Tag Archives: editorial intern

PROJECT BOOKSHELF: PARKER ANDERSON

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My bookshelf might look a bit small, but this is a fraction of all the books I own! Most of my books are still at my mom’s house, as I’ve been moving around a lot throughout college. Choosing which books to bring to college and which to leave behind was challenging – it was so hard to prioritize which books to bring! As you can see from the stickers on the spines, I get most of my books from Thriftbooks, which is one of the best places to buy books hands down! However, I don’t buy books as often as I’d like to – ever since I came to college, I’ve usually checked out books to read from Hodges Library.

My poetry collection has some works by poets whom I admire. Lucille Clifton’s Blessing the Boats was one of the first books that got me into writing poetry seriously. Jasmine An’s Naming the No-Name Woman and Kaveh Akbar’s Calling a Wolf a Wolf are both filled with powerful poems that are definitely worth the read (and reread!) and have been formative to my own craft. In the future I hope to acquire more poetry books, especially works by queer and trans poets.

I have many of my favorite fiction works on my shelves. Growing up I read lots of fantasy, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series has been my most-loved fantasy series thus far. I have a lot of nostalgia for the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, and I like to revisit them every so often. Currently, my favorite fiction book is Hector Tobar’s The Tattooed Soldier, which I read for a course at UT last year.

The rest of my books are miscellaneous short stories, essays, and other works. When I came to UT, I started reading more short stories, since I can usually read one or two in between readings for class. The Forbidden Stories of Marta Veneranda by Sonia Rivera-Valdes is my favorite collection of short works, and I’m always on the lookout for more short stories to read!

After I graduate, I hope to move somewhere where I can keep all my books together and accumulate even more! There are many authors and poets who inspire me, and it feels good having a few of their works on my shelves.

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Parker Anderson is a queer writer and English student at the University of Tennessee. They are an emerging poet and essayist who loves reading, spending time outdoors, and playing video games. Most nights, you can find them experimenting with spices in their kitchen or chatting about dogs behind the front desk at Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Library.

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Meet Our New Editorial Intern, Parker Anderson

chicken...I have been passionate about books my whole life. It seems like I’ve spent more of my life with my nose buried in one than not. In middle school, I read every book at my school’s library and hungered for more. Libraries have always been like a second home to me. I love the smell of books, the feel of their pages, the promise of change that comes with finishing the finial section. In high school it seems like I spent more time at my local library reading and writing than I spent at home!

Words have always inspired and excited me. I wrote my first short story when I was four years old (called “The Kitten Rescue” – my mom has kept track of it to this day), and I have not stopped writing since. Throughout my childhood, I filled a large chest with notebooks containing short stories, poetry, and countless ideas for novels, a few of which I managed to finish. Writing has always been an integral part of my identity, and I do not shy away from leaving pieces of myself in my works.

When I came to UT, I changed my major from pre-med to English with a concentration in
creative writing within the first week. Writing was so important to me, and I relished the idea of learning the craft from experienced authors and professors. While I learned a lot during my first few years in college, I felt uninspired, with little time to read or write for myself, and poor mental health causing me to struggle with the mundane.

My inspiration was sparked again, however, when my advanced poetry writing course was picked up by Erin Elizabeth Smith. Erin provided useful feedback on my work and encouraged me to start writing recklessly. I began to experiment and take risks with my poetry, which has led me to finally start making progress with my craft.

With my renewed vigor for writing, I am thrilled to be the new editorial intern for SAFTA. I am looking forward to discovering and promoting local authors, and I know this internship will give me the opportunity to grow and develop as a writer while learning about Knoxville’s poetry scene. I value the opportunity to meet other people who are just as excited about writing as I am. Find me at one of SAFTA’s reading events – I’ll be sure to say hey!

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Parker Anderson is a queer writer and English student at the University of Tennessee. They are an emerging poet and essayist who loves reading, spending time outdoors, and playing video games. Most nights, you can find them experimenting with spices in their kitchen or chatting about dogs behind the front desk at Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Library.

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Project Bookshelf: Riley Steiner

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I don’t remember ever making a conscious decision to use it like this, but growing up, I realized that I only allowed my bookshelf to house my most-loved books. A book had to have earned its place on my shelf—captured my heart and my imagination in some spectacular way. Anything short of that went to the basement.

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As a result of this buildup of my favorite books over time, my various bookshelves tell a kind-of-chronological story.

Each book reminds me of a certain point in my life when I look at its spine nestled among the others, even though the books may not be strictly organized in the order in which I read them. I can see evidence of my growing love for fantasy in The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit; my adolescent years (where the books all have kick-butt high school heroines); and the point in my life where I discovered my passion for rock music and the stories behind it.

The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye are beloved holdovers from my high school sophomore-year English class, where, like all of the best educators, my teacher transformed these routine reading assignments into lifelong favorites of mine. You can see, in my collection of memoirs by (mostly women) actors and comedians, where I became interested in who the people I watched on my television screen really were—not only their filmography but how they impacted the world beyond a movie set.

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IMG_5142.JPGAnd then there are my ever-present (and ever-growing) piles of books I want to read or re-read, stacked on the floor after I ran out of shelf space. These are old and new books, books I’ve borrowed from friends and books of my own. These paper towers contain everything from books of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Hanks to Dave Eggers’ The Circle and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. No matter how much time I spend reading, these piles never seem to grow smaller, but I’m okay with that—it means I always have something new to throw myself into. Tellingly, there’s a beige plastic bag sitting on my floor at this moment, partially enveloping my recent purchases of Circling the Sun and The Age of Miracles.

Oh, well. My floor has been home to my cluttered array of books for so long, I think it’d feel bare without them. One day, maybe I’ll be able to even out my ratio of books purchased to books read—but I doubt it.

 


Riley Steiner is a senior at Miami University, where she studies Creative Writing and Media & Culture. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she enjoys baking, cheering for the Green Bay Packers, and spending way too much money at Half Price Books. Her creative work is forthcoming in the Oakland Arts Review.

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Project Bookshelf: Eva Weidenfeld

I have always enjoyed making lists. Often it’s for the appearance of organization amid the unkemptness of my mind which would prefer to roll up all of my to-dos and have-dones and should-I’s into a lumpy, shapeless ball and sit atop of it majestically while eating macaroni. But sometimes, faking that you have your life together (even if it’s only to yourself and your phone’s Memo app) can produce the best results. Thus, the lists persist.

When I was assigned this project, I glanced at my various book-holding mechanisms with no clue as to how I would summarize my collection until I remembered my love of lists (which, I admit, took much longer than one would probably expect).

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THE ONES I WILL NEVER READ (or touch, other than to move):

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

I think my exact wording to my mom was, “If I’m going to be an English major, if this is what I want to do with my life, I have to at least own Atlas Shrugged.” I own it.

Robert Newton Peck, A Day No Pigs Would Die

A friend from my early college days lent this one to me, and I admit, I did attempt to read it. On the plane to my hometown, Las Vegas. It was a two-hour flight and that book put me to sleep within the first two pages. I have not returned to it since nor returned it to him, because I never figured out how to tell him that his enthusiasm wasn’t enough to convince me to read it.

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THE ONES I WILL ALWAYS RETURN TO:img_2751

Charles Bukowski, Love is a Dog from Hell

Bukowski’s raw, unforgiving language always causes me to come back and reread his poems. I remember letting a friend borrow it and his response being, “He talks about horse racing too much.” Though I agree with this sentiment, Bukowski’s obsession with such a passive hobby speaks to the sadness and alienation he suffered from.

Gwendolyn Brooks, Blacks

Unlike many of these books, Blacks was a recent addition to my collection. I was lucky enough to take a course on her at my university—lucky because I might have never found her otherwise, as she is (somehow) forgotten amongst discussions of poetry and literature. I have never spent so much energy on a single line of poetry before, and I loved every second, as the meanings in her words ebb and flow each time you read them. She is truly extraordinary.

Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

No novel has made me laugh out loud so often while also causing me to ponder the absolute frivolousness of humanity. Vonnegut’s careful balance of cynicism and hopeful humor has placed and kept him at my Number One Author spot for years.

Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

I often title a lot of books “The Most Influential One,” but House of Leaves took over my soul for the couple of months I spent poured over its contents. Sometimes, when casually reading, I tend to skim longer paragraphs and don’t worry myself over the spaces between each word. To get through this one, to enjoy everything it offers (and doesn’t offer), one must be patient. I cannot wait until I have enough free time to reread it, to make more notes, to get sucked in again.

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THE ONES LOST (but definitely not forgotten, and pined for every day):

None of these are technically lost, but you get the idea.

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

George Orwell, 1984

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

These four books, among a stack or two of others, are currently waiting for me in an unlabeled box in my parents’ garage. When I drove up to Bellingham from Las Vegas, I chose to leave some things behind and tried to only bring along books that I hadn’t yet read. I have always been a book lover, but I read these four during my first few years in high school and they had a lasting effect on me as a reader, a writer, and a searcher for all things innovative and strange and impactful.

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Remember that friend I mentioned a while ago who gave me the farm novel? In return, I gave him my copy of one of my favorite books, one that builds up slowly but demands your full attention, one whose ending carved out my stomach and replaced it with a 20-pound weight that I carried for days, one whose movie adaptation actually does an incredible job of portraying. But, similarly to how I have grown apathetic regarding returning his book, he has with mine. My hope is that my friend has read it and is too attached to Kesey’s words to give it back. I know I would feel the same.

Eva Weidenfeld is a senior at Western Washington University. She will complete her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with additional concentrations in Film Studies and Sociology in June of 2019. She is a reader for the 55th edition of WWU’s student-run Jeopardy Magazine. When she isn’t focusing on school work or editing gigs, you can find her at the local arthouse cinemas or somewhere scenic with a book (and a beer) in hand.

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Project Book Shelf: Hannah Kitterman

My book shelf went through a massive downsizing after I graduated. I moved back to Clarksville to live with my parents for the summer, and most of the books that I had collected throughout my literature-based classes are still in boxes in their basement. When I got my service position with AmeriCorps, I went through those boxes in an attempt to only bring the books I could not live without which also had to fit in my car. After a good deal of soul searching, the books that made the journey with me are ones that are related to moments in my life. These are books, or plays, that I like to revisit often.

I know most of Much Ado About Nothing by heart, but I can never part with my copy because my dog tried to eat it when he was a puppy. I have my used copies of Dubliners and Ulysses, both books that I read in my last semester at UTK which held my hand as I prepared to graduate. I have a copy of Mindy Kaling’s newest book, Why Not Me,which is hysterical and something I should not read in quiet places. I have my collections of poetry by Rupi Kaur and Mary Oliver, both of which I can rely on to lead me on an emotional roller coaster.

My cookbooks were a necessity and I am a very big supporter of using baking to relieve stress, much to the pleasure of my friends and roommates. On top of my book shelf are odds and ends that I have kept up with, all which either hold some small memory like the bottle cork from my graduation party or, like my swimming goggles, are just something I use regularly. I still feel a little sad to not have my full collection of books in Knoxville with me, but I am also looking forward to the greatest luxury not having my immense catalogue of literature has forced me to get: a library card.


Hannah Kitterman is a native Tennessean currently living in Knoxville. She graduated from the University of Tennessee last May where she studied English Literature and French. During her time at UTK Hannah was a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band where she played the trombone and gained experience with heartbreaking losses and feverous fandom. Hannah is currently serving as a member of AmeriCorps with I Bike KNX, a nonprofit that advocates for safe bicycling habits. You can find her at various intersections in Knoxville counting the number of pedestrians and people riding bicycles or reading with a cup of coffee while on the lookout for dogs to pet. She has never met a burrito or a dog that she did not love.

 

 

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Meet Our New Editorial Intern: Hannah Kitterman

My relationship with books and with reading has been constant for my entire life. Both of my parents are English professors, and I have been fortunate enough to be around an environment that put reading and talking about books in a place of high esteem from a young age. There was really no escaping this environment, actually, and I just ended up really lucky that I happened to love every facet of it.

I continued loving my books, sometimes to the extreme, in all situations. For family vacations I would have the heaviest bags because of all the books I wanted to bring. I was notorious for asking for a IMG_3999.jpgbook and then finishing it in a matter of hours, no matter how lengthy.

However, despite my devotion to reading and my willingness to take down any obstacle to be immersed in a book, when I registered for my first semester at UTK I had no intention of being an English major. I had decided to study French because it was a subject that had thrilled me as much as my English courses throughout High School, and I had an idealized notion that I would become an academic in French Literature and possibly move to France.

Within the first month of my Freshman year I had switched to a double major in French and English Lit. There was a physical pull that I felt whenever I was in my English classes and when looking at the catalogue of courses and I found myself pouring over all the offered English Literature ones. After I declared my double major, I lost my notion of how my life was going to end up. I felt so unsure and also so happy because in a way I had found my identity again.

I know I am happiest when I am working with any type of writing or writing based art, so I am really looking forward to this internship with the Sundress Academy for the Arts and a new chance to learn and grow with others in a field that brings me the utmost joy.


Hannah Kitterman is a native Tennessean currently living in Knoxville. She graduated from the University of Tennessee last May where she studied English Literature and French. During her time at UTK Hannah was a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band where she played the trombone and gained experience with heartbreaking losses and feverous fandom. Hannah is currently serving as a member of AmeriCorps with I Bike KNX, a nonprofit that advocates for safe bicycling habits. You can find her at various intersections in Knoxville counting the number of pedestrians and people riding bicycles or reading with a cup of coffee while on the lookout for dogs to pet. She has never met a burrito or a dog that she did not love.

 

 

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PROJECT BOOKSHELF: NIK BUHLER

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As you can see, my bookshelf isn’t so much a bookshelf as it is multiple bookshelves and stacks of unplaced new buys. As a virgo sun, I am extremely anal about having everything in alphabetical order (by authors last name, of course) to achieve the feel of a real home library. However, as a gemini moon and sagittarius rising, I can never buy just one book! Because of this, I often end up purchasing books by the tens and twenties, resulting in the stacks of books haphazardly thrown on shelves while my anxiety screams about how disorganized it is as well as how long it will take to organize.

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I love collecting odd trinkets that catch my eye for whatever reason whether they be weird, interesting, or funny. Various shelves are adorned with these trinkets such as my hungry hippo, old lost photographs, glowing alien toys, and carved wooden stump. Similarly to my fascination with odd trinkets, I have a fascination with odd books. Many books found on my shelves are those found browsing places like yard sales, GoodWill, and McKay’s. Funky books like my ombré, vapor-wave copy of Hamlet, my copy of The Practical Guide to Tarot and the Runes, and a copy of Woodburning with Style add a fun flare to my collection and opportunities to read on fun things I might not have normally picked up.

 

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Additionally, I have many books of sentimental value that have been passed along through my grandmother, aunts, my mother, and finally I such as my collection of Steven King novels or original copy of A Night to Remember. These books have been well taken care of for many years and you can feel the love in the pages. They mean so much to me as the first novels I ever owned – though perhaps that is slightly macabre. Similarly, I have an unfortunate obsession with Franz Kafka and own every book he has published, including a completed work of texts just to be absolutely sure i’ve missed nothing! I even own a collection of aphorisms that I carry around like the world’s worst bible.

The rest of my books are miscellaneous selections left over from English and Philosophy classes taken previously at UT. As a double major in two reading and writing intensive studies, i’ve managed to amass quite the collection of novels and academic texts, all of which I still enjoy reading to this day despite the fact that they may of been attained for a simple freshman 101 course. If you asked me to pick a favorite book from my shelves, I don’t think I could do it; I simply have too many to decide!

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Nik Buhler is a queer poet from middle Tennessee who attends the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where they are a senior who studies English Literature and Philosophy. When they are not at home chainsmoking, drinking beer, and playing with their adorable cats, Buhler can be found in coffee shops and libraries craving fries, furiously typing out papers due the next day, and screaming about the existentialist movements influence on modern literature.

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Project Bookshelf: Grace Prial

Admittedly, this project felt at first to me like one of the most intimate get-to-know-yous I’ve ever experienced. Nonetheless, after some hedging about it, I decided to be transparent, rather than shy away or curate something––if I’m feeling shy about it, it’s because it’s probably also one of the most effective get-to-know-yous I’ve ever experienced. I love my bookshelf. More than just the stories on the pages, it’s got the fabric of my life folded into it.

It goes something like this: 1) whatever I consider “classics,” from ancients to romantics to modernists, 2) prized possessions, 3) coursework books and contemporary lit, 4) history and political theory, and 5) art, poetry and anthologies, plus a small pile I’ve been looking at recently and can’t fit back on the shelves. Really, I could, if I took down shelf 2’s corner for photographs, art made by people I love, and treasure boxes, but that would be impossible. I need to be able to see those as much as I do my copy of Decantations, an essay collection by my paternal grandfather, my first edition copy of Timebends, Arthur Miller’s autobiography gifted to me by a college professor, the weightless yet 1,164-page complete works of Shakespeare, printed on onion paper and used by both my father and me through our respective English degrees, my high-school copy of Lolita, read so many times now it’s held together by a rubber band, a Spanish workbook from 1935 gifted to me by my maternal grandmother called El Patio de los Naranjos… And others. This prized collection is held up by a makeshift bookend: two pieces of metal unevenly welded together by my younger brother when he was still learning.

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I have no doubt that a complete investigation into this bookshelf may very well reveal everything there is to know about me. I’ve listed some of the more precious items by way of introduction, but truly every title on these shelves points to a moment in my life when I learned something profound, when my worldview changed or expanded, when I was challenged, comforted, incited, or inspired. These shelves are my journey up to this point, they reflect what I know, how I think, what I love. Now, that said, it’s time to add more.

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Grace Prial is a graduate of Rutgers University–Newark with a BA in English. She lives in New Jersey and is passionate about her studies on the reflection of political movements in literature.

 

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Meet Our New Editorial Intern: Grace Prial

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Often when I am asked for some reason to describe my relationship to literature, I find I am met with a deep sense of urgency. Over the course of my undergraduate studies I’ve come to appreciate books––novels, stories, poetry––as incredible microcosms, reflections of a mind molded by historical and social circumstances, that set out to put something down. I believe the most powerful insights into history––the story of how we all got here––are to be found in literature, and for that reason I find myself evangelizing. I want to urge everyone I meet to read literature and to learn to understand its place in history, in order to glean its significance in relation to ourselves. When we read we may gain insight not only into individuals and communities, but the vast global forces which shape and interconnect us all. Books may be vehicles for empathy, and when more than now have we needed that?

I realized that I wanted to become involved with publishing when someone asked me what my dream career might be. I answered “I have no idea,” and then said, “Wait. No. I know.” The answer was, and is, that I would like to be a person involved in a community which fosters work that needs to be read. Sundress Publications is one such community. It is the first step on that path for me, and I could not be more grateful for my editorial internship.

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Grace Prial is a graduate of Rutgers University–Newark with a BA in English. She lives in New Jersey and is passionate about her studies on the reflection of political movements in literature.

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Meet Our New Editorial Intern: Nik Buhler

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No matter how old I was, it’s always been unlikely that you’d ever find me without one, if not three or four, books with me. I would stay up well past my bed time, reveling in how sly I was, just to finish a few more chapters of the most recent story I just couldn’t put down. Even as I advanced to high school where I became more involved taking AP and dual enrollment classes, playing varsity volleyball for four years, and becoming an active member and even president of multiple organizations such as the Gay-Straight Alliance and HOSA, my love for reading never waned but instead morphed into a challenge of how many novels I could finish without neglecting my school work!

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to pursue academia in the long term. In high school, a select few of my teachers and professors further impassioned my love for reading and learning, even going as far as to help me find degree programs that would best suit me for college. Upon entering my freshman year at the University of Tennessee, I became mesmerized by all the options available to me; I wanted to learn everything there was to learn but I couldn’t help but gravitate towards text and writing based courses. Eventually, I found myself in a Philosophy course and became enamored with the subject immediately. I loved the analysis, the debate, and the thoughtful, structured writing that came along with it. However, it was still missing something for me – literature! I quickly picked up a second major in English literature where I could explore the expanses of both subjects that truly speak to me,

With the help of many wonderful professors and mentors during my time so far at UT, I have been lucky enough to encountermany positive, life-changing experiences. The people I have met here have pushed me to be the best version of myself that they are confident I can be while not letting me be limited by insecurities or anxieties. Because of this, I have been blessed with the confidence and support to reach towards dreams and goals of mine through submitting works, participating in a poet residency, seeking out well suited graduate programs, and, of course, this internship with SAFTA! I know my time here will further propel me forward towards my goals in collegiate work and studies through encouraging me to better myself and reach success beyond what I though possible.

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Nik Buhler is a queer poet from middle Tennessee who attends the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where they are a senior who studies English Literature and Philosophy. When they are not at home chainsmoking, drinking beer, and playing with their adorable cats, Buhler can be found in coffee shops and libraries craving fries, furiously typing out papers due the next day, and screaming about the existentialist movements influence on modern literature.

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