Erin Elizabeth Smith, Executive Director

Erin Elizabeth Smith serves as the Creative Director of the Sundress Academy for the Arts at Firefly Farms and the Managing Editor for Sundress Publications . She is also the founder and managing editor of Sundress Publications and the author of The Fear of Being Found (Three Candles Press, 2008), The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake Press, 2011), and Down: The Alice Poems (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2020). Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals including Ecotone, Guernica, Mid-American, 32 Poems, New Delta Review, The Florida Review, Cimarron Review, Third Coast, and Crab Orchard. Smith earned her PhD in Creative Writing from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi and is currently a Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Tennessee where she teaches poetry writing and literature.

Joseph Minarick, Chief of Operations at Firefly Farms

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.

JoAnna Brooker, Fall 2021 Writer in Residence

JoAnna Brooker is a graduate from the University of Tennessee, where she studied Journalism & English. Her work has been featured in Figure 1, Jet Fuel Review, HASH Journal, Menacing Hedge, & on stage as a comic. In her spare time, she enjoys petting cats & making cheese-based meals for her loved ones. She can be found on all social media platforms @cupofjoanna.

Victoria Mullins, Staff Director

Victoria Mullins recently graduated from the University of Tennessee with degrees in Creative Writing and Philosophy. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry and is enjoying all the learning and toiling over it. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, mediocre cooking, and over preparing.

Elisha Brewer, Literary Arts Director

Elisha Brewer is a musical poet whose work focuses on the everyday—the absurd, the normal, and not so often pretty—life of the Black American woman. Through the use of dialect, her work pays special attention to her birthplace in the South and her roots up North. Elisha holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee. She is also a participant in The 5th Woman Fellowship.

Stacy Estep, Reading Series Coordinator

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. After many years in Atlanta, she is now based in Knoxville, where she lives with her artist husband and two cats.

Bailey Martin, SAFTA Films Director

Bailey Martin is a writer and English student at the University of Tennessee. She was awarded the 2019 Michael Dennis Poetry Award and Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys learning about linguistics, taking photos of cows, and thinking about the circus.

Korrin Bishop, Development Director

Korrin Bishop is a writer and editor with passions for mission-driven work and the great outdoors. Her writing is heavily influenced by a sense of place, as over time she has found home amongst California's redwoods, Washington, D.C.'s cherry blossoms, Oregon's caves, South Dakota's badlands, Florida's Everglades, and Appalachia's Smoky Mountains. Korrin has written for the National Park Service, Misadventures Magazine, Sierra Magazine, and Fodor's Travel, among others. She also works with nonprofit organizations to support their critical work in the social services, arts, and environmental spheres.

Arlynn Dunn, Community Outreach Director

With origins in Manila and growing up in Knoxville, TN, Arlynn Dunn is interested in the intersections of poetry, speculative nonfiction, and amplifying representation of transnational adoptees in the context of the Asian American diaspora. A full-time pediatric occupational therapy assistant, Arlynn uses down time to grow as an emerging poet and reader, engage in community advocacy, and is frequently spotted at spoken word events, diving nose first into books, and sometimes flan at La Esperanza..

Anna Rider, Director of Prospect Research

Anna Rider is a North Carolinian now living in Philadelphia with her dog. She graduated from Guilford College and the CUNY Graduate Center with degrees in English. She spends her time wandering around the city and being amazed by her friends' art.

Alexa White, Editorial Intern

Alexa White is a senior at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the city where she grew up, and is pursuing a BA in Creative Writing with a Studio Art minor. She has enjoyed reading and writing, especially poetry, for most of her life and has had both art and poetry published in UTK’s Phoenix Literary Magazine. Outside of her studies, Alexa enjoys photography, film, hiking and attempting to achieve oneness with nature.

Kathryn Davis, Editorial Intern

Kathryn Davis is a writer and editor from Michigan. She graduated in 2018 from Grand Valley State University, where she studied Creative Writing with an emphasis in Fiction, and served as editor-in-chief of the university’s literary journal, fishladder. She enjoys photography, her cats, and her dog (who might as well be a cat).

Gregory Warren, Facilities Engineer at Firefly Farms

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.

| Sundress Academy for the Arts | 195 Tobby Hollow Ln | Knoxville, TN 37931 | (865) 560-6106 | |