Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents “Queering Ekphrasis”: A Writers Workshop

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “Queering Ekphrasis,” a workshop led by Marina Carreira on July 14, 2021 from 6-7:30 PM. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).

Ekphrasis allows for a deeper look at art, an examination of the work via the (imaginative) act of narrating and reflecting on the subjects or “action” of a painting, photograph, collage, or sculpture. The ekphrastic poem, in turn, amplifies and expands the artwork’s meaning. This generative workshop asks poets to look at works by contemporary LGBTQ+ artists like Shoog McDaniel, Doron Lanberg, Hernan Bas, Gisela McDaniel, and Catherine Opie, and compose ekphrastic poetry in response to the work, all the while considering what makes the art queer exploring the ways it “captures” the queer experience.

While there is no fee for this workshop, those who are able and appreciative can make direct donations to Marina via Venmo @Marina-Carreira or PayPal @marinacarreira282.

Marina Carreira (she/her/hers) is a queer socialist Luso-American poet artist from Newark, NJ. She is the author of tantotanto (Cavankerry Press, forthcoming 2022), Save the Bathwater (Get Fresh Books, 2018) and I Sing to That Bird Knowing It Won’t Sing Back (Finishing Line Press, 2017). She has exhibited her art at Morris Museum, ArtFront Galleries, West Orange Arts Council, Monmouth University Center for the Arts, among others. Her work investigates identity as it relates to gender, urban, queer, and bicultural first-generation spaces. Keep up with her at hellomarinacarreira.com.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces Our June Reading Series

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is pleased to announce the guests for the June installment of our virtual reading series. This event will take place on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 on Zoom (http://tiny.utk.edu/sundress, password: safta) from 7-8PM EST.

Kendra DeColo is the author of three poetry collections, I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers From the World (BOA Editions, 2021), My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (Third Man Books, 2016), and Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She is also co-author of Low Budget Movie (Diode, 2021) written with Tyler Mills. She has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony, and has performed at the Newport Folk Festival. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee. 

 

Khalisa Rae is an award-winning poet and journalist based in Durham, NC. She is the author of Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat (Red Hen Press 2021). Her essays are featured in Autostraddle, Catapult, LitHub, as well as articles in B*tch Media, NBC-BLK, and others. Her poetry appears in Frontier Poetry, Florida Review, Rust & Moth, PANK, Hellebore, Sundog Lit, HOBART, among countless others. Currently, she serves as Assistant Editor for Glass Poetry and co-founder of Think in Ink and the Women of Color Speak reading series. Her second collection, Unlearning Eden, is forthcoming from White Stag Publishing in 2022. 

Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, mixed-race Filipinx, & neurodivergent writer originally from Sacramento, California. Their poems appear in outlets such as Empty Mirror, Ghost City Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Juke Joint Magazine, and trampset, among others, while their personal essays can be found in journals such as Cold Mountain Review and Glassworks Magazine, among others. They received their MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women & are presently an English PhD student at Oklahoma State University. While not always (physically) there, they permanently reside in the middle of the Nevada desert. 

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/

Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents “Writin’ Rhythm”: A Writers Workshop

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “Writin’ Rhythm,” a workshop led by Elisha Mykelti on June 9, 2021 from 6-7:30PM. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at tiny.UTK.edu/sundress (password: safta).

We are musical, sound-making beings. In your pulse, your stride, your foot tappin’, that pen clickin’ and clackin’, there is rhythm. By nature, all poetry has music: written poetry, spoken word poetry, choreo poetry, etc. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to be intentional about musicality and rhythm in our own work by exploiting sound-conscious writing choices. Attendees will be given prompts and writing time to develop poems that employ rhythmic elements, as well as tap into performance techniques used to drive a musical poem.

While there is no fee for this workshop, those who are able and appreciative can make direct donations to Elisha via Venmo @Elisha-Brewer or PayPal @elishabrewer98 .

Elisha Mykelti is a musical poet whose work focuses on the everyday—the absurd, the normal, and not so often pretty—life of the Black American woman. Through the use of dialect, her work pays special attention to her birthplace in the South and her roots up North. Elisha is a teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts announces our May Reading Series

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is pleased to announce the guests for the May installment of our virtual reading series. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021, 7:00-8:00 EST via Zoom. Join us at http://tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).

A picture of Ashley Inguanta.

Ashley Inguanta is a poet, lyrical essayist, art photographer, and holistic writing guide. She supports others in their spiritual journeys by helping them develop a healthy connection to nature. Her first guidebook, Poet, There’s a Spark Within You, is available to take home through her website, ashleyinguanta.net.

A picture of Marcela Sulak.

Marcela Sulak is the author of the lyric memoir Mouth Full of Seeds; her third poetry collection, City of Sky Papers is forthcoming with Black Lawrence Press, where she’s previously published Decency and Immigrant. She’s co-edited Family Resemblance: An Anthology and Exploration of 8 Hybrid Literary Genres. A 2019 NEA Translation Fellow, her fourth translation, Twenty Girls to Envy Me: Selected Poems of Orit Gidali was nominated for a 2017 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She hosts the podcast “Israel in Translation,” edits The Ilanot Review, and is Associate Professor of English Literature and Linguistics at Bar-Ilan University. Find her books at Black Lawrence Press: https://blacklawrencepress.com/authors/marcela-sulak/

Tadros, a woman with short hair and facial piercings sits in her office in a desk chair, with a book shelf and running race medals in the background.

Billie R. Tadros is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Theatre at The University of Scranton. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her M.F.A. in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and she is a graduate of the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University. She is the author of three books of poems, Graft Fixation (Gold Wake Press, 2020), Was Body (Indolent Books, 2020), and The Tree We Planted and Buried You In (Otis Books, 2018). 

Now Accepting Residency Applications for Fall 2021

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term writing residencies in all genres—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, journalism, academic writing, and more—for their fall residency period which runs from August 23, 2021 to January 2, 2022. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment. 

Each farmhouse residency costs $300/week, which includes a room of one’s own, as well as access to our communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet.

Residencies in the Writers Coop are $150/week and include your own private dry cabin as well as access to the farmhouse amenities. Because of the low cost, we are rarely able to offer scholarships for Writers Coop residents.

Residents will stay at the SAFTA farmhouse, located on a working farm on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. The farmhouse is also just a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city that is home to a thriving artistic community. SAFTA is ideal for writers looking for a rural retreat with urban amenities. 

SAFTA’s residencies, which also include free access to workshops, readings, and events, offer a unique and engaging experience. Residents can participate in local writing workshops, lead their own workshops, and even have the opportunity to learn life skills like gardening and animal care.

As part of our commitment to anti-racist work, we are now also using a reparations payment model for our farmhouse residencies which consists of the following:

  1. 3 reparations weeks of equally divided payments for Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers at $150/week
  2. 3 discounted weeks of equally divided payments for BIPOC writers at $250/week
  3. 6 equitable weeks of equally divided payments at $300/week

Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers are also invited to apply for a $350 support grant to help cover the costs of food, travel, childcare, and/or any other needs while they are at the residency. We are currently able to offer two of these grants per residency period (spring/summer/fall). If you would like to donate to expand this funding, you may do so here.

For the 2021 fall residency period, SAFTA will be offering the following fellowships only: 

  • VIDA Fellowship for Women & Nonbinary Writers: one full and one 50% fellowship for women and nonbinary identifying writers sponsored by VIDA
  • Black & Indigenous Writers Fellowships: one full fellowship for Black and/or Indigenous identifying writer
  • Financial Need Fellowship: one full fellowship with any writer with financial need

Limited partial scholarships are also available to any applicant with financial need.

Portrait of Tatiana looking at the camera with greenery. Taken by Mel Taing

Our judge this year’s VIDA fellowship is writer, artist, and educator Tatiana Johnson-Boria (she/her/hers). Her writing explores identity, trauma, especially inherited trauma, and what it means to heal. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College and is a 2021 Tin House Scholar. She’s received honorable mention for the 2020 Academy of American Poets Prize, is a 2020 Best of the Net Finalist, and a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee. Find her work in or forthcoming at Ploughshares, New Delta Review, Foundry and others.

Please note in your application if you are applying for one of these fellowships. 

The application deadline for the fall residency period is May 15, 2021. Find out more about the application process at www.sundressacademyforthearts.com.

The application fee is waived for all BIPOC identifying writers. For all fellowship applications, the application fee will also be waived for those who demonstrate financial need; please state this in your application under the financial need section.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces Updates to our Residency Pricing Structure

Moving forward into 2021, Sundress Academy for the Arts has updated our residency pricing structure to reflect our continuing anti-racist work.

Each farmhouse residency now costs $300/week, which includes a room of one’s own, as well as access to our communal kitchen, bathroom, office, and living space, plus wireless internet.

We are now also using a reparations payment model for our farmhouse residencies, which consists of the following:

  1. 3 reparation weeks of equally divided payments for Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers at $150/week
  2. 3 discounted weeks of equally divided payments for BIPOC writers at $250/week
  3. 6 equitable weeks of equally divided payments at $300/week

Alongside these new rates, SAFTA will also now be offering three full fellowships a year (Spring, Summer, and Fall) for Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers.

Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers are also invited to apply for a $350 support grant to help cover the costs of food, travel, childcare, and/or any other needs while they are at the residency. We are currently able to offer two of these grants per residency period (spring/summer/fall). 

Residencies in the Writers Coop remain $150/week and include your own private dry cabin as well as access to the farmhouse amenities. 

The application fees remain waived for all writers of color as well as any writer applying for financial need. All paid application fees will fund support grants for Black and/or Indigenous writers.

Find out more about how to apply for summer residencies here.

Adopt a Farm Animal and Support Sundress Academy of the Arts

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

Photo courtesy of Andi Avery.

We are inviting sponsors to name animals at Firefly Farms to help fundraise to cover the cost of upkeep at the farm for 2021. Your tax-deductible donation includes naming rights for the life of the animal, a framed picture of the animal, recognition and support from SAFTA’s social media platforms. 

  • Name a Sheep: $100
  • Name a Duck: $35
  • Name a Chicken: $35
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Phillips.

A subsidiary of Sundress Publications, the Sundress Academy for the Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on literary education and practice.

Find out more at our store.

Sundress Reading Series Seeks Readers for Spring 2021

From January to May, 2021, the Sundress Reading Series will continue online via Zoom. Applications to participate as a reader are open and the deadline to apply is October 25th.

The Sundress Reading Series is an award-winning literary reading series usually hosted on-ground in 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.

Our readings take place the last Wednesday of every month from 7-8PM EST. The spring series will be streamed on January 27th, February 24th, March 31st, April 28th, and May 26th.

We are currently seeking readers with books recently released—or to be released in 2021—with an emphasis on marginalized voices especially BIPOC writers, trans and nonbinary writers, and writers with disabilities. To apply to read for the spring, send 6-8 pages of poetry or 8-15 pages of prose, a 100-word bio, CV (optional), and a ranking of reading dates to sundresspublications@gmail.com. Please make sure the subject line reads “Reading Series Application.”

Those selected will be notified by December 1, 2020. Readers will receive publicity across Sundress Publications’ social media channels in the lead up to their event, and, thanks to a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Sundress is now able to compensate readers $50 for their services.

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

Sundress Academy for the Arts Now Accepting Residency Applications for Spring 2021

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is now accepting applications for short-term writing residencies in all genres—poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, screenwriting, journalism, academic writing, and more—for their spring residency period which runs from January 3 to May 16, 2021. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to complete their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment.

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 access.

A Note Regarding covid-19: We are moving forward with spring applications with the assumption that travel will be safer in the spring. However, if you are accepted for this residency and are unable to travel due to continued social distancing measures or other coronavirus-related problems, your residency can be moved to the Spring of 2022 with all scholarships still applicable.

Residents will stay at the SAFTA farmhouse, located on a working farm on a 45-acre wooded plot in a Tennessee “holler” perfect for hiking, camping, and nature walks. The farmhouse is also just a half-hour from downtown Knoxville, an exciting and creative city that is home to a thriving artistic community. SAFTA is ideal for writers looking for a rural retreat with urban amenities.

SAFTA’s residencies, which also include free access to workshops, readings, and events, offer a unique and engaging experience. Residents can participate in local writing workshops, lead their own workshops, and even have the opportunity to learn life skills like gardening and animal care.

For the 2021 Spring residency period, SAFTA will be offering the following fellowships:

Lambda Literary (Spring 2021) – Deadline September 15, 2020: SAFTA will be pairing with Lambda Literary to offer two fellowships (one full fellowship and one 50% fellowship) for a week-long residency to LGBTQIA+ writers of any genre. Lambda believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQIA+ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published and read. All applicants to the two fellowships must identify as LGBTQIA+.  Partial scholarships are also available to any applicant with financial need. This year’s judge will be Sundress editor Nicole Oquendo.

Nicole Oquendo is a writer and visual artist that combines these elements, along with magical practice, to craft multimodal nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, as well as translations of these forms. Their work can be found in numerous literary journals, a hybrid memoir, and six chapbooks, including their most recent works: Space Baby: Episodes I-III and The Antichrist and I. Their full-length poetry collection we, animals will be out later this year.

They have been serving the writing community for over a decade as an educator and freelance editor, as well as volunteering time to several literary journals and presses, most recently as a Special Feature Editor for The Florida Review. They are currently an Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications, and their most recently curated anthology, Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities, is available for free on the Sundress Publications website.

Dr. Kristi Larkin Havens Memorial Fellowship for Service to the Community (Spring 2021 or Fall 2021) – Deadline September 15, 2020: Dr. Kristi Larkin Havens served as the Community Outreach Director for Sundress Academy for the Arts and then as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Sundress Publications for over six years. She earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she was a Lecturer and the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies. She was a photographer who served as a producer on films for several local competitions including The Knoxville 24-Hour Film Festival and the Grindhouse Grind-out. For many years she served as a coordinator for the Knoxville Girls Rock Camp, an organization dedicated to fostering inclusivity and creativity. For her, the arts were a natural venue for pursuing the aims of social justice. 

This fellowship will be awarded to a writer who has shown exceptional service to their own community through any of the following: volunteering, organizing, fundraising, board membership, etThis fellowship will be awarded to a writer who has shown exceptional service to their own community through any of the following: volunteering, organizing, fundraising, board membership, etc. Fellowship winners will receive a one-week fully-funded residency the Sundress Academy for the Arts at Firefly Farms in Knoxville, TN for either the spring or fall of 2020. The spring residency period runs from January 3 to May 16, 2021, and the fall period runs from August 22-January 2, 2022.

Fellowships for Marginalized Writers (Spring 2021) – Deadline September 15, 2020: Thanks to an anonymous donor, we are able to offer two 100% scholarships to marginalized individuals who struggle with mental illness. For this application, please briefly note in your personal statement how you define yourself as a marginalized writer.

Please note in your application if you are applying for one of these fellowships. For all fellowship or scholarship applications, the application fee will be waived for all BIPOC writers and also those who demonstrate financial need. Please state this in your application under the financial need section. Limited partial scholarships are also available to any applicant with financial need.

The application deadline for the spring residency period is September 15, 2020. Find out more about the application process at www.sundressacademyforthearts.com.