F I R E F L Y F A R M S





Firefly Farms Staff


Joseph Minarick, Chief of Operations

Raised in Oak Ridge, TN, Joseph Minarick received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Excelsior College in Albany, New York. He enlisted in the Army in 1999 and commissioned as an Armor Officer in 2004. He is currently the Plans Officer for the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Knoxville. Minarick's interests in Appalachian history and sustainable development led him to co-found Firefly Farms with Dr. Erin Elizabeth Smith in 2012.

Erin Elizabeth Smith, Creative Director

Erin Elizabeth Smith serves as the creative director of the Sundress Academy for the Arts at Firefly Farms. She is also the founder and managing editor of Sundress Publications and author of The Fear of Being Found (Three Candles Press, 2008) and The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake Press, 2011). Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines including Mid-American, 32 Poems, New Delta Review, The Yalobusha Review, The Florida Review, Cimarron Review, Third Coast, and Crab Orchard. Erin earned her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2009 and is currently a lecturer at the University of Tennessee where she teaches poetry writing and literature.

Gregory Warren, Facilities Engineer

Gregory Warren received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 2012, around the same time he began supporting improvement projects, maintenance, and daily operations at Firefly Farms. When he is not performing duties at the Oak Ridge National Lab, with the Army National Guard, or at Firefly Farms, he can be found riding motorcycles or tinkering in his home workshop.

Katherine Bell, Writer-in-Residence

Katherine Bell is the current Writer-in-Residence at the Sundress Academy for the Arts in Knoxville, Tennessee. Originally from Frederick, Maryland, she earned her MFA from Eastern Washington University in 2017 and has been published in The Fem, Welter Literary Journal, Connotation Press, and others.



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