The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Footnote by Trish Hopkinson


This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from Footnote by Trish Hopkinson, released by Lithic Press in 2017.

Rumi said, Poetry Can be Dangerous*

like a swan
dive into a sonnet,
balancing blank
verse while posing
for William Tell,
dueling pistols
of Haiku, in five,
no seven, ok five,
& parachuting
couplets falling
from cockpits
found on the wings
of flapping poets.
Dangerous
cinquain snipers
sit atop

sestina sky
scrapers & aim
for iambic secret
agents, each with
five feet with
only two toes.
Lyrics & limericks
eat tanka Twinkies
& smoke epic
cigarettes, chase them
down with bourbon
ballads & shoot


*after Rumi’s The Book of Love: Poems
of Ecstasy and Longing


Trish Hopkinson is a poet and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at SelfishPoet.com and provisionally in Colorado, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets, curates the Poetry Happens series for KRCL 90.9 FM, and is a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal. Her poetry has been published in several lit mags and journals, including Sugar House Review, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review; her third chapbook Footnote was published by Lithic Press in 2017, and her most recent e-chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. Hopkinson happily answers to labels such as atheist, feminist, and empty nester; and enjoys traveling, live music, and craft beer.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Footnote by Trish Hopkinson


This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from Footnote by Trish Hopkinson, released by Lithic Press in 2017.

Ars Moriendi*

“A SIMPLE Child, / That lightly draws its breath, / And feels its life in every limb, / What should it know of death?” –William Wordsworth

Called back, she slipped quiet
into the longest length of sleep –
quiet enough to hear the buzz
of an insect’s paper wings.

Stoic stillness, a marble statue –
soul and matter merged,
unlike neglected memorials –
initialed stone preserved.

Slipped through fields, beyond
the barn – carried by six Irishmen –
in infant white with violets
and a blushed cypripedium.

None are forbidden by Death –
an ungrown spirit when alive,
promoted to Empress when past –
the dying eye saw an act of light.


*for Emily Dickinson


Trish Hopkinson is a poet and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at SelfishPoet.com and provisionally in Colorado, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets, curates the Poetry Happens series for KRCL 90.9 FM, and is a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal. Her poetry has been published in several lit mags and journals, including Sugar House Review, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review; her third chapbook Footnote was published by Lithic Press in 2017, and her most recent e-chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. Hopkinson happily answers to labels such as atheist, feminist, and empty nester; and enjoys traveling, live music, and craft beer.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents Our June Poetry Xfit

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present Poetry Xfit hosted by Arlynn Dunn. This generative workshop event will take place on Sunday, June 20th, 2021 from 2 to 4 pm EST via Zoom. Join us at the link tiny.utk.edu/sundress with password “safta”.

Poetry Xfit isn’t about throwing tires or heavy ropes, but the idea of confusing our muscles is the same. This generative workshop series will give you prompts, rules, obstructions, and more to write three poems in two hours. Writers will write together for thirty minutes, be invited to share new work, and then given a new set of prompts. The idea isn’t that we are writing perfect final drafts, but instead creating clay that can then be edited and turned into art later. Prose writers are also welcome to attend!

Arlynn Dunn is an aspiring Filipina poet and thanks the contemporary canon of Asian American poets who open healing spaces for both grief and celebration of diversity. Arlynn is the Client Ambassador for Choice Health Network and is the volunteer Community Outreach director for Sundress Academy for the Arts. Her upbringing and desire to form community from remote spaces imprints on her poems. 

While this is a free workshop, donations can be made to the Sundress Academy for the Arts here: https://sundress-publications.square.site/product/donate-to-sundress/107?cs=true

All donations received for this event will be split equally with our community partner. Our community partner for June is Knoxville Black Mamas Bailout (KBMBO), which grew as a direct action organization through Southerners on New Ground, a LGBTQ liberation organization. KBMBO disrupts the cash bail system through a practice of bailing Black mothers and caregivers, while also breaking down the barriers of cash bail and incarceration that impact these women. These practices include paying cash bonds, educating the community on the cash bail system, offering court support, and promoting the abolition of mass incarceration and the cash bail system.

You can find more information and links to donate at https://www.facebook.com/knoxvillesblackmamasbailout/

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Footnote by Trish Hopkinson


This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from Footnote by Trish Hopkinson, released by Lithic Press in 2017.

Strange Verses*

accidentally
interrupted
adventures
beginning
confused
between
dishes
Alice
made
off
it

interrupting
handwriting
brightened
childhood
dreaming
teacups
shriek
upset
eyes
but
is

triumphantly
remembering
melancholy
collected
yourself
turning
secret
about
that
not
my

neighbouring
neverending
wonderland
character
nonsense
strange
verses
faces
seem
far
in


*a set of reverse snowball poems found in the text of Alice’s Adventures
in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


Trish Hopkinson is a poet and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at SelfishPoet.com and provisionally in Colorado, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets, curates the Poetry Happens series for KRCL 90.9 FM, and is a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal. Her poetry has been published in several lit mags and journals, including Sugar House Review, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review; her third chapbook Footnote was published by Lithic Press in 2017, and her most recent e-chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. Hopkinson happily answers to labels such as atheist, feminist, and empty nester; and enjoys traveling, live music, and craft beer.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.

Sundress Reads: Review of Dust & Ashes

A gray chapbook with the title "DUST & ASHES" written in all-caps. The author's name is below this, with the words "Californios Chapbook Series No. 5" at the bottom.

In his poetry chapbook Dust & Ashes (Californios Press, 2020), Matthew E. Henry reimagines a past, present, and future where religion and fairy tale walk hand in hand, making readers reevaluate what stories get told and whose stories are remembered. Part celebration of resilience in the face of systemic violence and racism, part mourning of lives taken through this violence, Dust & Ashes presents a truth in contrast to the commonly held belief that art can immortalize mortals: “there are no resurrections,” Henry writes in “A Home Burial,” a theme that presents itself time and time again in this short yet powerful collection. Dust & Ashes is a testament to how art may serve as a way to remember and honor our dead, but it does not bring back those who were killed by a system at war with their bodies and minds. Throughout all of this, there is a steady undercurrent of betrayal and secrets kept.

Mimicking biblical structure, Dust & Ashes is broken into two parts: “The First Testament: in the beginning” and “The Second Testament: at the end of the age.” Populated with characters such as Hansel and Gretel, Adam and Eve, Noah, Pecola Breedlove, and other characters from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and an unnamed prophet, “The First Testament” rewrites a creation story in which creation takes on many meanings: biblical creation, creation through birth, and creation through art. Poets including Auden, Williams, and Rilke are called forth throughout, and Flannery O’Connor’s work is alluded to on multiple occasions, as “a class of misfits found a good man / hard to find,” situating us in a new tradition of hierarchical literary canons.

Henry layers meaning upon meaning throughout his poems, as characters take on ever changing roles, with ever changing interpretations. Father becomes not just a paternal figure but also God—a god and father figure who is sometimes present, sometimes absent, and sometimes mentioned as a reason for lack of redemption: “for him there is truly / no peace for the redeemed. and therein may lie / his integrity…no doubt this all stems from / the father-figure he won’t discuss …” (“From the Notebook of the Prophet’s Court-Ordered Therapist”). In this way, Henry not only reworks traditional religious narratives that have favored certain groups of people over others, he asks us to reimagine the stereotypical patriarchal family structure, and question what our culture has made of Black men and Black fathers.                       

“The Second Testament” begins with the poem “Lady Daedalus,” in which “Mothers see a coffin in the cradle,” an allusion to the Greek myth of Daedalus and his son Icarus, who, despite his father’s warnings, flew too close to the sun, causing his death. “Lady Daedalus” subverts this narrative by highlighting the work Black mothers do in raising their children, and Icarus’s sun becomes “a stranger’s candy / in windowless vans. stray bullets, cocaine, / the average cop.”

The relationship between parent and threatened or murdered child is teased out in the remainder of “The Second Testament” through the lens of racial violence. We see this through the voice of someone who has been told they must “kill the children / of my people, with my own hands” (“For Myself and Others it is the End of the World”), through a reimagined Mary of Nazareth who witnesses her son “scaled & / skinned. bones / still in place” (“Mother Mary, Behold Your Son”), and through a guardian of Sai no Kawara, the bank of a river in Japan believed to house the spirits of dead children.

Like the children mentioned in “For Myself and Others it is the End of the World,” the future generations Henry writes about in Dust & Ashes are not simply the descendants of the speaker, and thus their responsibility. Henry’s poems highlight the need for a collective family, a collective weight of responsibility for racialized violence. The poem “…And Who is My Neighbor?” for example, reimagines the parable of the Good Samaritan in the context of police brutality, the “unholy hands” the man falls into being those of “officers, who stopped him for / [insert ____-ing while Black reason]. they shot him, stood above his leaking body, and left him for dead.” The measured tone of this poem is reminiscent of the straightforward way the Bible is written, contrasted with the horror of its content. Dust & Ashes, then, is a fierce portrayal of the effects of racism and colonialism on our past and present, and a biting plea for our future.

As described on his website, Matthew E. Henry is an educator whose career has found him teaching English, teacher education, philosophy, and sociology at the high school, college, and graduate levels. His writing shines a black-light on the bed of race, relationships, religion, and everything else you’re not supposed to discuss in polite company. Along with Dust & Ashes, he is the author of Teaching While Black (Main Street Rag, 2020), and has a full-length collection of poetry, the Colored Page, forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2022.

Dust & Ashes is available at Californios Press


A white woman in a power wheelchair sitting in the middle of an empty street. She has pink hair up in pigtails and is wearing a gray shirt with the words "This Body is Worthy" across the front.

Hannah Soyer (she/her) is a queer disabled writer born and living in the Midwest. She is the founder of This Body is Worthy, a project aimed at celebrating bodies outside of mainstream societal ideals, and Words of Reclamation, a space for disabled writers.She is the editor of The Ending Hasn’t Happened Yet, an anthology of poetry from disabled, chronically ill, and/or neurodivergent writers forthcoming from Sable Books, and her work has appeared in places such as The Rumpus, Disability Visibility Project, and Entropy.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Footnote by Trish Hopkinson


This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from Footnote by Trish Hopkinson, released by Lithic Press in 2017.

In a Room Made of Poetry*

Think how loss pulls language from us until
it swallows everything,
like undiagnosed cancer,
the accumulated past—
less eye, less mouth, less heart.
We had, not much—
thin coffee, thin socks. Here you can
wait, with desire, with
roots exposed
for an open womb. That heart-balm
as hope. The raw
bent—a bowl of fruit
in a language I never knew . . .
without tails, crosses of ts. The autonomous dot of a
blackness answers, There are only ifs.


*found in The Eyes of a Flounder by Laura Hamblin


Trish Hopkinson is a poet and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at SelfishPoet.com and provisionally in Colorado, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets, curates the Poetry Happens series for KRCL 90.9 FM, and is a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal. Her poetry has been published in several lit mags and journals, including Sugar House Review, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review; her third chapbook Footnote was published by Lithic Press in 2017, and her most recent e-chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. Hopkinson happily answers to labels such as atheist, feminist, and empty nester; and enjoys traveling, live music, and craft beer.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Footnote by Trish Hopkinson


This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from Footnote by Trish Hopkinson, released by Lithic Press in 2017.

My Monkey Grammarian*

This search, this verbal trap of dread
and the ending unknown.

Is this path the poem—the journey
that dissolves into nothingness?

Is there anything after this narrow trail
of howling trees and screaming monkeys?

Is their rhetoric leading us
to nothing but language?

We are both fleeing and falling like footsteps,
devoured and created like fruit,

precarious and perfect like gravity,
like Galta abandoned.

We are driven by our own ceremonies,
by whirling words and dervish skeletons.

Our linguistic corruption stretches out
to the horizon and curves into the atmosphere,

a maze made of metaphors, stuffed in sacks
and piled in rows. Discourse itself, leaps

back and forth, and grammar leans in
to critique the universe


*for Octavio Paz


Trish Hopkinson is a poet and advocate for the literary arts. You can find her online at SelfishPoet.com and provisionally in Colorado, where she runs the regional poetry group Rock Canyon Poets, curates the Poetry Happens series for KRCL 90.9 FM, and is a Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal. Her poetry has been published in several lit mags and journals, including Sugar House Review, Glass Poetry Press, and The Penn Review; her third chapbook Footnote was published by Lithic Press in 2017, and her most recent e-chapbook Almost Famous was published by Yavanika Press in 2019. Hopkinson happily answers to labels such as atheist, feminist, and empty nester; and enjoys traveling, live music, and craft beer.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Ministry of Flowers by Andrea Witzke Slot


This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from The Ministry of Flowers by Andrea Witzke Slot, released by Valley Press in 2020.

Qumran

for Peter

Scrolled parchment, spiralled into safe-
keeping. Texts pressed, snailed into cells.

Flesh scrolled into mine, just an arm
spun over my waist, my back pressed

to a stomach, hips spooled into parchment
of thighs, hands domed beneath fingers

intersticed, fingers that shudder every so often,
as if to remind me that morning is not yet,

as if to say 4am is but a bookmark,
an airlocked reserve, a reed pen,

a cave of punctuation mark. Aide-
mémoire
. Where-to-return. Papyrus

of iron-gall and carbon soot sheets,
we are tucked into as little space as possible,

in these coils of elsewhere. Nobody knows
us here and we can hardly decipher it ourselves,

yet if this dead sea life is but an afterthought
of words without words, sleep without sleep,

then leave me here, pressed between
mornings, coppered into clay pot dark.


Andrea Witzke Slot is a London-based poet and fiction writer, whose work has won prizes with Able Muse and Fiction International and placed in a number of competitions in both the US and UK. Her work can be found in such places as Ambit, American Literary Review, The Southeast Review, and Stand Magazine. After teaching for many years, Andrea now lives in London where she works as a contributing artist with Fiona Lesley’s Poetry Exchange and works to capture humanity and nature in words, paints, piano and photography. Her publications include To find a new beauty (Gold Wake Press 2012) and The Ministry of Flowers (Valley Press 2020). Find her online on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces Winners of Fall 2021 Residency Fellowships

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is pleased to announce Tia Clark and Sarah Fonseca as the winners of the VIDA fellowships for fall 2021 residencies. Thank you again to Tatiana Johnson-Boria who served as this year’s VIDA fellowship judge.

Congratulations also to Tochukwu Okafor, Remi Recchia, and L. Renée who were also awarded grants and/or fellowships. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment. 

Tia Clark’s work has appeared in Joyland, The Offing, American Short Fiction, Kenyon Review, No Tokens, and elsewhere. They have received support and fellowships from the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, NY, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Lambda Literary Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. A New Yorker, they currently live and teach in New Orleans.

Sarah Fonseca is a self-taught writer from the Georgia foothills who lives in New York City. Her fiction and cinema writing have appeared in Bosie Magazine, Evergreen Review, Leste Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Museum of the Moving Image’s Reverse Shot, and others. She is a co-editor of The New Lesbian Pulp (Feminist Press, 2023).

Tochukwu Okafor is a Nigerian writer whose work has appeared in the 2019 Best Small Fictions, the 2018 Best of the Net, and elsewhere. In 2021, he received fellowships from PEN America, Jack Straw Writers Program, GrubStreet, and the Worcester Arts Council. He is a 2022 Good Hart Artist-in-Residence, a 2021 Frank Conley Memorial Scholar, and a 2018 Rhodes Scholar finalist. [Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan]

Remi Recchia is a trans poet and essayist from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a Ph.D. student in English-Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Cimarron Review. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Remi’s work has appeared or will soon appear in Columbia Online Journal, Harpur Palate, and Juked, among others. He holds an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University. Remi’s first full-length poetry collection, Quicksand/Stargazing, is forthcoming from Cooper Dillon Books in 2021.

L. Renée is a poet and nonfiction writer from Columbus, Ohio. A third-year MFA candidate at Indiana University, she has served as Nonfiction Editor of Indiana Review. Her work, nominated for Best New Poets and a Pushcart Prize, has been published in Tin House Online, Appalachian Review, Poet Lore, the minnesota review, New Limestone Review, and elsewhere.

Finalists for this fall’s fellowships included Cindy Ok, Katherine Gaffney, Leon Ozuna, Astha Cupta, and Monica Teresa Ortiz.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: The Ministry of Flowers by Andrea Witzke Slot


This selection, chosen by Guest Editor Jordi Alonso, is from The Ministry of Flowers by Andrea Witzke Slot, released by Valley Press in 2020.

Book Burning

for Michael and Elene

Bookworms of the wood-boring-beetle-kind
(not their six grown children who, when new
books arrived, devoured them one at a time)
had burrowed into their words and their rooms,
their secret storage of stories that lined
the many walls of their labyrinth home.
How fat the worms had grown with fifty silent
years of chewing, how fat and full and settled.

They set off to cull the infected books,
carefully choosing those beyond redemption,
piling them near the grinning wood fire stove
in the small nook of their coldest room. Then—
with reluctance, dismay—they fed the mouth
of the fire, stoked book by book, the pages
fanning as the grate chewed before swallowing
in one magnificent gulp—ink, spine, carbon.

They felt thinner as the fire blazed and gained
strength, until suddenly—in his hand—a lost
songbook appeared. He studied the book’s changed
state and, with its heat on his knees, he flipped
its pock-marked pages and hummed a refrain.
His wife leaned near. They looked up. They nodded.
He slipped the book under his thigh, released
it from the fate of the furnace’s heat.

Later, as from the pit they shovelled ashes,
the couple marvelled at how the worms ate
through their words, nibbled at long-stored memories—
the sought-after-and-found, the times-not-taken,
the what-can-never-be-lost, the times-moved-on,
and what-can-never-be-recovered, struck
most by what they found in one book’s recollection—
a hymn for all they spared from time’s jawing destruction.


Andrea Witzke Slot is a London-based poet and fiction writer, whose work has won prizes with Able Muse and Fiction International and placed in a number of competitions in both the US and UK. Her work can be found in such places as Ambit, American Literary Review, The Southeast Review, and Stand Magazine. After teaching for many years, Andrea now lives in London where she works as a contributing artist with Fiona Lesley’s Poetry Exchange and works to capture humanity and nature in words, paints, piano and photography. Her publications include To find a new beauty (Gold Wake Press 2012) and The Ministry of Flowers (Valley Press 2020). Find her online on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Jordi Alonso holds a BA from Kenyon College, an MFA from Stony Brook University, and a PhD in English from the University of Missouri where he studied nineteenth century British literature, classical reception in the Victorian era, and ancient Greek. He will begin his studies towards an MA in Classical Studies at Columbia University in the fall. His first book, a collection of erotic poems inspired by Sappho, Honeyvoiced, was published by XOXOX Press in November of 2014. His chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook was published in 2017 by Red Flag Press. He is currently writing a third book of poems based on ancient Greek divination practices at Delphi.