Sundress Announces The Familiar Wild Virtual Book Launch

Sundress Publications announces a virtual book launch and reading to celebrate the release of The Familiar Wild: On Dogs & Poetry. The event is hosted by the anthology editors, Ruth Awad and Rachel Mennies.

The virtual launch will take place on November 11th from 7:00-8:30PM EST. Canine friends are also encouraged to attend!

Join us on Zoom at with password: safta.

The Familiar Wild: On Dogs & Poetry grapples with the simultaneous heaviness, happiness, love, and loss that comes with dog companionship, exposing deep truths about what it means to share space with our fellow non-humans. This moving anthology catapults readers into the marrows of living and feeling alongside our mysterious canines: a species that often teaches us what it means to be human.

Readers at the event will include:

Kelli Russell Agodon
Ruth Baumann
Robin Becker
Tara Betts
Soledad Caballero
Grady Chambers
Chen Chen
Emily Rose Cole
Steven Cordova
Lisa Fay Coutley
Matthew Gavin Frank
Chloe Honum
Ashley Inguanta
Irène Mathieu
Carly Miller
Rosalie Moffett
Jason Myers
Leila Ortiz
Jennifer Perrine
Carrie Shipers
Raena Shirali
Nomi Stone
Nina Sudhakar
Jeanne Wagner

Ruth Awad is the Lebanese-American author of Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2017). Her work appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, Poem-a-Day, The Believer, The New York Republic, Pleiades, The Missouri Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She lives and writes in Columbus, OH, with her four bratty and joyous Pomeranians.

Rachel Mennies is the author of The Naomi Letters, forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2021 and The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, which was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. Her poetry has appeared at The Believer, Kenyon Review, and American Poetry Review, and her nonfiction has appeared at The Millions, The Poetry Foundation, and LitHub, among other outlets. Mennies lives in Chicago with her spouse and her rescue greyhound mix, Otto.

Access the event here. The password is safta.

The Familiar Wild: On Dogs & Poetry is available for sale HERE.

VIDA Residency Fellowships Winners Announced

VIDA Residency Fellowships Winners Announced

Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is pleased to announce the winners of the VIDA fellowships for the fall residency period, Raena Shirali and Nicole Connolly. SAFTA paired with VIDA, a research-driven organization aiming to increase issues in contemporary literary culture, to offer these fellowships for two women writers in any genre. This year’s winners were chosen by guest judge Elissa Washuta.

View More: Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017), winner of the 2018 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award. Shirali’s honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Philip Roth Residency at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry, and poetry prizes from Boston Review , Gulf Coast, and Cosmonauts Avenue. Raised in Charleston, South Carolina, the Indian American poet earned her MFA from The Ohio State University. She currently lives in Philadelphia, where she is a coorganizer for We (Too) Are Philly, a summer poetry festival highlighting voices of color. Shirali also serves as Poetry Editor for Muzzle Magazine and is on the editorial team for Vinyl.

Author Photo


Nicole Connolly lives and works in Orange County, CA, which she promises is mostly unlike what you see on TV. She received her MFA from Bowling Green State University, and her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in such journals as ANMLY, Fugue, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.

Applications for spring residencies at SAFTA are now open and can be found at