Tag Archives: sundress academy for the arts

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

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The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term writers residencies during the summer residency period for our new Writers Coop during the weeks of June 5th to August 20th, 2017. These residencies are designed to give 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 200,000 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.

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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 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 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.

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The application deadline for the summer residency period is rolling. Note our application fees have been waived for the summer application period.

Find out more on our website or Facebook. 

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OUTSpoken Generosity Campaign

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As the season of giving begins and a new year approaches, Sundress Publications and the Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) are raising money to build a creative platform for the LGBTQ+ community of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Now in its fourth year, OUTSpoken is a program from the Sundress Academy for the Arts that will take place through 2017. We seek to create a space in which local communities can record and perform the experiences of sex- and gender-diverse individuals in the South.

Our goal is to raise $1,000 to cover the cost of workshops, event and rehearsal space, promotional materials, and more. It is our goal to make the entire event free to participants and audience members this year. All donations are tax-deductible.

OUTSpoken begins with a series of writing workshops in January, February, and March, where community members will develop their experiences into poems, monologues, narratives, or other literary forms. These pieces are then revised and eventually performed in a staged reading. Participants will have the option of working with actors to bring their writing to life or of performing their writing themselves. The three-month workshop series, followed by a showcase of personal work, unites the community through art and expression.

As the LGBTQ+ community faces a nation divided and charged by politics, we believe it is more important than ever to build a space where all are welcomed, accepted, and celebrated. To learn more about the OUTSpoken program and campaign, visit generosity.com/community-fundraising/outspoken-needs-your-help. All donations are tax-deductible.

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Project Bookshelf: Kristen Figgins

Books pile everywhere in my house.  My husband and I are both voracious reader who are always saying, “I really shouldn’t” while at the check-out line at a bookstore.

Below is the bookshelf in our living room, what I think of as the NEAT bookshelf, because it’s full of things that we saw that were too NEAT not to buy, like a coffee table book about the circus.

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And these are the bookshelves that sit in the guest room, the books that live in and around my heart, the books that I read for fun, for classes, books that I read until their spines were falling apart and books that I read once.  I love these messy, lived-in shelves.

When we got married, we spent our wedding gift cards on the bookshelf below, which we spent three days putting together in our living room while watching documentaries about magicians.  This shelf is my favorite for a few reasons.  First, because it holds my favorite books: the collectibles, the beauties, the ones that we both need close at hand on a rainy day.  And second because it represents my husband’s and my collaborative effort to build a home of books; this bookshelf represents the culmination of a dream: the presence of a bookshelf in every room of our house.  It’s a meeting place of our minds and hearts and imaginations, and I love it.

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Kristen Figgins is a writer of fabulism, whose work has appeared in such places as The Gateway Review, Sleet Magazine, Hermeneutic Chaos, Sakura Review, Menacing Hedge, and more. Her story “Track Me With Your Words, Speak Me With Your Feet” was winner of the 2015 Fiction Award from Puerto del Sol, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Micro Award, and Write Well Award. Her first chapbook, A Narrow Line of Light, is available for purchase from Boneset Books and her novella, Nesting, is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in the Summer of 2017.

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Sundress Academy for the Arts Now Accepting Residency Applications for Summer

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is now accepting applications for short-term artists’ residencies during the summer residency period, during the weeks of May 8th to August 20th, 2017. 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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Each residency costs $250/week, which includes a room of one’s own, access to our communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet and cable.

For the summer residency period, SAFTA will be offering four full fellowships for the following—two fellowships for writers or artists of color (one sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission), one Tennessee Arts Commission fellowship for an Appalachian writer, and one Tennessee Arts Commission fellowship for a Tennessee writer. Three of these fellowships were made possible by an ABC grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, awarded for the 2016-2017 season.

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The Tennessee Arts Commission fellowship for Appalachian writers is open to any writer who currently lives or works in Appalachia or any writer with strong ties to the area. The Tennessee Arts Commission fellowship for Tennessee writers is open to any writer who currently lives or works in Tennessee or any writer native to Tennessee. For either of the two writer/artist of color fellowships, the application fee will be waived for those who demonstrate financial need. Please state this in your application under the financial need section. Partial scholarships are also available to any applicant with financial need.

The application deadline for the summer residency period is January 15th, 2017.

The Tennessee Arts Commission invests in more than 600 nonprofit organizations across the state and their mission is to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities.

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Poets in Pajamas: An Interview with Sam Slaughter

The Poets in Pajamas Reading Series launches this week, hosted by Sam Slaughter, author of God in Neon and Spirits Editor at The Manual.  Below, Sam shares some of the inspiration behind Poets in Pajamas and what you should expect from this cozy new virtual reading series.  sam-slaughter

Kristen Figgins: What was the inspiration for Poets in Pajamas?

Sam Slaughter: We wanted to create a reading series that wasn’t contingent on location, one that would—as long as you have access to the internet—allow anyone to participate. Obviously, any major city is going to have multiple reading series to go to/participate in/etc., but not everyone can live in those cities. As writers, we’re often wherever the job market dictates—from Alaska to northeast Georgia to Thailand. Depending on the type of work we do, we can be just about anywhere in the world. Because of this, we wanted something that overshadowed that. That way, you would be able to participate and not feel like you’re missing out because you can’t be in Brooklyn or LA or Chicago.

KF: How are reading series important to the literary landscape?

SS: They provide connection with other readers and writers that we as artists need, considering most of us—regardless of artistic preference—spend a good deal of time alone, staring at a screen or a notebook or a canvas. They also allow readers and writers to show off their work or try out new stuff in an environment that is ready for it. You can get some immediate feedback from friends or other people there to see if that piece you’re working on is clicking or if you need to go back to the drawing board on it. Both of these points come back to the main thing: community. A reading series helps to build a community of readers and writers pursuing similar paths in the world and gives everyone an outlet to express themselves.

KF: What is your favorite memory from a reading series (either as an author or an attendee)?

SS: A great memory I have is from the first time I attended AWP, in Minneapolis in 2014. The first night I was there was the Literary Death Match, and I got to see readers like Matt Bell, Ben Percy, and Roxanne Gay battle it out, if you will.

A second fond memory I have is of the There Will Be Words reading series, hosted by J. Bradley in Orlando. I’ve been a part of it and I’ve attended multiple others and every time it was a great, engaging event. The people are great and the words are better.

KF: One of the great things about reading series is that they create a personal connection with authors and their audience.  How do you imagine retaining that personal connection while utilizing the Periscope app?

SS: Well, the easy answer is that there will be a ten-minute Q&A portion of each reading, allowing viewers to type in questions that the reader can respond to. Periscope has taken care of the interaction portion for us. Another thing is that a reading series like this can spread by word of mouth/Facebook post/tweet. Helping connect more readers and viewers can enhance the community and allow for new connections to spring up that might not have happened otherwise.

KF: If you could have a literary slumber party with any group of poets, dead or alive, who would be on the invitation list?

SS: My list wouldn’t be just poets, but regardless, I’d want to put together a slumber party that would be a hell of a good time—light on the slumbering, heav(ier) on the partying.

  1. TC Boyle
  2. Harry Crews
  3. Julia Child
  4. Anthony Bourdain
  5. Lorrie Moore

You can find out more about Poets in Pajamas including upcoming readings and how to get involved, on our website! Be sure to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter as well!

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Introducing Lauren Perlaki, Sundress’s Newest Editorial Intern


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As a west side transplant from Downriver, MI, I have discovered how deep my love goes for Coney Islands. And three lane highways. They just don’t have them on the west side. I’ve concluded these must be east side things.

Following my senior year of high school, I crossed the state to attend Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI. Now a senior at K, I am studying art history, media studies, and creative writing. In a year’s time, I hope to be pursuing my MFA in poetry.

I don’t remember when I started to write, I just know that I always have. Stories, poems, journal entries—honestly, I probably have enough journals kicking around to fill a small bookcase. In 9th grade, I had an English teacher who was the first to give me a proper introduction to poetry, and that was it—my first love (poetry, not my teacher). 

In writing, I have found success, failure, opportunity, and community. Writing, specifically poetry, has allowed me to spend a brief stint in NYC, interning with the PEN American Center and Poets House. Writing has given me the opportunity to intern with the Kalamazoo Book Art Center’s poetry reading series, and to claim the title of co-editor-in-chief of K’s literary and visual arts magazine, The Cauldron. Through the written word, I have had the privilege of getting to know so many neat people and places. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

Aside from reading and writing, I enjoy going for walks, writing music, and sitting down to watch a good documentary with some quality company. And coffee. I really love coffee.

As a megafan of the written word, and an advocate of literary reform, I am absolutely delighted to be working with Sundress Publications as an editorial intern. I am grateful for this opportunity, and can’t wait to see where this work will take me.

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 Lauren Perlaki is a senior at Kalamazoo College double majoring in Art History and English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She is also pursuing a concentration in Media Studies. When she isn’t furiously working to meet a deadline, or cramming 500+ years worth of art into her noggin, she can be found singing with her a cappella group, searching for a decent cup of coffee, or going on about how great the music scene is in Kalamazoo. She is a co-editor-in-chief of Kalamazoo College’s annually published literary and visual arts magazine, The Cauldron, and a lover of modernist literature.

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Lambda Literary Winners Announced!

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Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is delighted to announce that Brian Kornell and Haley Fedor have won the Lambda Literary fellowships for the spring residency period. The Lambda Literary Foundation, an organization striving to preserve the LGBTQ culture by celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer literature, partnered with SAFTA to sponsor two LGBTQ-identified writers for a week-long residency. Our full scholarship was awarded to Brian Kornell, and the partial scholarship was awarded to Haley Fedor.

image1Brian Kornell earned his MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His writing appears in The Kenyon ReviewQueen Mob’s TeahouseLuna Luna MagazineOCHO, and elsewhere. His work has also appeared in The Rumpus, where he is the assistant essays editor. At present, he is working on a memoir about growing up gay in the Midwest as well as being closeted and married until he was in his early thirties. You can find him on Twitter @briankornell.

 

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Haley Fedor, a PhD candidate at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is a queer author from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Section 8 Magazine, The Fem, Guide to Kulchur Magazine, Literary Orphans, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, and the anthology Dispatches from Lesbian America. In 2014, she was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Congratulations also to our finalists who were also awarded residencies: Alexis Smithers, Grey Vild, Marissa Higgins, Callum Angus, Emily Withnall, and Celeste Chan.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is now open for summer residency applications. For the summer residency period, SAFTA will be offering four full fellowships for the following—two fellowships for writers or artists of color (one sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission), one Tennessee Arts Commission fellowship for an Appalachian writer, and one Tennessee Arts Commission fellowship for a Tennessee writer. Three of these fellowships were made possible by an ABC grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, awarded for the 2016-2017 season.

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By Fluorescent Light: An Introduction to Kristen Figgins, Intern

KFigg 2My husband is an amateur historian, so I spend a lot of time thinking about medieval villages, where people participated in rigorous apprenticeships before entering into a vocation themselves.  We both know, my husband and I, that the medieval period wasn’t laugh-a-minute, that people generally lived hard lives with plenty of religious festivals to break up the monotony of blacksmithing (or whatever it was you did) with a play depicting the death of some saint.  But we still complain that, you know, those guys were onto something.  Internships, apprenticeships, those are the way to go.

I sit here at my desk, lit not by candlelight but by six bright fluorescents, on the first day of school, someone lecturing in a classroom across the hall, much too loud, and I think about my good fortune.  I’m one of the newest editorial interns at Sundress Publications, and even though I have gotten used to be being the teacher, I’m going to have an opportunity to be a learner again.  I’ve always been fascinated by the publishing industry, which, as a writer, no matter how much I learn or how familiar I get with the process of submission, still seems like a mystery cult, shrouded in trade secrets and behind-the-scenes stuff.  Getting my acceptance email from Jane Huffman felt like being told that I was to be inducted into the Illuminati, like looking at a medieval map and seeing “Here be dragons” and saying, yes, yes, please.  

Except, of course, it isn’t. Everyone is very polite and there don’t seem to be any rituals involved in this business of publishing, at least not yet.  But I am an apprentice to the trade now, it feels, and I’m already learning a lot.  I was able to read an advance copy of Xochitl-Julisa Bergera’s Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge.  It was beautiful and amazing and it did feel like a secret that was being whispered to me.  I put together a series of questions for Xochitl-Julisa that will be used in an interview, which did feel a bit like pulling back a curtain.  

My recommendation, in the twenty-first century, to all of you who are not time travelers of the medieval period, is that when you see a listing for an internship position, to reach out and grab it with both hands.  You might just find yourself at Sundress Publications, like I did, sitting at your desk and feeling yourself very lucky to be learning the secrets of a beautiful, mysterious, and fascinating trade.  

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Kristen Figgins is a writer of fabulism, whose work has appeared in such places as Dunes Review, Zoetic Press, The Gateway Review, Puerto del Sol, Sleet Magazine, Hermeneutic Chaos, Sakura Review, and The Whale Road Review.  Her story “Track Me With Your Words, Speak Me With Your Feet” was winner of the 2015 Fiction Award fromPuerto del Sol and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Micro Award, and Write Well Award.  Her first chapbook, A Narrow Line of Light, is available for purchase from Boneset Books and her novella, Nesting, is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in the Summer of 2017.

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Laura B. Robbins’ #ProjectBookshelf

So these are my bookshelves. These are where 95% of my books live. I also have some books scattered around my house, but this is where the majority of them live. My tastes in books clearly span the spectrum of genres, but I tend to read a lot of contemporary fiction and fantasy.

I fully blame my parents for my love of books (you should see their bookshelves), and this love makes it basically impossible to pick a favorite. However, some of the ones I really enjoy are Americanah, Jane Steele, Slaughterhouse-Five, and The Bell Jar.

 


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Laura Robbins, a Memphis native, is a senior at the University of Tennessee studying English Literature. For the last year, she has worked at UT’s library in Special Collections. When she isn’t writing papers or reading books for class, Laura enjoys buying more books than she has the room for and discussing anything from feminism to the latest superhero movie.

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Laura B. Robbins Introduction

Hi, everybody! I’m Laura, and I’m so excited to join the Sundress team as a Development Intern.

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. I’m incredibly proud of my city, and yes, I think our BBQ is the best. I have a love of books and reading, and one day, I hope to work as an editor for a major publishing house. My love of reading stemmed from my parents, both journalists who take the written word very seriously.

While I spend a good portion of my time reading books or writing about books, I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching a little too much Netflix, fawning over kittens, and online shoe shopping.

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Laura Robbins, a Memphis native, is a senior at the University of Tennessee studying English Literature. For the last year, she has worked at UT’s library in Special Collections. When she isn’t writing papers or reading books for class, Laura enjoys buying more books than she has the room for and discussing anything from feminism to the latest superhero movie.

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