Ten Percent of all Sundress Publications Subscription Profits to be Donated to ACLU in the Month of January

Sundress Publications is pleased to announce that in month of January 2017, we will donate 10% of all of our subscription profits to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.aclu-logo

“Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBT people, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age of widespread government surveillance, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

“With more than 1 million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., to safeguard everyone’s rights.” (Source: ACLU.org)original

A Sundress subscription makes a great gift for yourself or a friend who is eager to stay connected to the literary world, support independent publishing, read new and exciting work from emerging and established authors, and this month, make a meaningful donation to an organization that is committed to establishing peace. Order 2017 Sundress subscription and get all of our 2017 titles including books from Natalie Giarratano, Sarah Marcus, Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick, Sarah Chavez, Stephanie McCarley Dugger, Jim Warner, and more! All subscribers will also receive Sundress swag and goodies and free entry into our contests!

Order a Sundress Subscription here: https://squareup.com/store/sundresspublications/item/sundress-subscription?t=modal-tw

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.


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.



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.

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.



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.

Project Bookshelf: Jasmine An


My bedroom used to be in the family library. When I moved upstairs into my sister’s old room, I left the geology textbooks, Chinese language learning picture books, and copy of Shakespeare’s 1623 folio behind. I brought with me a crate full of old field guides where I carefully identified and sketched flora and fauna in Thailand, Karen Tei Yamashita’s brilliantly weird collection on cyborgian Asian-America (complete with the story of the chicken who sang Madame Butterfly and a toaster sex scene), Pierre Bourdieu’s book of theory I used to write my undergrad thesis, my favorite gay fantasy novel, and a wonderfully dry translation of Journey To The West (the literary home of Sun Wukong, my monkey muse). The hammock in the bottom right crate is particularly useful for enhancing the reading experience.


Jasmine An is a queer, Chinese-American who comes from the Midwest. A 2015 graduate of Kalamazoo College, she has also lived in New York City and Chiang Mai, Thailand, studying poetry, urban development, and blacksmithing. Her chapbook, Naming the No-Name Woman, was selected as the winner of the Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize and is forthcoming in February 2016. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in HEArt Online, Stirring, Heavy Feather Review, and Southern Humanities Review. Her soulmate and forever muse is Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. As of 2016, she can be found in Chiang Mai continuing her study of the Thai language.

Project Bookshelf: Devyn Fussman

My Bookshelf

I don’t have a traditional bookshelf yet, which is just as well since I have way more books than would ever fit! It’s probably obvious that I’m a Sherlock Holmes fan; I confess it only took 10 minutes of the BBC show to convert me forever. My tastes span the gamut from fantasy to religion to literary classics to children’s and YA to manga to horror and back again, which makes the question of “What’s your favorite” the hardest for me to answer. However, I can say that some of my most beloved books in here are The Hobbit, Anne of Green Gables, Ballet Shoes, Tarzan of the Apes, and of course, Sherlock.

Devyn Fussman is a senior English major at Florida State University and a born bookworm. She has written and edited for several publications, including The Southeast Review, TIPS, and Nole Reservations. She is currently an information assistant at FSU Student Publications and pursuing her English degree and a certificate in Editing and Publishing. When she’s not writing, Devyn enjoys fan-fiction, books, photography, and video games.

A Reading From Sandra Marchetti’s Confluence: “Cold dark deep and absolutely clear”

Hear Sandra Marchetti read “Cold dark deep and absolutely clear.”

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Confluence is now available for purchase at the Sundress Store.

Sandra Marchetti is the author of Confluence, a debut full-length collection of poetry from Sundress Publications. Eating Dog Press also published an illustrated edition of her essays and poetry, A Detail in the Landscape, and her first volume, The Canopy, won Midwest Writing Center’s Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest. Sandy won Second Prize in Prick of the Spindle’s 2014 Poetry Open and was a finalist for Gulf Coast’s Poetry Prize. Her poetry and prose appears in The Journal, Subtropics, The Hollins Critic, Sugar House Review, Mid-American Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Green Mountains Review, South Dakota Review, Appalachian Heritage, Southwest Review, Phoebe, and elsewhere. Sandy is a teacher and freelance manuscript editor who lives and writes outside of Chicago.

Books We (Maybe) Pretend to Have Read to be Taken Seriously as a Writer

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

“I did an Infinite Summer, but I took an experimental approach. I just read the footnotes. Have you read the exquisite forward by Dave Eggers?”

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

“How can I expect to produce the next great American novel without reading the first one? I feel like it has never been more relevant than it is today, what with the war and the peace and all.”

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

“The whale is a metaphor, you know?”

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

“Colonialism, you know?”

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman


“Walter White…he is like THE REASON I started writing poetry..”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


“I didn’t like it, but I think that’s because I’m a feminist.”

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy


“Keira Knightly wouldn’t have been my first choice for Anna.”

10 Brilliant Gift Ideas for the Writerly Friends in Your Life

Office Supplies

It might sound cliche, but writers like pens, notebooks, and other seemingly-mundane office supplies more than the average person. Try beautiful notebooks and planners, (like these from Moleskine, Baron Fig, and Leuchtturn), pens from Staedtler or Pantone (especially if your writerly friend is also arty), or just a run-of-the-mill set of sticky notes in every imaginable color.

Fingerless Mittens


For productive days in cold offices. (Check Etsy to support independent artists!)

A Flask and a Fifth of Whiskey


Obviously the stereotype that all-writers-are-heavy-whiskey-drinkers doesn’t hold true in every circumstance (we invite you to use your discretion), but something to help your writerly friend fight their writer’s block and celebrate their victories is a thoughtful gift. Alternatives for non-drinkers include champagne, Cheetos, fancy chocolate, bulk coffee.

Literary Shot Glasses


Continuing on that whiskey idea, check out this Great Drinkers Shot Glass collection so that your writerly friend can raise a glass with their idols.

The Gift of Solitary Confinement


There’s a trend in the literary community of writer’s working furiously to win scholarships to fabulously expensive retreats to the woods, the desert, and islands. For what end? Time and space. You can save your writerly friends the pain of applying to eleven places by gifting them a reservation to a cabin, hotel, condo on the beach — whatever suits their fancy. (Or alternatively, pay their $25 application fee for the Sundress Academy for the Arts!)

A Subscription to Duotrope

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Duotrope is an online service for writers that helps us track and manage our submissions. It is only $5 a month and a fabulous resource for new writers and those who are just getting started.

Subscriptions to Literary Journals


A journal subscription for a present might seem a little outdated, but to writers of literature, print publications are still a big deal. And by gifting a subscription to a poetry or fiction journal, you’re not only providing a thoughtful and useful present but also supporting the industry. Pushcart provides a list of their favorite journals, but smaller journals are easy to find online too. If you can’t pick one, there is such thing as Journal of the Month club. It’s like one of those monthly wine delivery services but for poetry. Speaking of which, a wine of the month service is always a good idea.

A Letter


Write your writerly friends something written. Writers tend to be the types of people who value the written word immensely, and also the types who will keep a letter from a loved one for the rest of their lives. Find some pretty paper and give it a shot. It is the thought that counts. And the way you write it down.

Books! Books! Books!

Buy your writerly friends your book. Your friend’s book. A book you enjoyed recently. A chapbook. A cookbook. An art book. A book you think they’d enjoy. Something the New York Times told you they’d enjoy. Writers love books. It isn’t a cop out, we promise. (And we have plenty of Sundress titles to choose from at our store!)

A Chicken with a Name


Donate to Sundress Publications and your writerly friend can name a chicken who resides at Sundress Academy for the Arts. Writerly people are excellent at naming things. Do good by them and good for the world this holiday. (Not half bad for the chicken, either.)

Project Bookshelf: Grant Howard


When you look at a bookshelf, you always look for what stories it holds—never for what the story is about the bookshelf. Being a bibliophile, better known as a used-book hoarder, I have a total of four bookshelves in my room. I have desktop bookshelves, nightstand bookshelves, and cheap Ikea particle board, which came with cartoon instructions. For these furnishings, I either bought them from a retailer or found them at Goodwill, but that isn’t true for the lawyer’s bookcase in my room.

Decked-out in three tiers of knowledge-wielding shelves, I wanted to know more about this piece of furniture that carries my backpacking stove, DVD’s, Sartre, Melville, W.C.W., Szymborska, works of Steinbeck, and posters, still wound tight with dry rotting latex bands. Braving the wail of my visiting newborn niece and the threat of my sister lecturing about the adverse effects of fluoride in our drinking water, I went to ask my father about the ontology of this roughed-up bookcase.

Between commercial breaks of NCIS, I caught just about all there was to know about it. Of course my father conceded that there wasn’t much to know about this bookcase.

“It was my Grandmother’s. I remember it being by her front door, the house on Newport Lane in Morehead, NC. I never knew much about it, at least until Grandmother died. Your Aunt Peggy, Mama, and I fought tooth and nail to take it from my aunts. When we got there, the buzzards had already taken Papa Garner’s hunting rifle, Grandmother’s jewelry, and left nothing but this bookcase, a can of peaches my grandmother preserved herself, and the painting of the sailing ship I got hanging in my room.”

My father paused for a second and glanced at the china cabinet standing just a few inches beneath the crack-plastered ceiling.

“What you ought to know about is that right there. My father’s father built that with his own hands. He was a timber man. He felled the trees, planed the lumber, and even fixed a leg when it blew over in a hurricane.”

There was another pause for a moment or so as I jotted down all that was being recollected to me.

“Well, that’s all I got to tell you,” said my dad before slouching back into our habitual niceties of discussing prime time television.

There’s more to this bookcase then he said. He didn’t talk about how my brother and I nearly broke the damned thing by forgetting that it comes apart in tiers. I dropped the whole case once, breaking one of the closing doors clean off and cracking another pane of glass to give my humble bookcase that abandoned-factory-window-look.

I guess there was something to know about this bookcase after all, and it would seem that my father had more to tell me than about this bookcase. It’s kind of cool, in a weird and creepy way, to think of how the great grandmother I never knew might have used this bookcase. I wonder if she used it for books. I wonder if she was a strict pragmatist of that sort, or I wonder if she preferred it to hold pictures of her girl, Viola, my father’s mother, who I also never met.

I must admit I feel like I’ve been taking advantage of my bookcase. I am accustomed to shoving other people’s stories onto it and never wondering what there was to know about the bookcase itself. I suppose most things are that way. We look at things and never wonder how they came to be. We look at things and never ask about the people that those items might have touched, the story the bookcase has to tell.

Grant Howard is the Community Relations Intern at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and a senior Creative Writing major at the University of Tennessee. He was awarded both the Knickerbocker Prize for Poetry and the Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for Creative Writing in 2014. When Grant isn’t questioning the axiarchic value of a line break, he is drinking in the scenery during his tromps through the hills of the Southern Appalachia.

Project Bookshelf: Luke Marinac


My bookshelf serves many purposes aside from the obvious, being at times a repository for curio, a bike stand, and a cocktail bar. But most of my books do not live on these shelves. They gather in little drifts in the corners of my room, or pile up on the nightstand— the unused length of my bed.

These bookshelves are a demonstration for the visitor to our home, a display of serried, heavy spines, classics and coffee table spreads. The liminality of our dining room, its role as thoroughfare between kitchen and living room, makes this a transient space of our home—not a place to linger over titles or peruse old books in some thickly-cushioned armchair.

My bookshelves are as much a centerpiece to an ideal as the seldom-used cocktail set that crowns them (our actual cocktail set being rather banged up by this point). My books—my real books— live with me, out of sight, where and how I love to read them.

Luke Marinac studies and works at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His poetry has appeared in Polaris, The Siren, Unlikely 2.0, and North Central Review. He believes bike repair belongs in the living room and enjoys the gamboling through the wild countryside of the Smokey Mountains.