Tag Archives: knoxville

Sundress Academy for the Arts Introduces “Broodside” Fundraiser

This summer the Sundress Academy for the Arts lost all of their chickens to a predator (Vampire weasel? Angry raccoon? We are still unsure.). Now we need your help to restock the coop!

For a tax-deductible $20 donation, you will receive a free broadside of Ina Cariño’s poem “Feast.” The proceeds from each broadside sold will purchase a chicken or duck for Firefly Farms, where they will lay eggs, entertain residents, eat bugs, and attempt to annoy our sheep, Munchma the goat, and Jayne the donkey.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA), a 501(c)3 non-profit, was founded in 2013 at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, Tennessee. Nestled in an old-fashioned “holler” just twenty minutes from downtown, this picturesque 45-acre farm is home to one photogenic donkey (Jayne), a small herd of sheep, and a flock of backyard chickens & ducks (purchased by you!). Firefly Farms is the perfect artists’ getaway, where visitors can hone their creative crafts as they escape the routine of modern life. Whether you’re hiking, camping, or foraging, you can connect with nature and be inspired by a part of the Appalachian landscape. SAFTA residents and workshop attendees can also expect to learn a host of new skills from the staff in order to enrich their creative work.

Find out more about how you can donate here.

 

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Sundress Reading Series Presents Carlina Duan, Lisa Dordal, and Sophia Stid

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The Sundress Reading Series is excited to welcome Carlina Duan, Lisa Dordal, and Sophia Stid for the September installment of our reading series! This event will take place from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, September 16th at Hexagon Brewing Co., located at 1002 Dutch Valley Dr STE 101, Knoxville, TN 37918.

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 12.10.19 PMCarlina Duan hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and currently lives in Nashville, where she is an MFA Candidate in Poetry at Vanderbilt University. Her debut poetry collection, I WORE MY BLACKEST HAIR, was published by Little A in 2017, and received a Finalist Award in the Little A Emerging Writers Contest. Her poems can be found in Black Warrior Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Narrative Magazine, and elsewhere. She is currently the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Nashville Review.

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 12.10.26 PMLisa Dordal (M.Div., M.F.A.) is the author of Mosaic of the Dark (Black Lawrence Press, 2018) and teaches in the English Department at Vanderbilt University. A Pushcart Prize nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets University Prize and the Robert Watson Poetry Prize, her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Best New Poets, Ninth Letter, Cave Wall, CALYX, The Greensboro Review, Vinyl Poetry, New Poetry from the Midwest, and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse.

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 12.10.32 PMSophia Stid is a writer from California. Currently in the MFA program at Vanderbilt University, she has received fellowships from the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Lannan Foundation. She is the winner of the 2017 Francine Ringold Award for New Writers. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Image, Beloit, Nimrod, Ninth Letter, DIAGRAM, Haydens Ferry Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among others.

 

The Sundress Reading Series is an award-winning literary reading series that is held monthly at 2 p.m. at Hexagon Brewing Co. just outside of downtown Knoxville. The Sundress Reading Series is free and open to the public.

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Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces Special Dining Event for Charity


Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces
Special Dining Event for Charity

 

The Sundress Academy of the Arts, a local 501(c)3 nonprofit, is excited to host a late summer fundraiser on Saturday, September 8th at the Birdhouse Knoxville (800 N 4th Ave) from 6PM to 8PM.  

A three-course dinner and drinks will be served, featuring lamb locally sourced from Firefly Farms, as well as vegetarian and vegan side options. Each dish will be paired with a speciality cocktail crafted by noted spirits writer Sam Slaughter.

Tickets for the event are on sale for $50 in advance, and $60 at the door. All funds raised from the dinner will be allocated for programs on the farm including programs for the LGBTQIA community, workshops for veterans and sexual assault survivors, and more.


 

To reserve your ticket, please visit:
https://squareup.com/store/sundress-publications/item/dinner-drink-a-safta-fundraising-event

 

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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.

 

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SAFTA Now Accepting Fall Residency Applications for Writers Coop

Sundress Academy for the Arts Now Accepting
Fall Residency Applications for Writers Coop

The Sundress Academy for the Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term writers residencies during the fall residency period for our new Writers Coop during the weeks of August 27 – December 30, 2018. These residencies are designed to give writers and artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment.

SAFTA is located on a working farm that rests on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. Located less than a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city of 200,00 in the foothill of the Great Smoky Mountains, SAFTA is an ideal location for those looking for a rural get-away with access to urban amenities.

The SAFTA Writers Coop is a 10×10′ dry cabin approximately a fourth of a mile from the SAFTA farmhouse. This tiny house is furnished with a twin bed, a desk, a wood-burning stove, a deck that looks over the pasture and pond, as well as a personal detached outhouse. While the cabin has neither electricity nor running water, residents will have full access to the amenities at farmhouse as well as solitude from other residents to write in the rolling hills of East Tennessee.

Each residency costs $150/week and includes your own private dry cabin as well as 24-hour access to the farmhouse amenities.

Applications for this residency are free and rolling. The following weeks are still available: August 27 – September 2; September 3-9; September 10 – 16; September 17- 23; September 24 – 30; October 29 – November 4; December 17 – 23; December 24 – 30.

Find out more at www.sundressacademyforthearts.com.

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Sundress Academy for the Arts Seeks Readers for Award-Winning Sundress Reading Series

safta logoSundress Academy for the Arts Seeks Readers
for Award-Winning Sundress Reading Series

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) would like to invite writers to read as part of their 2018 – 2019 reading series. Since 2013, SAFTA has hosted poets and prose writers as part of their award-winning Sundress Reading Series in the heart of Knoxville, TN, just miles from the Great Smoky Mountains. An extension of Sundress Publications and the Sundress Academy for the Arts, the Sundress Reading Series features nationally recognized writers in all genres from around the US while also supporting local and regional nonprofits. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2018.

We are currently curating our fall and spring reading series schedule. Our readings take place monthly on Sundays at 2PM at Hexagon Brewing Company. To apply to be a reader, please send 6-8 pages of poetry or 8-15 pages of prose, a 100-word bio, and CV in the body of an email to Erin Elizabeth Smith at erin@sundresspublications.com.

We will make every effort possible to contact those chosen by July 15, 2018. While we are currently unable to pay our readers, authors are given a discount on future SAFTA residencies and are encouraged to sell their own books and merchandise at the event.

Find our more or to view some of our past readers and schedules, visit us at www.sundressacademyforthearts.com.

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Interview with SAFTA Fiction Retreat Leader, Mary Miller

 

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.

What are some of your hopes for this year’s SAFTA retreat?

I’m excited to be a part of SAFTA! My hopes for the retreat are simple: to share knowledge and have a good time.

You’ve been published widely, and your works have received great acclaim. In between writing your short story collections, you also wrote a novel. How did these experiences (writing the novel vs writing short stories) differ? What did you find gratifying or frustrating/liberating or constraining about the two?

My novel is similar to my short stories in a lot of ways. For one, it’s a very short novel, around 67k words. It’s also narrow in scope, taking place over a four-day period of time and told from the perspective of one person. I don’t have any interest in writing a multi-generational epic told from numerous points of view. Perhaps that’ll change one day; there was a time when I didn’t think I would write anything other than slightly fictionalized stories from a middle class white woman’s perspective, which isn’t the case anymore.

This is to say: I didn’t find writing that particular novel frustrating. More generally, a story should be as long as it needs to be and I try to remember that.

You unabashedly write about controversial issues in your work, and your characters are both relatable and real. How do you think this might inform your teaching when you work with other writers?

I don’t think of myself as writing about controversial issues or being unabashed or anything like that. I try to be as honest as possible and tell the truth (from my narrator’s perspective). I don’t think there’s any reason to write if you aren’t willing to do this. As far as how this might inform my teaching: I’ll always push writers when they need to be pushed, but I try not to do it in a pushy way.

What/whom are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading two story collections: Jenny Diski’s The Vanishing Princess and Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women. I’m actually rereading the Berlin because I’ve assigned it to my students.

I was going to say that both of these books were published posthumously, but I just googled it and the Diski collection was originally published in 1995 in the U.K. but is just now available in the U.S. So sort of posthumously? They’re both brilliant. I wish I’d found these writers decades ago.

What’s next on the horizon for you? 

I finished a draft of a novel recently and need to start editing it soon. Right now I’m working on an essay about Jason Molina, a musician that more people should listen to/know about (I also love living people!). I’m enjoying writing flash fiction again, too. It’s so gratifying to write a draft of a story in a very short period of time.

We have one full scholarship available for the retreat as well as limited 20% scholarships for those with financial need. To apply for a scholarship, send a packet of no more than (15) pages of prose along with a brief statement on why you would like to attend this workshop to Erin Elizabeth Smith at erin@sundresspublications.com no later than April 10th, 2018. Winners will be announced in late April.

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Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces Feed the Animals! Fundraiser

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Firefly Farms isn’t just home to the Sundress Academy of the Arts; it’s also the home to a herd of animals, including chickens, sheep, and one very photogenic donkey who oversees them all. Your donation of $30, $60, or $90 will help feed a chicken, sheep, or donkey for a whole month!

To donate, go to https://squareup.com/store/sundress-publications/item/feed-the-animals

Every penny of your “feed the animals” donation will go not-so-directly into their mouths in the form of hay, alfalfa, grains, scratch, and other nutritious forage. (They may even pose for a pic in gratitude!) A donation like this also makes a great gift for that person in your life who loves both animals and the arts! And remember, all donations to SAFTA are tax-deductible!

For a limited time only, receive a photo of your less hungry animal! Makes a great holiday gift!

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is an artists’ residency on a 45-acre farm in Knoxville, Tennessee, that hosts workshops, retreats, and residencies for writers of all genres, visual artists, and more. All are guided by experienced, professional instructors from a variety of creative disciplines who are dedicated to cultivating the arts in East Tennessee.

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SAFTA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SPRING WRITER’S COOP RESIDENCIES

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Sundress Academy for the Arts Now Accepting
Spring Writer’s Coop 
Residency Applications 

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term writers residencies during the spring residency period for our new Writers Coop during the weeks of January 1st through May 7th. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment.

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SAFTA is located on a working farm that rests on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. Located less than a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city of 200,000 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, SAFTA is an ideal location for those looking for a rural get-away with access to urban amenities.

 

writer's coop 1The SAFTA Writers Coop is a 10×10′ dry cabin approximately a fourth of a mile from the SAFTA farmhouse. This tiny house is furnished with a single bed, a desk, a wood-burning stove, a deck that looks over the pasture and pond, as well as a personal detached outhouse. While the cabin has neither electricity nor running water, residents will have full access to the amenities at the farmhouse as well as solitude from other residents to write in the rolling hills of East Tennessee.

Each residency costs $150/week and includes your own private dry cabin as well as 24-hour access to the farmhouse amenities.

The application deadline for the spring residency period is rolling. Our application fees have been waived for the spring application period.

writer's coop 4

Find out more at www.sundressacademyforthearts.com.

 

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Sundress offers new fellowship donation opportunity


Sundress Academy for the Arts
(SAFTA) is excited to offer a new opportunity for donors and artists to collaborate through our new Fund-a-Fellow program. SAFTA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is an artists’ retreat on a 45-acre farm in Knoxville, Tennessee that offers residencies to writers, visual artists, filmmakers, composers, academics, and more. With two residency rooms and a dry cabin on site, we offer a rotating space for nationally recognized and emerging artists in multiple disciplines.

Through this new fellowship program, donors will have the opportunity to allocate their donations toward a specific artist, genre, or vision.

For example, a donor may choose to fund a residency for an artist who is part of a specific marginalized group or an artist who is producing a specific genre of work.

Your tax-deductible donation may be offered to any particular group of artists or writers you wish. Previously funded awards have offered fellowships for people of color, LGBTQIA writers, mothers, Appalachian writers, Tennessee artists, graduate students, women over 40, and more. Upon donation, we will advertise that a new fellowship has been made available and begin accepting applications from artists whose work aligns with your vision. Our staff of editors and qualified outside readers will judge applications.

Donations may come in the following amounts:

A $125 donation covers:

  • 50% of a week-long residency, including lodging, at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN.

A $250 donation covers:

  • 100% of a week-long residency, including lodging, at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN.

A $500 donation covers:

  • 100% of a week-long residency, including lodging, at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN.
  • $250 stipend for travel

A $1,000 donation covers:

  • 100% of a two-week-long residency, including lodging, at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN.
  • $500 stipend

As a nonprofit, we rely on the money we draw in from our residency, events, and books to fund our daily operations, but due to the current state of arts funding, the only way for organizations like ours to truly grow and thrive is through the generosity of the public. Donations, community support, and philanthropic patronage help us connect with and support artists and writers. Our efforts have already attracted attention from individuals and organizations in the Knoxville community and beyond, and we hope that you would join them with your financial support.

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Erin Elizabeth Smith at erin@sundresspublications.com.

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A Week in the Writers Coop

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I was completely unsure what to expect when Erin Elizabeth Smith offered me the chance to test out the new Writer’s Coop at the Sundress Academy for the Arts at Firefly Farms.  I had been to several events at the farm itself, and, like most who stay at the farm, I was charmed by the colorful murals of mermaids, flowers, and Sylvia Plath, the shelves full of chapbooks, and, of course, the friendly animals (Jayne, the enormous resident donkey and professional selfie-taker in particular).  Though Erin warned me that the coop was still something of a work-in-progress and part of my job was to identify what still needed to be done, I arrived at Firefly Farms with high hopes of a good time full of productive writing.  I am happy to say that the Writer’s Coop did not disappoint.

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To access the coop, one has two options: you can have someone drive you on a four-wheeler, or you can walk the dirt and gravel path that winds behind Firefly Farms. The walk itself was quite easy; maybe a five minute jaunt when sober or ten when I had some beers down at the farm while getting to know the week’s residents. At the top of a small hill, the path widens and a tiny cabin appears.  Indeed, while the Coop started its life housing chickens, the Writer’s Coop resembles a charming re-creation of a log cabin that you might find in a museum more than anything else.

Erin and Joe, anticipating the needs of the future residents like myself, have included all the necessities: a front and back porch for catching the breeze, a comfortable bed, and, of course, a bottle opener mounted just outside the door.  The Coop even has its own outhouse close by.  Though I am the type of person who is normally horrified by going to the bathroom in outhouses or Port-a-Potties, I found the outhouse at the Coop to be fastidiously clean and completely devoid of smell.

I found my time at the Coop so enjoyable that the first morning, despite my hunger and need for a shower, I found myself lingering, writing poems and catching up on reading rather than making my way down to the farmhouse.  If you are like me and you work best in silence with few distractions, the Coop is the best possible place to write.  Something about feeling completely alone in nature without even the sound of passing cars really focused me.  I wrote five poems in the space of one afternoon while there.

I would recommend the Writer’s Coop to anyone who values alone time, peace and quiet, privacy, and affordability while still having options to commune with other authors (and play with adorable animals). Though I was lucky enough to test out the Coop, I will likely apply for my own residency in the future.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is now accepting applications for fall residencies for the Writer’s Coop! Applications are free and rolling!

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Chloe Hanson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee. She earned her MA and BA from Utah State University, where she also helped to establish and direct the Science Writing Center. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including Public Pool, Off the Coast, and Driftwood Press. While she’s procrastinating her homework, she can often be found with a beer in her hand and her dog, Simon, by her side. She is the current Staff Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts.

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