Meet Our New Intern: Iqra Abid

When I was younger, I would follow my older sisters around all day, copying everything they did. Part of this was watching all the same shows they did, reading their books, listening to the music they listened to. In many ways, this formed my taste in media. Shows and books where the main characters worked at magazines or dedicated their entire lives to writing books or were starting their careers as journalists— those were my favourite stories to watch or read. They kept diaries so I did, too. I started writing stories in them, usually horror for some reason. My best ones would have crazy twist endings like the protagonist waking up from a nightmare. Of course, I thought I was a genius.

Then, in middle school, I joined a club where one of the perks was getting free magazines and reading stacks of them during our lunch breaks. My friends and I would often argue over the free posters that came out of them. Years later, my oldest sister would give me a giant pile of magazines to throw away for her before we moved out of our childhood home. I would spend hours scouring each one before I finally threw them away, ripping my favourite pages out of them to make collages with one day. I still have some of those pages saved today, waiting to be cut up and stuck somewhere.

In high school, I started to art journal and write poetry. I made friends who loved all the nerdy, artsy things I did. We went through all the same phases together, hung out after school to make collages out of those old magazine pages, shared and read books together like an informal book club. I edited everybody’s English essays and creative writing pieces. I thought it was fun and it made me happy. It sounds totally lame but I still enjoy it now. What does that say about me?

In the summer after my first year of university, I felt deprived of art and the freedom to creatively express myself. I didn’t get to see my friends as much anymore, so we had less time to create things together. I was also fed up with the lack of mainstream representation that artists from marginalized identities received. When I want to consume art that speaks to my experiences, why do I have to dig so deep for a morsel of relatable or accurate content? I thought that there needed to be more platforms dedicated to uplifting marginalized artists, to foster a safe space that allows them to create content with other artists from similar backgrounds. I thought, why not do it myself?

So, I started Kiwi Collective Magazine, a digital arts publication for marginalized creators of all mediums. I was able to combine my passion for writing, art, and editing to give something back to the creative communities I love. It wasn’t until I started the magazine that I looked back at my childhood and noticed everything that led me to this point. I realized that I have always wanted to be an editor, I just didn’t always know it. Now, I am lucky enough to be with Sundress Publications, expanding my horizons and honing my skills so I can continue to give back to underrepresented creators in the art and literary scenes.


Iqra Abid (she/her) is a young, Pakistani, Muslim writer based in Canada. She is currently a student at McMaster University studying Psychology Neuroscience, and Behaviour. She is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Kiwi Collective Magazine. Her work can be found in various publications such as Stone Fruit Magazine, Tiny Spoon Lit Magazine, Scorpion Magazine, and more.

Meet Our New Intern: Victoria Carrubba

For as long as I can remember, storytelling has been an essential part of my life. Whether through avidly reading books well past my reading level, performing on stage for theatre and dance, or writing my own stories by hand in my mother’s notepads, expressing and sharing stories in any way I could was more a necessity to me than a hobby. All throughout elementary and middle school, I would sit in the grass and read instead of joining my friends on the playground during recess, and I’d always have a book in hand wherever I went just in case I could find a couple spare minutes to read. I was a timid child, opting to keep to myself and observe. However, by immersing myself in fictional narratives, it was as though I had the world at my fingertips, which encouraged me to be as brave as the characters I read about and push the bounds of my comfort zone.

It is only fitting that, eventually, I would begin to consider pursuing a career that involved books. Initially, in middle school, I dreamed of becoming an author, of writing my own stories that could one day touch readers like the books I have read touched me. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I was introduced to the brilliant world of publishing and the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make writers’ dreams come true by bringing their stories to life. I attended a book release event for Rick Riordan’s Blood of Olympus, the concluding novel to my all-time favorite series growing up, where he described the different roles in publishing and how each contributes to the creation of a novel. Sitting in the audience, it was as though a lightbulb went off over my head. I knew in that moment, at only fourteen years old, that working in publishing is something that I not only wanted to do, but needed to do.

Now, seven years later, my publishing dreams have started to become a reality. I am currently majoring in English Publishing Studies at Hofstra University, where I take classes about literary genres and the industry. My studies have only cemented my desire to work in publishing, a feeling of rightness falling over me the moment I nervously stepped into the classroom of my first publishing course. Since that day, I have gotten the opportunity to work with writers on their own storytelling. I am a copyeditor for my university’s newspaper The Hofstra Chronicle and a tutor in our Writing Center, and I have also worked for literary magazines Font, Growl, and Windmill Journal. I am extremely excited to work as a Social Media Intern with Sundress Publications to continue doing work that I am passionate about and to show the world the incredible stories and writers that are published by the organization. Now, I am able to work with others to express and share their stories.


Victoria Carrubba is a senior English Publishing Studies student at Hofstra University. She is currently a tutor at her university’s Writing Center and a copyeditor for The Hofstra Chronicle. She has also worked on her university’s literary magazines, Font and Growl, and was previously a fiction editor for Windmill Journal. Outside of work, Victoria can be found reading, dancing, or drinking chai.

Meet Our New Intern: Katy DeCoste

A black and white headshot photo of Katy, a white person. They have short, straight hair and are wearing black, square glasses, a floral shirt with a collar, and a white knit cardigan. They are smiling with their mouth closed.

As a graduate student in English, most of my day-to-day work involves reading books, thinking about them, and every so often going to a meeting to talk about them. For a kid who grew up reading while walking and spending recess indoors shelving library books instead of playing outside, this is a pretty huge privilege. My favorite way to spend my time is pouring over digitized copies of nineteenth-century periodicals and sending the funniest articles in them to our program’s class group chat. I even spent most of my undergraduate years working in the university library, spending time among thousands of books and plucking the ones that interested me off the shelf for the end of my shift.

In 2020, I received my BA Honors in English and History from the University of Alberta, mid-pandemic. One lackluster 45-minute Zoom graduation and one expensive slip of paper later, I had realized that reading, writing, and talking about reading and writing are most of what I want to do with my life, and since it’s difficult to find a stable job in academia, I thought I’d spend as much time doing these things as possible while I could.

As for creative writing, I’ve been doing it most of my life. I spent my childhood penning novels that ranged from epic fantasy to tween romance tales, sending them to friends pasted in the bodies of emails (I hadn’t figured out file attachments yet). In high school, I discovered poetry, hungrily consuming collections by Robert Frost, Carol Ann Duffy, and Emily Dickinson. I stumbled upon playwriting a few years later, in university, watching friends of mine perform in new, local productions. Now, I’ve (mostly) abandoned my roots in fiction, but I’m currently fantasizing about a project that uses oral history and archival research to create a play about queer culture in 1980s Regina, my hometown.

My love for literature is why I’m so excited to work with Sundress Publications: I want to help give writers the support needed to get their stories into the world, and create the kind of books I want to read. 


Katherine (Katy) DeCoste is a queer, white settler currently living on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples and the WSÁNEĆ peoples, where they are pursuing their MA in English at the University of Victoria. In 2020, they received their BA Honours in English and History from the University of Alberta, as the Rutherford Memorial Medalist in English and Dr. John Macdonald Medalist in Arts. You can find their poetry in Barren Magazine, Grain MagazineThe Antigonish Review, and other outlets. In 2020, their play “many hollow mercies” won the Alberta Playwriting Competition Novitiate Prize. When not writing, reading, or answering emails, Katherine can be found playing Dungeons and Dragons, volunteering with food support initiatives, and forcing their friends to eat their baking.

Meet Our New Intern: Stephi Cham

Children have an uncanny way of latching on to specific snippets and remembering them for the rest of their lives. As a child, I once came across a quote that never quite lost its effect on me: “Chase your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.” I knew I would, so at age 11, I told my mother I wanted to be a writer. Today, I work as a book editor and a writer, and above all, I am still a lover of stories and words.

I completed my undergraduate education at Southern Methodist University, where I majored in music therapy with a minor in psychology. My music therapy work further solidified my goals. Everyone I worked with had unique struggles, hopes, and dreams, each person a main character in their own story. Though I loved my clinical work, I wanted to help people who tell their stories in their own ways. As a music therapist, I learned to focus on patients’ goals and avoid imposing my own perspective on them while gently providing guidance as needed; as an editor, I found that my professional relationships with authors were much the same.

In Dallas, I worked at Student Media Company, at the time a small private company that managed the SMU newspaper and yearbook. I trained under the editors there, then eventually became chief copyeditor and stepped in as a writer when needed. There, I found my passion for helping writers organize their thoughts, revise their writing, and realize their visions.

Editing became my focus. Working full-time with reading, writing, and editing showed me that I wanted to take the next step and become further involved in the publishing field. Now, I’m working on my MA in Publishing at Rosemont College, where I’ve picked up more industry knowledge and become a better publishing professional.

The first books I held in my hands that I’d authored were five books published by Capstone Press about Asian-American historical figures. The experience of writing about people from my own ethnicity, along with the publication process from an author’s perspective, motivated me to be part of creating these opportunities for other Asian-Americans. Having seen the numerous barriers to publishing for many disenfranchised and historically marginalized people, I hope to be part of the ongoing change to remove these barriers and increase the publishing world’s accessibility and diversity.

With this in mind, I’m so excited and grateful to join the Sundress Publications team as an editorial intern. The Sundress team has done a lot, and with this incredible opportunity, I hope to be not just a better and more knowledgeable editor, but also someone who contributes actively to the publishing field with compassion, insight, and care.


Stephi Cham holds a BM in Music Therapy with a Minor in Psychology from Southern Methodist University. She is currently working toward her MA in Publishing at Rosemont College, where she manages the publishing program’s communications as a graduate assistant. She is a freelance editor and the author of the Great Asian-American series published by Capstone Press, and her work has appeared in Strange Horizons.

Meet Our New Intern: Lee Anderson

I was one of those children who believed deeply in spells they found on the Internet. If Yahoo Answers couldn’t tell me the exact words to whisper as I rolled around in the bathtub, trying desperately to melt my legs together into a mermaid tail, what was the point of having outside resources?

My belief in magic often rolled over into gullibility. I once melted the plastic shade off my magenta desk lamp because I’d taped some tissues that held “dragon eggs” (read: rocks out of the creek by my house) to the bottom in order to incubate them. They smelled like burnt cookies by the time my mom came to scold me for almost burning the house down, but all I had was guilt for killing the growing creatures. Fantasy gave me something to believe in when nothing else felt right. Of course, these hands-on attempts at manifestation were accompanied by both ravenous reading of literally every fantasy book the public library had and writing my own stories to add to the canon; I wrote my first novella the year prior, fifty-some pages of young-girl-becomes-a-mermaid-and-has-to-try-and-find-her-way-back-to-land as inspired by a particularly cool rock. In hindsight, I’m surprised I didn’t end up becoming a geologist.

When we think about our histories as readers, writers, editors, and lovers-of-literature, I think it’s easy to fall back on these narratives of always loving books, of fumbling around to try and find that exact moment that everything clicked and knowing that this is what we were meant to do. Personally, I find just as much value in looking at who I was in the absence of literature. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, one organic chemistry course away from a degree in Neuroscience, because I was so determined in college to try and connect with people. If we cannot understand who we are from the outside, how are we to know who we are internally? My life forms concentric circles around humanity, whether I am trying to escape it via mermaid-inoculation spells (which I now recognize as feeble attempts at quieting early gender dysphoria) or to focus in on it by watching the bouncing lines of an EEG scan in a silent basement lab on a deep winter evening.

In the past two years, I’ve circled back and finally started taking myself and my writing seriously. I have learned how to love a sentence and how to share myself in slivers. Finally, I feel as though I am ready to take on the precarious, privileged position of helping authors with Sundress Publications do the same. I hope to understand a little bit more about us all, and to help the world do the same.


Lee Anderson is a nonbinary MFA student at Northern Arizona University, where they are the Managing Editor of Thin Air Magazine. They have been published sporadically but with zest, with work appearing or forthcoming in The Rumpus, Columbia Journal, and Back Patio Press.

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.

Meet Our New Intern: Kathleen Gullion

One evening when I was eight or nine, the Texas sky broke into a classic afternoon thunderstorm. It would be over before dinner. But the rain raged through the evening and the power in our house went out. “What am I supposed to do?” I asked my mom. Without TV, the computer. “Read a book,” she suggested. Read a book? I’d rather count my leg hairs one by one.

Months later, on a day spent home sick from school, I ended up reading a book. Then I read another, then another. I reread books until the covers fell off and the spines split. Although I didn’t realize this at the time, whenever I read, I looked for myself in the pages: a word or a phrase or a character that felt familiar. I felt less alone realizing a part of someone else’s brain overlapped with mine. That’s still why I read.

I came to writing in a roundabout way. There was an attempted novel about Neopets in the fifth grade and some very cringe-worthy poetry in high school. And then, in college, I joined a DIY punk band. We named ourselves Genovia Forever (like The Princess Diaries). I wrote lyrics about princess lessons but also abuse and healing. I could be as intimate and personal as I wanted because during our shows, I screamed the lyrics in an indecipherable sludge. No one could tell what I was saying, but they danced anyway.

Meanwhile, I was directing and acting, and moved to Chicago to pursue theatre, but quickly realized that playing characters and working with others’ words wasn’t for me anymore. I needed an art that was all my own. I started writing strange performance pieces and devised plays based on my own experiences. The performance aspect of my work fell away, and I was left with just the words, and finally, I felt at home in a mode of expression.

This led me to apply to graduate school, and I recently earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There, I discovered a love of fiction and found my voice: one that balances humor and pain, lightness and darkness, and always veers toward weird. I’ve written stories about a lesbian couple who is forced to reckon with their relationship after watching a monster truck show, and a father and daughter who bond over hunting rattlesnakes in the desert. I’m currently working on a novel about a girl in Texas who is forced to take up the family business of dachshund racing when her mother gets wrapped up in a scandal and can no longer race.

Now, when I think back to the girl who combed pages of books looking for herself, I hope my own writing can inspire the same feeling in others by providing language for complicated feelings or experiences. While making them laugh, too.

My southern-ness and gayness are huge parts of my identity and my writing, and I am so happy to join Sundress Publications as an editorial intern, so I can take part in the work they do uplifting underrepresented voices and providing a platform for amazing writing and poetry.


Kathleen Gullion is a writer based in Houston. Her work has appeared in the Esthetic Apostle, Coachella Review, F Newsmagazine, and others. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Meet our New Intern: Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

I wrote my first story when I was three years old. It was a classic feminist tale, one inspired by the frustration I felt while playing a Mario game on my older sister’s Gameboy. Why did I have to save Princess Peach every time? Why couldn’t Mario be the one who was kidnapped for once? So I wrote my own story, reversing the narrative. There were no damsel-in-distresses in my world: only women who beat up the antagonists with an umbrella.

I’d lock up the little rainbow Care Bear journal those stories were written in It was an artifact of a distant childhood, lost in history until high school, lost until I decided to become an archeologist and really dig deep into my personal lineage.

I went to a little arts school in Baltimore County, Maryland, where I majored in literary arts. Auditioning for the school, I thought writing was “kinda cool,” and when I got in, it only seemed natural to pick it over the two law magnet schools I’d gotten into. And, indeed, it was “kinda cool.” Our classrooms had couches, we had workshops with teenage angst poetry, there were literary feuds—it was the kind of surreal writing dream I never knew I wanted.       

So I began my descent into the rabbit hole at this school. I swore off poetry until my junior and senior year, proclaiming it for hipsters and nerds, but when I actually sat down and wrote a poem, I found that I kind of liked it. It turned out I was pretty decent at it, so I continued with it. I thought of my life as a black and white film, shot with a grainy 15mm lens, before I began to take writing more seriously.

Once, I used to briefly live and study in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. I went to Ewha Womans University in Seoul and had to commute over two hours to actually get to my classes. On the crowded 900-bus from Anyang to the outskirts of Seoul, I used to translate Emily Dickinson poems from English to Korean, and I found myself memorizing these lines, writing them in Korean on the foggy windows. It was here I learned the power of writing, as I made new bus buddies who wanted to talk about poetry to the foreign girl. Literature truly connects in a unique way, transcending international borders and linguistic barriers.

Now I go to the Fashion Institute of Technology. I study International Trade, but I never really forgot how writing made the narrative of my life bleed from black and white into color. Yeah, sure I’m a business major, but I still discover pockets of poetry in my mundane everyday routine. I read for three different literary magazines, I’ve taken workshops with Brooklyn Poets, and now I’m interning at the Sundress Academy for the Arts! As I grow older, I’m finding that this is something I want to do for the rest of my life.   

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi is an undergraduate at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her work has appeared in Into the Void, Corvid Queen, and cahoodaloodaling, among others. She attended the International Writing Program’s Summer Institute and was a Brooklyn Poets Fellow. Currently, she is trying to figure out a happy intersection between her writing, film, and photography endeavors.

Meet Our New Intern: Kanika Lawton

I read voraciously as a child. I imagine anyone would in my position; I had a loving family, but I was teased mercilessly throughout elementary school. I spent most of my time alone: sitting in my favorite corner of the school library thumbing through the bookshelves, wandering into the forest next to my school and imagining being on a daring adventure. I became fast friends with a dog whose owner lived in a house right next to the field; I would tell him that, one day, we’ll explore exciting places far away from here.

My urge to read everything I could get my hands on got me into trouble. I was reprimanded in Grade Six for reading books meant only for Grade Seven students (the highest grade in my school) and scolded for reading Seventeen magazines when I was nowhere close to being in the “appropriate” age range. Still, I held onto books and the small sense of freedom and hope they gave me because, at the time, they were all I had. This world of brave girls and quests and imaginary lands made me feel less alone.

In Grade Five I started writing down the stories I would make up in my head to pass the time. They were strange—one was about a small snake trying to follow a wagon train à la Little House on the Prairie, while another was about a tennis ball who rolled away from his family—but my teachers liked them, so I felt encouraged to keep going. Eventually, I found my way into Honours English and AP English in high school, where I fell in love with Shakespeare’s plays and the Romantic poets and, surprisingly enough, James Joyce’s Dubliners (if you’re reading this Mr. Wallace, thank you for bringing us to so many Bard on the Beach performances and letting us read Dubliners). I read its final short story—”The Dead”—over and over again, struck by the epiphany that nearly brought Gabriel Conroy to his knees. Maybe this story came to me at the right time; on the cusp of graduation, not knowing what I wanted to do while telling everyone I had a plan. I bought a copy while I was in Québec the summer before I started college, holding it close when I made the sudden decision to change my major.

I’ve had a few small epiphanies since then: realizing this is what I’ve always wanted to do while sitting in my honors Arts program, when I decided to go to grad school for cinema studies, the first time someone told me my poetry meant something to them. I’ve been chasing that sudden clarity since, that breathless moment when everything either fits into place or shatter in the most exalting way possible. When I read, watch, or experience something that makes time stop around me, it etches itself into my memories, like it’s a part of me now.

Maybe that’s what drove me to establish my online literary and art journal L’Éphémère Review and dive deeper into writing and editing and becoming a better literary citizen; chasing epiphanies and sharing them with as many people as I can. Stories have intrinsically changed who I am as a person and giving back to the communities that shaped me is the least I can do. This is why I’m grateful I have the opportunity to work for Sundress Publications; we are all made up of stories that deserve to be told, and being able to help others tell their stories is something I feel like I was meant to do.


Kanika Lawton holds a BA in Psychology with a Minor in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia and an MA from the University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies Institute. She is the Editor-In-Chief of L’Éphémère Review, a 2018 Pink Door Fellow, and a 2020 BOAAT Writer’s Retreat Poetry Fellow. Her work has appeared in Ricepaper Magazine, Vagabond City Literary Journal, Glass Poetry, and Cosmonauts Avenue, among others.

Meet Our New Editorial Intern: Emily Bradley

I was supposed to be in med school by now.  Actually, I suck at dissection, so scratch that.  I’d have probably wound up in a lab, looking at nice, sterile slides under a microscope.  Science was the plan. It had rules and tangible logic, a promise that greater study would positively correlate with greater understanding.  In high school, I was the everything AP science kid, the never-missed-an-exam-prep-session kid, the kid who origami folded what looked like a voice out of textbook pages and prayed it never got wet.  But then, of course it did.    

Perfection is a dead end.  A perfect test score ends in a zero, is applauded and then silenced on a transcript to be filed away.  I was a size double zero senior year of high school, the ideal anorexic for four and a half years by that point, not sick enough to demand attention, not well enough to quit walking round and round the same cul-de-sac whittling my stomach down.  I could achieve these goals, but without fresh air they would decompose into a dark garden inside me one day.

My cousin killed himself during the fall of that year. He was twenty years old. We were never close—spread across the eastern half of the U.S., my extended family typically gathers only every three or four years for a requisite wedding, graduation, or, in this case, a funeral.  Nonetheless, the image of his powdered face and overstuffed chest flash flooded my years of panicked perfectionism, dissolved carefully pleated calorie charts and diagrams of cellular respiration into bits of colored paper, arranging themselves into some visceral understanding of why he did it. Suicide—by gunshot, poison gas, alcohol, and silence—had marked both sides of my family tree, and I knew that no equations or scholarships could keep it from blossoming in my imagination as well.  Stuck in my cul-de-sac, I needed something open-ended. So, I started writing.  

It didn’t fix me.  I was bad at it, but I also learned how to honor imperfection.  My first poems were collections of teen angst clichés – hearts, oceans, and all – but poetry taught me resilience.  I started college as a biological engineering major, and by the middle of the first semester I switched to English and Spanish. The more I studied, the less things made sense.  Once, I wrote an entire paper about how I didn’t understand Ezra Pound, and that was okay.  

Junior year, I decided to seek professional treatment for my eating disorder and writing became a tool to free lies that had lain silent at the bottom of me for years.  I still struggled, still panicked watching my years’ worth of rules and self-control dissolve as I learned to cry open-ended instead of running in circles to numb out. But I learned to love open-ended too.  To give myself to others in a way that didn’t fit neatly into an equation; no matter the numbers, there was always some remainder left. And the better I learned to care for my body, the stronger my voice became.  Eventually, I heard about something called an MFA and decided to apply to graduate programs in creative writing (my undergraduate university didn’t offer a CW program).  

Graduate school has pushed me to rethink much of what I thought I knew about learning.  It’s introduced me to writers whose work has entirely shifted my relationship to language.  Poetry workshops have shattered my ideas about reading and writing and how a classroom can function.  Moving from a rather insular community in Arkansas to a new city stretched my sense of self in unexpected directions, and here I’ve found a group of writers and friends who continually teach me what it means to be fully human.   I’ve met mentors who honor my voice but also call me on my bullshit and push me to put my truth rather than just my intellect on the page. And I never would have guessed how hard that would be.  

So, I wasn’t born with a pen in my hand and a song in my heart.  Sorry if that’s what you were expecting. Hell, I didn’t even sing along with the radio as a kid.  But I do now. Writing taught me how to break patterns that would have tethered me to a legacy of silence and slow destruction.  Slowly, I’ve built a voice that’s no longer paper-thin, and it’s taken me far away from that old cul-de-sac, though I’ve still got farther to go.  

Emily Bradley is a second year MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she teaches and serves as the assistant poetry editor of Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts.  She loves poetry, falling asleep on the couch, and the color yellow.