The Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents: The Poetry of Technology

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present a writing workshop lead by SAFTA staff director JoAnna Brooker, “The Poetry of Technology”.This workshop will be held onDecember 9th, 2020 from 6-7:30PM EST. In keeping with both the current pandemic and theme of the workshop, this event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at, with the password ‘safta’ and this event is free and open to the public.

In modern times, technology has woven itself so deeply into our lived experiences that more often than not, we cannot distinguish truth and authenticity from lies and simulations. Especially in the socially distanced world we currently inhabit, experiences often considered ‘better’ in person are simulated via Zoom and other channels. In this workshop, we will take the subtext of technology’s dehumanization as well as the over-saturation of modern media and rip it apart as human beings. We will engage with these instruments and systems as representations of ourselves in relation to what it means to exist online, for better or worse. 

At the end of this workshop, you will be challenged to treat your text messages and DMs as intimate letters. These too are stories and the better we can understand them and the effect they have on us, the better prepared we are to engage with the increasingly digitized world we inhabit.

JoAnna Brooker is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where she studied Journalism and English. She is currently a staff director for Sundress Academy for the Arts and her work has been featured in Jet Fuel Review, Hash JournalMenacing Hedge,and The Knoxville Mercury. She can be found on all social media platforms @cupofjoanna. 

SAFTA Presents “Dis/ability: A Writing Workshop”

The Sundress Academy for the Arts Workshop Series is proud to present “Dis/ability: A Writing Workshop.” Throughout history, disability has commonly been associated with restriction, pain, and fear. For many people, however, disabilities have also been a source of strength, empowerment, and creativity. 

In this workshop, we’ll examine several pieces of writing that address disability from a variety of perspectives. Participants will have the opportunity to write in any genre, either to respond to one of the pieces or to generate original work around the topic.

Whether you are disabled yourself, have experienced a temporary disability in the past, care for someone with a disability, or simply want to deepen your empathy for people with physical, sensory, mental, or cognitive differences, this workshop will challenge you to think and write about the human body, its abilities, and its limitations in new ways. 

The event will take place on Wednesday, September 9th, 2020, from 6:00-7:30 EST via Zoom. Join us at with password safta.

This event is free and open to the public, although donations are encouraged via Venmo @Stacy-Estep or via Paypal ( Thanks to the Tennessee Arts Commission for making this event possible.

Stacy Estep is a fiction and nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in Atticus Review, bluemilk, and California Quarterly, among others. She has a background in indie publishing, web content creation, and public relations. For her fiction, she has been awarded a writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her artist husband and two cats.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Presents “Finding an Appetite: Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Food Writing”

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is proud to present the next installment of their workshop series, “Finding an Appetite: Poetry Creative Nonfiction, and Food Writing.”  This workshop will be led by Katie Culligan and will be held in Room 252 in the Hodges Library from 6 to 7 pm on October 28th. This event is free and open to the public.

Mark Twain said, “Part of the secret of success is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” When we begin to consider this active role that food plays in our lives and bodies, we must think about the senses, the land we live on, our families, both nuclear and national, and the labor-system-latticework we all must somehow live in the cracks of. In this workshop, we will investigate together how these considerations, and how food writing in general, can enrich your personal essays and poetry. If you’ve ever grown a mint plant in your kitchen, or waited a table, or eaten a hot dog that your mother cut up to look like an octopus, then you have enough to write about for the foreseeable future. Writers we read together will include those who specialize in both journalism and lyric nonfiction. We will not be reading Mark Twain.

Katie Culligan is a nonfiction writer living in Knoxville, TN, where she is the Fall 2019 Writer in Residence at Sundress Academy for the Arts. She is the recipient of the 2019 Eleanora Burke Award for Nonfiction and the Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee. Recent work appears in Geometry, Noble/ Gas Qtrly, Columbia Journal, American Chordata, and others. She can be reached at

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee Creative Writing Program and is free and open to the public.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is an artists’ residency that hosts workshops, retreats, and residencies for writers, actors, filmmakers, and visual artists. All are guided by experienced, professional instructors from a variety of creative disciplines who are dedicated to cultivating the arts in East Tennessee.