by our Sundress authors published by other presses. Our hope is to feature the critical and thoughtful insights of our editorial interns about books by the authors we love.

 

Asparagus-Cover-204x300-1.jpgAmorak Huey’s second full-length collection Seducing the Asparagus Queen can best be described by a line from “Six Years in Sudbury, Ontario”: “Whatever doesn’t kill you fucks you up in some other way.” Huey’s book chafes against American culture and with that the American Dream, by using common sayings about work or life and twisting them to reveal the truth—when bad things happen you don’t just get over them unscathed no matter how many cross-stitched pillows say you will, there will be scars. You’ll come home from war and your father still won’t be proud. You’ll work a job, grind yourself down because you’re supposed to, and your wife will touch herself to Dancing with the Stars while you get drunk and flirt with someone from high school in the same stuck as you. Huey makes the truth easier to swallow with his witty and punchy lines like “Cut your girlfriend in half, she holds it against you for weeks.”

The pairing of his humorous, cut-through-the-thick tone with intriguing images make his poems ache—the embodiment of the broken extrovert, bandaging his wounds in laughter like the clown imagery in a few of his poems. Because of this I found Seducing the Asparagus Queen refreshing and relatable. Huey captures every phase of life—the restlessness and desperation of youth, the disillusionment and the self-doubt of adulthood, mourning, and really the disillusionment with life in general. I felt understood by this chapbook. Like I slumped down in a barstool, head to bar top, and this chapbook slid me a whiskey shot, and gave voice to the stirring feelings underneath. It told me that life is hell and probably cursed a few times before taking another shot, pausing as the whiskey burned its throat and said that no one has the answers. I found a comfort and camaraderie in feeling stuck, in someone wading in too far to turn back, but unsure of how to continue. Whether that be the moment in the back of a car somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where touch is the only language, your whole future ahead of you, or you’re trying to figure out how to fit, how to work, how to be a parent, how to let go of one home for another, how to lose someone and keep moving forward. Seducing the Asparagus Queen is funny, insightful, and exactly what I needed to read.

 

Order Seducing the Asparagus Queen at Cloudbank Books

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Jenna Geisinger is a fiction and creative non-fiction writer from New Jersey. She attends the MFA Professional and Creative Writing Program at William Paterson University, while working as an associate managing editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal and a reader for Philadelphia Stories, where she has been previously published.

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Sundress Seeks New Managing Editor for The Wardrobe

Managing Editor (Remote)
Sundress Publications | The Wardrobe

Sundress Publications is an entirely volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit publishing collective founded in 2000 that hosts a variety of online journals and publishes chapbooks, full-length collections, and literary anthologies in both print and digital formats. Sundress also publishes the annual Best of the Net Anthology, celebrating the best work published online, and the Gone Dark Archives, preserving online journals that have reached the end of their run.

The Wardrobe, a feature of Sundress Publications, showcases the outstanding published or forthcoming work of women and nonbinary authors. Editors promote a single author by reprinting a selection of work from her published collection. Editors work with poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and multi-genre books. Singular work that has been published in journals is not eligible.

Our managing editors’ responsibilities primarily include maintaining the submission database with email submissions, loading selections onto The Wardrobe website on a weekly basis, and helping with publicity of posts. Managing Editors also have the opportunity to read for other Sundress projects, including Best of the Net, our open reading periods, or any of our contests. The position will require approximately  two hours per week.

Required qualifications include:

  • Submission Management
  • WordPress Experience

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Database Management and/or experience in Microsoft Excel
  • Staff Management

Applicants are welcome to telecommute and therefore are not restricted to living in any particular location.

Sundress Publications is staffed entirely by passionate volunteers, so this position, as with all positions at the press, is unpaid.

To apply, please send a CV and a brief cover letter detailing your interest in the position to our Managing Editor, Erin Elizabeth Smith at erin@sundresspublications.com. Applications are due by December 1st.

For more information, visit our website at www.sundresspublications.com.

For all available Sundress positions visit http://www.sundresspublications.com/jobs.htm.

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The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Girl by Donna Vorreyer


This selection comes from The Girl, available from Porkbelly Press. Order your copy here. Our curator is Danielle Alexander.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, most recently The Girl (Porkbelly Press).  Her poems and reviews have appeared in numerous journals including Waxwing, Rhino, Quarterly West, Poet Lore, Diode and Sugar House Review.

Danielle Alexander is a writer, editor, and book maker based in Portland, Oregon. She is a managing editor of Sundress Publications’ The Wardrobe, a daily blog featuring the work of women and genderqueer writers. Her writing has appeared in The Bandit Zine, and she has self-published two poetry chapbooks, two artist books, and the zine Ten Lists: A Workbook for Anxiety (2017). You can find her online at danielle-alexander.com.

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