The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Last Glacier at the End of the World by Vivian Faith Prescott

Much Addicted to the Superstitions of Their Ancestors

In Sámi culture there are hundreds of words for snow.


No one else looks as closely
at the edges of light, at the wavelengths,
refracting through ancient bergs.

No one else dreams of ice as he does
at the back of the bookstore
thumbing through musty old books,

how the scent of ancient things
causes him to swoon.
This is how he finds himself

stranded on an ice-floe
every morning, sitting on the bathroom floor
staring at the small crevasses,

those shallow cuts on his skin.
They say that with the help of a seer
one can see beneath the ice.

For thousands of years he’s wiped away
his same reflection—
bođus: ice-floes floating-separately collectively;

sáisa: mass of packed ice pressed up on or towards the shore,
from the wet mirrored glass,
an image of the light absorbing into him,

traveling deeper and deeper,
all colors disappearing until all that remains
is a shock of blue.

This selection comes from The Last Glacier at the End of the World, available from Split Rock Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Vivian Faith Prescott was born and raised in Wrangell, a small island community is Southeastern Alaska. She lives in Wrangell at her family’s fishcamp—Mickey’s Fishcamp. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska and a PhD in Cross Cultural Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She’s a founding member of Community Roots, the first LGBTQ group on the island. Prescott is also a member of the Pacific Sámi Searvi, and writes frequently about Sámi diaspora and climate change in Alaska. She is a two-time recipient of a Rasmuson Fellowship (2015, 2019) and a recipient of the Alaska Literary Award (2017). Prescott is the author of four chapbooks, two full-length poetry books, and a short story collection. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net. Along with her daughter, Vivian Mork Yéilk’, she writes a column for the Juneau Empire called Planet Alaska. For more information, visit: vivianfaithprescott.com. Twitter: planet_alaska and poet_tweet.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe and the Non-Fiction Editor of Doubleback Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Selkie Literary Magazine, and Writing Class Radio. She’s currently an MFA Nonfiction candidate at Vermont College of Fine Art and lives in Riverview, Florida.
 

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Last Glacier at the End of the World by Vivian Faith Prescott

Geological Forces


She was covered with humankind
and their flawed gifts:

broken little birds, dried berries, their thirst.

But nothing they could offer
could make her forget the last 12.5 million years,

how the ice sheet covered the expanse,

how snow changed to firn,
then a season’s melt. Over and over,

layers of corn snow melting and compressing.

She believes in her grieving,
yet believes in ordinary people,

who, like her body, will forgive the rain,
the wet earth.

But she still wonders how they figure
what to offer up to the impossible,

or if they know that all of this is holy,

especially the single snowflake crushed
beneath their feet.

This selection comes from The Last Glacier at the End of the World, available from Split Rock Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Vivian Faith Prescott was born and raised in Wrangell, a small island community is Southeastern Alaska. She lives in Wrangell at her family’s fishcamp—Mickey’s Fishcamp. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska and a PhD in Cross Cultural Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She’s a founding member of Community Roots, the first LGBTQ group on the island. Prescott is also a member of the Pacific Sámi Searvi, and writes frequently about Sámi diaspora and climate change in Alaska. She is a two-time recipient of a Rasmuson Fellowship (2015, 2019) and a recipient of the Alaska Literary Award (2017). Prescott is the author of four chapbooks, two full-length poetry books, and a short story collection. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net. Along with her daughter, Vivian Mork Yéilk’, she writes a column for the Juneau Empire called Planet Alaska. For more information, visit: vivianfaithprescott.com. Twitter: planet_alaska and poet_tweet.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe and the Non-Fiction Editor of Doubleback Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Selkie Literary Magazine, and Writing Class Radio. She’s currently an MFA Nonfiction candidate at Vermont College of Fine Art and lives in Riverview, Florida.
 

Sundress Academy for the Arts announces our January Reading Series

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is pleased to announce the guests for the January installment of our virtual reading series. The event will take place on Wednesday, January 27th, 2021, 7:00-8:00 EST via Zoom. Join us at http://tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).

Joanna Eleftheriou is the author of the essay collection This Way Back and has published essays, poems, and translations in such journals such as Bellingham Review, Arts and Letters, and The Common. A contributing editor at Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Joanna holds a PhD in English from the University of Missouri and teaches at Christopher Newport University and the Writing Workshops in Greece. Her book is available at bookshop, indiebound, several local booksellers, and Amazon. Other links are also available at https://www.joannaeleftheriou.com/this-way-back.

Chloe Martinez is a poet and scholar of South Asian religions. Her chapbook, Corner Shrine (Backbone Press, 2020), was selected by Geffrey Davis as the winner of the 2019 Backbone Press Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Waxwing, Shenandoah, The Common and elsewhere, and have been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize. She teaches at Claremont McKenna College, and a link to her book can be found here.

Sara Henning is the author of View from True North (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018), winner of the 2017 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award, the 2019 High Plains Book Award, and short listed for the 2018 Julie Suk Award. She is the recipient of the Crazyhorse Lynda Hull Memorial Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s George Bogin Memorial Award, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference Tennessee Williams Scholarship, and the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. Her work has been published in journals such as Quarterly West, Crab Orchard Review, and The Cincinnati Review. She teaches at Stephen F. Austin State University & can be found on Twitter @SaraDHenning. Her most recent collection can be purchased here

Project Bookshelf: Shannon Wolf

No, I’m not a hoarder. I just can’t help myself. I buy used, I buy indie, I buy books, and I buy often. I am also the person that will offer to take a box of used books off your hands before you even list the contents, and I’m someone who has been given a line in the household budget spreadsheet just for books. My husband gets it. I’ve moved houses upwards of thirty times. I’ve donated clothes, thrown out particle board furniture when it splintered, but I’ve never given away a book. Right now, in a storage unit in England, around three thousand books sit waiting to be shipped to me. In my two-bedroom apartment in Lafayette, Louisiana, four bookcases hold the mass I’ve accumulated since arriving in America in 2018. I’m actually meeting someone from Facebook tonight to buy an extra bookcase, as my novels have overrun their shelves; stacks are now lining my bedroom floor.

I began writing fiction, so I have tons of novels and short story collections. Favorites include both of Brit Bennett’s novels because let’s face it, she’s freaking great, and everything I could get my hands on by Jhumpa Lahiri. I’ve found that I reach for fiction for deeply-drawn female characters—women who are flawed and complex. I’m in my MFA program for poetry though, so amongst the tomes, you’ll also find sweet skinny volumes like Camille Dungy’s Trophic Cascade and Terrance Hayes’ How to be Drawn, as well as gorgeously thick collected works by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Eudora Welty. I tend to seek out poets because of their use of form (or lack thereof) and I’m particularly compelled by confessional poetry, which I think can be seen in my own poems. I do also have some academic works, craft books, anthologies, and, of course, a wealth of literary journals. Lately, though, I’ve been most excited about nonfiction work. Perhaps my favorite book in this apartment is Persona by Elizabeth Ellen, which plays with form and reality in a unique and sexy way. There are memoirs and journalist collaborations, too: Small Animals by Kim Brooks, Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith, and She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.

Tucked away in the spare bedroom you’ll find the books that don’t technically belong to me—they’re all about coding and scary math and belong to my husband, a quiet and patient engineer. So much is missing from this book collection—many of the gaps will be filled by that shipping container. In there I’ll find (with glee) all of the books of my childhood—the complete works of British children’s writer Enid Blyton and dog-eared paperbacks of the What Katy Did series. There are duplicates copies of those little green Penguin Classics, and former library books still clasped in their plastic covers. Basically, it seems you can move me anywhere, but I’ll always end up with full bookshelves and a to-be-read pile that comes up to my shoulders.


 Shannon Wolf is a British writer and teacher, living in Louisiana. She is currently a joint MA-MFA candidate in Poetry at McNeese State University. She is the Non-Fiction Editor of The McNeese Review and she also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction (which can also be found under the name Shannon Bushby) have appeared in The Forge and Great Weather for Media, among others. 

The Wardrobe is Looking for Published Collections by Women and Nonbinary Writers

As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a platform for marginalized voices, Sundress Publications is accepting submissions of published books and chapbooks that honor the following holidays:

  • February 1st – February 28th, Black History Month
  • February 22nd – February 28th, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
  • March 6th – March 13th, Week of International Women’s Day
  • March 21st – March 27th, Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination
  • April 1st – April 30th, National Autism Awareness Month, Child Abuse Awareness Month
  • May 1st – May 31st, Haitian Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
  • June 1st – June 30th, Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month

We at Sundress hope to champion writers whose work highlights human struggle and challenges misconceptions. We are looking for collections that touch on the various topics encompassed above.

Authors or publishers of books published in the past twelve months may submit to The Wardrobe. To do so, please forward an electronic copy of the book (PDFs preferred), author’ bio, photo of the cover, and a link to the publisher’s website to wardrobe@sundresspublications.com with the holiday of your choosing in the subject line. In addition, we request that one print copy be mailed to Sundress Academy for the Arts, ATTN: The Wardrobe, 195 Tobby Hollow Lane, Knoxville, TN 37931.

Submissions to The Wardrobe will remain eligible for our “Best Dressed” selection for one year. Hard copies will become a permanent part of the Sundress Academy for the Arts library and be made available to our residents, staff, and workshop participants.

For the complete details and rules, please see The Wardrobe website.

Interview with Donna Vorreyer, Author of To Everything There Is

Ahead of the 2020 release of her third poetry collection To Everything There Is, Donna Vorreyer spoke with Sundress Publications editorial intern Gokul Prabhu. Here, they discussed articulations of death and grief and how that influences the construction of a literary “I.”

Gokul Prabhu: What was your primary thought process as you put your collection together? Is there a larger narrative you hope to achieve?

Donna Vorreyer: This collection, unlike my last book, wasn’t conceived as a project with a crafted narrative arc. The poems I had been writing from 2016-2018 dealt with aging, doubt, and one’s relationship with the body. Then my life changed overnight when, within the course of a year in 2018, both parents fell ill and passed away. Writing then became a way of trying to both name and tame my emotional upheaval, a way to balance a complicated scale that carried the weight of loss on one side and the beauties and joys of living on the other. When organizing this collection, I knew that I needed to weave the other issues about which I’d been writing with the poems of grief in order to show that balance. I hope I have created a narrative seesaw for readers, one that they could ride as that scale tips from one side to the other.

GP: What is the significance of the juxtaposition of the body with the non-physical existence in your poems, especially in Section I?

DV: When you tend someone who is dying, the physical body screams for attention—not only the bodies of the ill, but the bodies of the caretakers as well. This keen awareness of the physical heightens the desire for explanation, for reasons, and leads to contemplation of the intellectual, psychological, and spiritual realms that make up a whole person. The love poems in the collection use all of these domains as well—being loved so well while being so desperately sad is a visceral experience. These ideas, blended with my existing interest in thinking about aging and the body, were arranged to complement one another, in a way that was shaped by conversations with Jeremy Reed, my Sundress editor for this collection.

GP: Can you speak about the book’s relationship with death and the language used to articulate it?

DV: This is a difficult question, as difficult as it is to try and articulate something as monumental yet as ordinary as death. As I wrote my way into and through the first years of grieving my parents, I found that each poem was unique in the way that each twinge of grief was unique. At times overwhelming, to write only about loss can be just as harmful as it is helpful, so finding different ways to approach these thoughts was important—using the natural world as a springboard helped me to find language for guilt, regret, and sorrow as well as beauty, joy, and love. In the end, the book is not only elegy. It is, to create a portmanteau, a “celebrelegy,” one that recognizes and explores the deep dark that comes with loss but also the light that continues to shine for those who are left behind.

GP: What is the significance of the recurring image of the anxiety of dealing with the everydayness of things, including your own body and the politics around it, especially after experiencing a deep loss, in Section II and III?

DV: It’s a cliché, but the answer to this question is “life goes on.” It has to. And part of my life before the loss was dealing with thoughts about my own aging, my relationship with my own body in space and in the world, my own vacillation between the wonder of being so well loved and the doubt about whether I deserve it. 

GP: How does your form influence the articulation of this grief?

DV: Form for me usually arrives after the first draft, which usually has no form and is spilled out handwritten in a journal. With work, the correct form can eventually arrive and enhance the content. “Refusal,” for instance, with its ghazal form, mimics the cyclical and repetitive ways that “no” permeates your days when someone is dying. In “Self-Administered Rorschach Test,” the short lines and strange intersection of assonance and image mimic the oddness of the test itself. And in some of the prose poems like “Dawn of Grace” and “The First Thing I Wrote On This Retreat Was Not Supposed to Be about My Mother,” the large block keeps the reader in one moment by keeping the aspects of that moment contained in a rectangular space. “Purgatory” is one long sentence that waves down the page in staggered tercets, meant to mimic both the movement in the poem (of the train and the wind and of the speaker’s desire to be free of the space she is in). Using a variety of forms was important to me in order to try and mirror the disorder of mourning. 

GP: How does your poetry speak to the current ongoing conversation around death and body politics in a pandemic?

DV: I think it would be a stretch to try and make these poems fit the current situation we are all living in. However, some readers have pointed out how lines written quite some time ago (some up to four years ago), resonate differently now. For example, in “Ebb Tide,” the line “Terrible/ news blares from the radio, all I love/both at hand and at risk” seems even more specific than when it was written. I think, if anything, that the poems make it clear how important it is to be able to be physically present to love and mourn. They also make me consider how difficult it must be to be separated from family and friends who are experiencing illness or loss, and how important it is to appreciate the joy that love can still bring into the darkest moments.

GP: How does the ‘I’ in this collection figure for you, and what parts of the ‘I’ are borrowed from your persona?

DV: I always answer this question by saying that, since I wrote the poems, I am in them somehow. Many of these poems are obviously autobiographical, particularly the elegy poems. But some of the exploration of the body, age, guilt, regret…the “I” in those poems is more universal, I think, more of a way to dig into a condition of thought rather than one of being.

GP: Do the three sections in the collection suggest a growth in this ‘I’ as a reader goes from the beginning of the first section to the end of the third? If so, what would you say is the most important ‘lesson’ the ‘I’ has learnt at the end of the collection?

DV: The collection shows the speaker straddling a chasm of loss, each bit of beauty and joy weaving a net beneath her. There isn’t a straight line from not knowing to knowing. As soon as we are born, we are working our way toward an inevitable end—it’s the nurturing one receives in that journey, despite the doubts and failures that plague it, that is important in the end. I think the last line of the penultimate poem gives the lesson—“so much of anything is completely out of your hands.” We seek to control so many aspects of our existence and, in the end, we have very little influence over many of the major things that happen to us. This sounds a little bit defeatist, but then the last poem balances that out, I think, explaining how even the strongest of relationships is really a piece of magic, how even love is something that we don’t choose.

GP: Why did you choose the title of a specific poem as the title of the entire collection? 

DV: The title of the collection was in flux for quite some time, and the final decision of To Everything There Is functions in multiple ways for me and hopefully will for the reader. Of course, it is the beginning of a famous Bible verse (and subsequent song by The Byrds) that is meant to illustrate that there is a purpose for everything that happens. Another way of viewing the title is in an epistolary way—as a letter to “everything,” a way of embracing both the good and bad things the world has to offer us. Also, the title poem is a reflection on how we react to death and how we want to be remembered, which was important as this book is a small way to honor my parents. 

GP: Which of the poems was the most difficult for you to write, and why? Also, which is/are the poem(s) closest to your heart?

DV: All of the poems about my mother and father were difficult to write as I had to relive the hardest emotional moments of my life. Both the elegy poems and the love poems to my husband are the closest to my heart, and choosing one of each would be difficult. But, if pressed, I’d say the hardest to write was “Karma,” which imagines a could-have-been scenario that still haunts me. (There’s that idea of no control coming in…). The closest to my heart has two contenders: “I Inherit the Whims of my Mother as I Prepare to Trash This Draft” as it allows me to be in an ongoing conversation with my mother, to think of her every time I see a cardinal or jot down a random thought; or “In the Encyclopedia of Human Gestures” as it combines my obsession with the ordinary, the contemplation of ideas, and the salvation of a great love into one poem.

Order your copy of To Everything There Is today


Donna Vorreyer is the author of To Everything There Is (2020), Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (2016), and A House of Many Windows (2013), all from Sundress Publications. Her poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in Rhino, Tinderbox Poetry, Poet Lore, Sugar House Review, Waxwing, Whale Road Review, and many other journals. She currently serves as an associate editor for Rhino Poetry. Vorreyer has recently retired from 36 years in public K-12 education and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Gokul Prabhu is a graduate of Ashoka University, India, with a Postgraduate Diploma in English and creative writing. He works as an administrator and teaching assistant for the Writing and Communication facility at 9dot9 Education, and assists in academic planning for communication, writing, and critical thinking courses across several higher-ed institutes in India. Prabhu’s creative and academic work fluctuates between themes of sexuality and silence, and he hopes to be a healthy mix of writer, educator, and journalist in the future. He occasionally scribbles book reviews and interviews authors for Scroll.in, an award-winning Indian digital news publication.

Sundress Reads: A Review of The Burning Where Breath Used To Be

In The Burning Where Breath Used To Be, Jen Karetnick offers a collection of semi-autobiographical poems that mixes emotion with logic in its examinations. Ruminations on culture, experience, womanhood, and science ground the reader in Karetnick’s poems.

The collection’s opening poem, “23andMe Says My Body Is a Sanctuary City,” encapsulates the speaker’s relationship with her DNA results translated across different universal contexts. She wonders: “who have better prospects at being made into widows on refugee / boats that have been returned to the wholesale of war,” echoing the sentiment in the next stanza: “from the cyclic pitch of death flights, in the in-flux policies in / detention rooms at airports, where green cards change to red.” The ache of this kind of awareness, coupled with the beauty of the language, runs through every poem, allowing the reader to notice and glean the truth in each line.

Biological and mathematical terminology is expertly used throughout the poems, as well. In “Extreme Value Theorem”, the speaker reminisces on the reactions to her tattoo being visible while wearing her wedding dress: “I’d intended to hide it, I confess / but had it placed too high up on the shelf / of my scapula.” An extreme value theorem guarantees there is a maximum and minimum value, which is clearly shown in the poem based on the high-intensity reactions and the speaker’s overall nonchalance: “the rabbi nearly belched / the prayers as if he had lox for breakfast; my mother attempted to ignore, herself, the tattoo framed by my wedding dress.” Instances like these are sprinkled throughout each poem, allowing universal experiences to become framed in a new light with precision and elegance.

Finally, Karetnick utilizes ailing organs or biological processes in relation to her experiences in life. The poem “Dyskinetic” compares her aching soldier to America: “Frayed and inflamed, your parts do not like to work / together.” Current political and social issues are examined closely: her experience of being a teacher, specifically during fearful times of the ever-rising school shooter, provide an example of the ways in which Karetnick seeks to connect on a universal level that which is specific to her speaker. In her poem “How to Dis/Arm a Female Teacher”, the opening stanza boldly states: “Don’t offer me the Chic Lady Handgun / with a barrel the color of bubblegum, / faux alligator case included / to carry with tests and term papers done.” These tongue-in-cheek reflections of modern times are prevalent throughout the collection. Sometimes they are balanced with the past, such as in “Sonnets for Code Red”, a poem which finds its speaker drawing comparisons between nuclear bomb drills in 1975 and school shooter drills in 2015. Sometimes these poems are in response to articles, art, or statements. “Nobody Dies Because They Don’t Have Access to Health Care” serves as a title for one of the poems, yet it is also a quote attributed to Rep. Raúl Labrador. “Economic Understandings” is in direct response to Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want.” She questions: “Who will be the first to move this glass? It’s clear / no one pays attention to the Irish maid / lowering like a willow the dragging weight / of a bird bigger than the space it’s allotted”, pushing the reader to wonder the same.

Womanhood is also emphasized, specifically in Karetnick’s experiences. She writes about Botox, anorexia, menopause, motherhood, and sisterhood. Judaism is also a part of her life and this collection’s poems.

The Burning Where Breath Used To Be was a riveting read with its nuance of normality. Karetnick brings attention to the importance of the present moment while reflecting on the past and the universal worries of humanity. She catches your breath, and she won’t give it back.

The Burning Where Breath Used To Be is available at David Robert Books


Bethany Milholland is a senior at The University of Evansville majoring in Creative Writing. She is the former Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Evansville Review. She is also a former intern for her University’s magazine The Crescent. In her spare time, she enjoys earning a cat’s love and shopping at every thrift store within a thirty-mile radius.

Call for Submissions: NOMBONO: An Anthology of Speculative Poetry by BIPOC Creators

Sundress Publications announces an open submission call for NOMBONO: An Anthology of Speculative Poetry by BIPOC Creators, a collection that asks us earthers, terrans, the identified sentients of this planet to reconceive how we perceive our doings and being in this world. 

Reaching far beyond a generic exploration of visionary and speculative possibilities, NOMBONO: An Anthology of Speculative Poetry by BIPOC Creators asks: are we on a bright threshold or at the edge of a dark precipice? Are we about to take flight and evolve, or plummet into an abysmal abyss? BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, poets of color) word-wielders are invited to share their visions, invocations, foretellings, and alterations in this new anthology of speculative poetry entitled NOMBONO (the Zulu word for “visionary”). The range of speculative poetry’s engagements are sought: aliens, alternate history, cryptids, cyberfunk, cyberpunk, dystopia, fairy tales, fabulism, fantasy, folklore, futurism, horror, magic, monsters, mythology, occult, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, robots, science fiction, shifters, slipstream, solar punk, space opera, steamfunk, steampunk, superheroes, supernatural, sword and sorcery, sword and soul, time-travel, and weird. All poetic forms and scifaiku are welcome.

Interested poets should submit up to 5 poems, a short bio (max. 100 words) along with your preferred email address, phone number, and physical mailing address as a single DOCX or PDF file to anthology@sundresspublications.com, by April 30, 2021. Previously published work will be considered as long as you retain the right to reprint it and note where it first appeared. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as they are noted as such and the author notifies the editor that the work has been accepted elsewhere, before notification of acceptance in the anthology. Failure to conform to these guidelines means your poems will go unconsidered for the anthology. Early submission is recommended, as work will be assessed as it arrives. Publication is slated for the second half of 2021.

Artwork by BIPOC artists is also sought for consideration for this anthology. To submit, please send high-resolution JPEGS and a short bio (max. 100 words) along with your preferred email address, phone number, and physical mailing address to anthology@sundresspublications.com.

This anthology will appear both in a print and digital format. All contributors will receive one print author copy plus any additional copies at cost. Any additional funding from the project will be paid to authors.

The poet Akua Lezli Hope will serve as the editor for this anthology. Akua Lezli Hope’s awards include the National Endowment for the Arts writing fellowship, two New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellowships, a Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association prize, and Rhysling and Pushcart Prize nominations, among others. She is the author of the award-winning collection, EMBOUCHURE, Poems on Jazz and Other Musics (ArtFarm Press), and THEM GONE (The Word Works). A lifetime member of the SFPA, she created Speculative Sundays, a biweekly, online, speculative poetry reading series. Her speculative poetry chapbook, Otherwheres (ArtFarm Press, 2020), is available on Amazon.

Meet Our New Intern: Eliza Browning

When I was four years old, my mother taught me how to write my middle name, Catherine, to apply for my first library card. It took a few tries, and I remember being jealous that my sister’s middle name, Mae, was so much easier to spell. Growing up as the daughter of an English teacher and a history teacher, I was lucky to live in a household filled with a love of books and learning. My sisters and I often wrote and performed our own plays and made up imaginative worlds for our original characters and toys.

Although I’ve always loved to read, I didn’t start writing seriously until high school. My school lacked many opportunities for creative writers and artists, so initially writing was a solitary hobby. I was fortunate to discover a community of talented young writers online and to participate in free workshops, including with The Adroit Journal, the YoungArts Foundation, and the COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective. These opportunities changed my trajectory and allowed me to gain confidence in my own writing, experiences I hope to reciprocate in my future path as a writer. I am especially passionate about providing accessible opportunities to young and emerging writers, particularly those from traditionally underserved populations.

As a junior at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, I major in English and art history because I’m fascinated by the intersection between literary and visual culture. I also read poetry submissions and serve as a program director for COUNTERCLOCK Literary Arts, edit poetry for EX/POST Magazine, and will be a fellow in the inaugural Strange Tools Writer’s Workshop this spring. I’m excited and grateful to have the opportunity to intern with Sundress Publications to help others on their writing journeys and immerse myself further in literary culture.


Eliza Browning is a student at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where she studies English and art history. Her work has previously appeared in Rust + Moth, Vagabond City Lit, Contrary Magazine, and Up the Staircase Quarterly, among others. She is a poetry editor for EX/POST Magazine and reads poetry for COUNTERCLOCK Journal.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Last Glacier at the End of the World by Vivian Faith Prescott

How to Survive a Glacial Meltdown

Acquire animal skills.
Become a loon, a haunting crier,
swallowing the remains of this world underwater.

Learn to skin. Yourself.
Pull your feathered hood
over your head, adjust your chinstrap

to your throat.
Know where the sacred places are,
because there is no

safe place. Your homeland is melting
at .25 millimeters per year.
The ocean fills your boots,

there is too much salt in your food,
and the sandfleas are hopping
on the linoleum.

Lately, you find yourself curling
up into the dark, nesting near
the water’s edge, the place

where your dense bones
park your truck and watch
the ocean jump the harbor’s breakwater again.

What is it that has awakened in you?
Your tremolo wavers
and the frequent hard rains

now sound like deer hooves—a clack and cry harmonic.
You know what I mean by that—
you want to run and fly at the same time.


This selection comes from The Last Glacier at the End of the World, available from Split Rock Press. Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Rivera.

Vivian Faith Prescott was born and raised in Wrangell, a small island community is Southeastern Alaska. She lives in Wrangell at her family’s fishcamp—Mickey’s Fishcamp. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska and a PhD in Cross Cultural Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She’s a founding member of Community Roots, the first LGBTQ group on the island. Prescott is also a member of the Pacific Sámi Searvi, and writes frequently about Sámi diaspora and climate change in Alaska. She is a two-time recipient of a Rasmuson Fellowship (2015, 2019) and a recipient of the Alaska Literary Award (2017). Prescott is the author of four chapbooks, two full-length poetry books, and a short story collection. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net. Along with her daughter, Vivian Mork Yéilk’, she writes a column for the Juneau Empire called Planet Alaska. For more information, visit: vivianfaithprescott.com. Twitter: planet_alaska and poet_tweet.

Nilsa Rivera Castro writes about gender and diversity issues. She’s also the Managing Editor of The Wardrobe and the Non-Fiction Editor of Doubleback Review. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Huffington Post, 50 GS Magazine, Six Hens Literary Journal, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, Selkie Literary Magazine, and Writing Class Radio. She’s currently an MFA Nonfiction candidate at Vermont College of Fine Art and lives in Riverview, Florida.