Erin Elizabeth Smith

Founder and Executive Director at Sundress Publications and the Sundress Academy for the Arts; Founding Editor & Consulting Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Stirring: A Literary Collection; President of the Board of Directors

Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Executive Director of Sundress Publications and the Sundress Academy for the Arts. She is the author of three full-length collections, most recently DOWN, which was released by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Guernica, Ecotone, Mid-American, Crab Orchard Review, Waxwing, and Willow Springs, among others. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi and teaches in the English Department at the University of Tennessee. She currently serves as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Oak Ridge, TN.

Tennison Black

Managing Editor at Sundress Publications; Managing Editor of Best of the Net; Member of the Board of Directors

Tennison S. Black (they/she), a queer and multiply disabled autistic, is the author of Survival Strategies (winner of the National Poetry Series, UGA Press 2023). Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in SWWIM, Hotel Amerika, Booth, Wordgathering, and New Mobility, among others. They received an MFA at Arizona State University. They are the Managing Editor at Sundress Publications and Best of the Net and are the editor of the forthcoming anthology, A Body You Talk To. Though Sonoran born, they reside in Washington state.

A biracial Asian person sits in front of a teal wall. They have short dark brown hair and are wearing a bumblebee necklace over a black sleeveless turtleneck. They are smiling. 

Staff Director at Sundress Publications

Kanika Lawton is a Cambodian-Chinese Canadian writer, editor, and film scholar. They are a PhD student at the University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies Institute and the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, they have received fellowships from Pink Door, BOAAT Writer’s Retreat, and the Sundress Academy for the Arts and have been published in Vagabond City Literary JournalLongleaf ReviewGlass: A Journal of PoetryCosmonauts Avenue, and Parentheses Journal, among others. They are the author of four micro-chapbooks, most recently Theories on Wreckage (Ghost City Press, 2020). Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, they now live and work in Toronto, Ontario. 

Acquisitions Editor & Associate Poetry Editor at Sundress Publications

Tierney Bailey is a loudmouth, a Libra, a lover of science fiction and poetry, and a dice-collecting gremlin. Currently, Tierney is the Acquisitions Editor and an Associate Poetry Editor with Sundress Publications, a copyeditor at Strange Horizons,, slush reader for PodCastle, Publishing Assistant with Escape Artists Inc., and a freelancer. She has earned a Masters Degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Tierney is most easily found screaming into the void on Twitter as @ergotierney.

Chapbook Series Editor at Sundress Publications

Kathleen Gullion is a writer whose work has appeared in The Boiler, X-R-A-Y Magazine, and Coachella Review, and onstage at various theaters in Chicago. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is based in Houston, where she works in medical simulation.

Associate Prose Editor at Sundress Publications

Samantha Edmonds is the author of the chapbooks Pretty to Think So (Selcouth Station Press, 2019) and The Space Poet (forthcoming from Split Lip Press). Her fiction and nonfiction appears or is forthcoming in such journals as The Rumpus, Ninth Letter, Mississippi Review, Black Warrior Review, Indiana Review, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. She has formerly served as the Fiction Editor for Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts and as the Community Outreach Director for Sundress Academy for the Arts; currently, she works as the Assitant Fiction Editor for Sundress Publications and the Fiction Editor for Doubleback Review. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA from the University of Tennessee. Originally from Ohio, she now lives in Columbia, MO, where she’s a PhD candidate in Fiction at the University of Missouri.

Associate Poetry Editor at Sundress Publications

Saba Syed Razvi is the author of the collections In the Crocodile Gardens and heliophobia, as well as the chapbooks Limerence & LuxOf the Divining and the Dead, and Beside the Muezzin’s Call & Beyond the Harem’s Veil. Her poems have appeared in journals such as The Offending Adam, Diner, TheTHE Poetry Blog’s Infoxicated Corner, The Homestead Review, NonBinary Review, 10×3 plus, 13th Warrior Review, The Arbor Vitae Review, and Arsenic Lobster, and others, as well as in anthologies such as Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace (forthcoming), Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War Faith and Sexuality, The Loudest Voice AnthologyThe Liddell Book of PoetryPolitical Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of IdentityThe Rhysling Anthology, and Dreamspinning. Her works have been nominated for the 2017 Elgin Award, the Bettering American Poetry Awards, The Best of the Net Award, and the Rhysling Award, have appeared on the 2018 Stoker Award’s preliminary ballot and have received a 2015 Independent Best American Poetry Award. She earned her PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California in 2012. She is currently working as an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Houston in Victoria, TX, where in addition to working on scholarly research on interfaces between science and contemporary poetry, she is researching Sufi poetry in translation, writing new poems and fiction, and developing community based-programs to highlight poetry and contemporary literature in the Crossroads region of Texas.

Associate Poetry Editor at Sundress Publications

Sherrel McLafferty is a first-year doctoral student with Rhetoric and Writing Studies at Bowling Green State University, where she also received her BFA and MFA in Poetry. Her poems have been featured in Requited Journal, Merrimack Review, ArLiJo, and Notre Dame Review. She is currently a poetry editor for Pidgeonholes, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and Split Lip Magazine.

Ada Wofford playing guitar in a basement.

Associate Poetry Editor at Sundress Publications; Lead Grant Writer at the Sundress Academy for the Arts

Ada Wofford is a trans/genderqueer, asexual writer interested in Dadaist and Absurdist thought. They hold an MA in English and an MA Library & Information Studies. Their first chapbook, I Remember Learning How to Dive, was published in 2020 and earned them a Pushcart Prize nomination. Their writing has appeared in The Blue Nib, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Autostraddle, Capable Magazine, Sundress Reads, and more. They are also the Nonfiction Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection and an Associate Poetry Editor and the Lead Grant Writer at Sundress Publications. They recently published the YA novel, Loops of Willow, under a pen name available at

Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications

Lee Anderson is a trans author with roots in the Pacific North-, Mid-, and Southwest, though they currently live and write in Chicago. They have an MFA from Northern Arizona University, are an alum of the Mountain Words Writers-in-Residence program and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and have been nominated for a Best of the Net award. You can find their work in places such as The Rumpus, Salt Hill Journal, and Torrey House Press, as well as @bxfrizzle on Twitter.

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Vice President of Board of Directors; Poetry Editor of Craft Chaps

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications 2016). Her second collection, Incantation: Love Poems for Battle Sites is forthcoming from Mouthfeel Press in fall 2023. A former Steinbeck Fellow and Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner, she’s received residencies from Hedgebrook, Ragdale, National Parks Arts Foundation in partnership with Gettysburg National Military Park and Poetry Foundation. Her poem “Battlegrounds” was featured at Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, On Being’s Poetry Unbound, and the anthology, Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World (W.W. Norton). She is the director of Women Who Submit and teaches poetry and creative writing with Antioch University, MFA and UCLA Extension. Inspired by her Chicana identity, she works to cultivate love and comfort in chaotic times.

Member of the Board of Directors; Poetry Coordinator for the Best of the Net Anthology

Sarah A. Chavez, a mestiza born and raised in the California Central Valley, is the author of the poetry collections, Hands That Break & Scar (Sundress Publications, 2017) and All Day, Talking (dancing girl press, 2014). Her most recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Xicanx: Mexican American Writers of the 21st Century, IDK Magazine, and Five:2:One #thesideshow. Her new poetry project, Halfbreed Helene Navigates the Whole received a 2019-2020 Tacoma Artists Initiative Award. She recently joined the faculty at the University of Washington Tacoma where she teaches creative writing and Latinx/Chicanx-focused courses. A proud member of the Macondo Writers Workshop, Chavez serves as the poetry coordinator for Best of the Net Anthology and is currently in the market for her first multispeed bicycle.

Member of the Board of Directors; Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications; Editor-in-Chief of beestung

Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Native (Nanticoke) editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief of beestung, Editor-in-Chief and Features & Reviews Editor at ANMLY, Co-Editor at Bettering American Poetry, a reader at Atlas Review, and a Co-Editor of The Queer Movement Anthology. She curated ANMLY‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio on mental health by trans and queer writers of color, a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms, and edited Drunken Boat‘s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant],” on place and meaning, and has guest edited for Glass Poetry‘s Poets Respond series. Sarah has previously read for Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net and Curious Specimens anthologies and is a former Co-Curator at Poets in Pajamas. Formerly, they served as a VIDA Board Member.

Krista Cox

Treasurer of the Board of Directors; Managing Editor of Doubleback Review and The Wardrobe

In 2021, Krista Cox retired from her paralegal career to follow her dream of making poems, art, and lots and lots of coffee. She’s the Managing Editor of both Doubleback Review and The Wardrobe, and an Associate Poetry Editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection. In 2016, she founded Lit Literary Collective, a 501(c)(3) which serves her local literary community, and she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the LGBTQ Center of South Bend, Indiana. Keep up with her current hair color at

jason b. crawford

Member of the Board of Directors

jason b. crawford (They/Them) is a writer born in Washington DC, raised in Lansing, MI. Their debut chapbook collection, Summertime Fine, is out through Variant Lit. Their second chapbook, Twerkable Moments, is out from Paper Nautilus Press. Their third chapbook, Good Boi, is forthcoming from Neon Hemlock press in fall 2021. Their debut full-length collection, Year of the Unicorn Kidz, will be out in 2022 from Sundress Publications. crawford holds a Bachelor of Science in Creative Writing from Eastern Michigan University and is the co-founder of The Knight’s Library Magazine. crawford is the winner of the Courtney Valentine Prize for Outstanding Work by a Millennial Artist, Vella Chapbook Contest, and Variant Lit Chapbook Contest.  They are the 2021 OutWrite chapbook contest winner in poetry. Their work can be found in Split Lip Magazine, Glass Poetry, Four Way Review, Voicemail poems, FreezeRay Poetry, HAD, among others. They are a current poetry MFA candidate at The New School.

Jill Khoury

Member of the Board of Directors; Editor of Rogue Agent

Jill Khoury is a multiply disabled poet. She is a Western Pennsylvania Writing Project fellow and has taught poetry in high school, university, and enrichment settings. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University and edits Rogue Agent, a journal of embodied poetry and art. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Copper Nickel, Bone Bouquet, Lunch Ticket, and diode. She has written two chapbooks—Borrowed Bodies (Pudding House) and Chance Operations (Paper Nautilus). Her debut full-length collection, Suites for the Modern Dancer, was released from Sundress Publications. Connect with her at

A headshot of Darren C. Demaree smiling in a park during fall with a black t-shirt on that reads "Love Will".

Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications; Editor-in-Chief of Best of the Net; Member of the Board of Directors

Darren C. Demaree is the author of eighteen poetry collections, most recently the luxury (Glass Lyre 2023).  He is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Best of the Net Anthology and the Managing Editor of Ovenbird Poetry.  He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications

Ashley Elizabeth is a 20-something black poet and memoirist from Baltimore who draws inspiration from her city, her people, her space, and her body. She has been featured in journals such as Rose Water, Rat’s Ass Review, and For the Sonorous, among others.

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi

Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi is an Iranian-American multimedia artist, journalist, and writer. She currently is an M.A. Candidate in Global Humanities at Towson University and previously received her BS in International Trade and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology.  The recipient of awards, scholarships, and honors from the US State Department, the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, the State University of New York, and Brooklyn Poets, Ashley is the author of two chapbooks (cinephile, Ghost City Press, and cartography of trauma, dancing girl press) and currently writes/interviews for MovieWeb. Her creative writing has appeared in Hobart, RHINO, Salt Hill, DIALOGIST, among others. Find her online at

Danielle Hanson

Marketing Director at Sundress Publications; Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications; Managing Editor of Doubleback Books

Danielle Hanson is a poet who strives to create and facilitate wonder. She is the author of the poetry collections Fraying Edge of Sky, winner of the Codhill Press Poetry Prize, and Ambushing Water, Finalist for the Georgia Author of the Year Award. Her poetry has been the basis for Haunting the Wrong House, a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts. She curated a poet/artist collaboration show Alloy at Arts Beacon in Atlanta, where she’s Poet-in-Residence. Danielle is a Writer-in-Residence at Georgia Writers and Managing Editor for Doubleback Books. She teaches poetry at the University of California at Irvine.

Sarah Harshbarger

Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications

Sarah Harshbarger is a PhD student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she currently serves as Fiction Editor of Grist. Her work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Passages North, The Sewanee Review, and elsewhere.

Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications; Host of Shitty First Drafts

Brynn Martin is a Kansas native living in Knoxville, where she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Tennessee. She co-hosts Shitty First Drafts, a podcast made for and by writers. Her poetry has appeared in Contrary Magazine, Yes, Poetry, Rogue Agent, and Crab Orchard Review.

Rita Mookerjee

Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications; Nonfiction Editor of Craft Chaps

Rita Mookerjee is an Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies at Worcester State University. She is a co-founder of Honey Literary, Inc. and a Poetry Editor at Split Lip Magazine. In 2020, she was a Fulbright Fellow in Kingston, Jamaica. She is the author of False Offering coming Fall 2023 from JackLeg Press. Her work can be found in the Baltimore Review, Hobart Pulp, New Orleans Review, Lantern Review, and the Offing.

Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications

Elisha Mykelti (she/her/hers) is dedicated to musical, dialectical, and innovative poetry that honors time and place, especially the South. Elisha is a 2nd-grade associate teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee. She has been published in Berkeley Poetry Review (Issue 51), and she has hosted “Writin’ Rhythm – A Writers Workshop” for Sundress Publications. She has also been a guest speaker for two poetry writing courses at the University of Tennessee.

Nicole Oquendo

Member of the Board of Directors; Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications

Tate N. Oquendo is a writer and visual artist that combines these elements to craft multimodal nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, as well as translations of these forms. Their work can be found in numerous literary journals, a poetry collection, a hybrid memoir, and six chapbooks, including their other most recent works: The Antichrist and I and we, animals. They are also an Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications, and their most recently curated anthology, Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities, is available for free on the Sundress Publications website.

Marah Hoffman
Marah Hoffman

Creative Director at Sundress Academy for the Arts; Blog Contributor for We Call Upon the Author to Explain

Marah Hoffman is a 2022 graduate with bachelor’s in English and Creative Writing from Lebanon Valley College. In college, she served as co-poetry editor of Green Blotter Literary Magazine and Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society president. From the LVC English department, she won The Green Blotter Writer Award. She has been featured in journals including Green Blotter, LURe Journal, Oakland Arts Review, Beyond Thought, and Asterism. Now, she supports Sundress Academy for the Arts through her role as Creative Director. Marah loves creative nonfiction, intertextuality, whimsicality, cats, lattes, distance running, and adding to her personal lexicon. Her list of favorite words grows every week.

Z Eihausen

Staff Director at Sundress Academy for the Arts

Z Eihausen is a former SAFTA editorial intern and a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where she studies English and Philosophy. She also likes bees.

A light-brown skinned woman is wearing a black, faux-leather off the shoulder dress with matching circular gold earrings and a choker necklace. Her locs are styled in an up-do and she is smiling directly into the camera wearing glasses with a black and white frame and a full face of makeup including light pink lipstick.

Literary Arts Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts

Denise R. Ervin is a creative writer hewn from the streets, classrooms, and boardrooms of Detroit, all of which taught her to contribute to the narrative of those who live, love, and look like her. She has spent two decades as a teaching artist, performing poetry around the country, and leading workshops for the likes of Midnight & Indigo and Room Project. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in AADUNA, Harbinger Asylum, Third Wednesday Magazine, and others.  Most recently, she was selected as a Writing Fellow by The Watering Hole and a semifinalist for America’s Next Great Author.

JoAnna Brooker

Events Coordinator at the Sundress Academy for the Arts

JoAnna Brooker is a graduate from the University of Tennessee, where she studied Journalism & English. They were the 2021-2022 Sundress Academy for the Arts Writer in Residence, & their work has been featured in Lunch Ticket, Figure 1, Jet Fuel Review, & on stage as a standup comic. She can be found on all social media platforms @cupofjoanna.

Sydney Peay

Community Outreach Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts

Sydney Peay is a queer disabled creator living in Knoxville, Tennessee, where they recently completed their bachelor’s degree in sociology and English literature. They are interested in the relationship between art, history, and power, as well as innovative methods of communicating information. In their free time, they like playing Stardew Valley and overanalyzing Taylor Swift lyrics.

Alexa White

Grant Manager at the Sundress Academy for the Arts

Alexa White is an aspiring writer, former SAFTA editorial intern, and recent graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she studied Creative Writing and Studio Art. Her poetry and art has been published in the school’s literary and arts journal, Phoenix, and she won the 2022 Bain-Swiggett prize for traditional poetry forms. Along with writing, Alexa enjoys traveling, oil painting, photography, film, and redefining her bedtime every night.

Anna Rider

Director of Prospect Research at the Sundress Academy for the Arts

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.

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.

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.

Fiction Coordinator for the Best of the Net Anthology

Erica Frederick is a queer, Haitian American writer and MFA candidate in fiction at Syracuse University where she currently serves as Salt Hill’s fiction editor. She writes about being big in all the ways there are to be big—in body, in worry, in Blackness in Florida suburbia. Her work has been shortlisted in Glimmer Train and has appeared in Storm Cellar Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction. She has received fellowships from VIDA, Lambda Literary, and the Hurston/Wright Foundation. You can find her tweeting into the void @ericafrederick.

Nonfiction Coordinator for the Best of the Net Anthology

Ellen Orner was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, and holds a B.A. in creative writing from Valparaiso University. She has worked in higher ed communications and marketing since 2011, including the University of Montana, University of Tennessee, and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She has served as the nonfiction editor for Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts and currently volunteers as the nonfiction coordinator for the Best of the Net anthology.

Assistant Editor for the Best of the Net Anthology

Ashley Somwaru is an Indo-Caribbean woman who was born and raised in Queens, New York. As a storyteller and poet, her work is immersed in her mixed tongue, religious upbringings, superstitions, and cultural traditions that have made her into the red hibiscus she is. Her work has been published in Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Peach Velvet Magazine, A Gathering Together, No, Dear, and more. She is currently an MFA candidate at Queens College, City University of New York.

Assistant Editor for the Best of the Net Anthology

Crysta Montielis a Toronto-based freelance editor. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in English and Philosophy. She is currently a poetry and fiction editor for Class Collective Magazine, and a book reviewer for Quill & Quire. When she’s not digging through treasure troves of queries, she’s completing her Criterion Collection bucket list and playing with her cat.

Hannah Olsson

Managing Editor of Craft Chaps

Hannah Olsson holds a double BA in Cinema and Creative Writing English from the University of Iowa. During her time in Iowa, Hannah was the president of The Translate Iowa Project, an organization devoted to publishing translated poetry, drama, and prose. Her work, both in English and Swedish, has been featured in boundless, earthwords magazine, InkLit Mag, and the University of Iowa’s Ten-Minute Play Festival, among others. Hannah enjoys works that tell stories of ordinary, distorted wonders.

Meg Cass

Fiction Editor of Craft Chaps

Meg Cass is a queer fiction writer and teacher who lives in St. Louis, MO. ActivAmerica, their first book, was selected by Claire Vaye Watkins for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize and was published in 2017. Their stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Ecotone, Foglifter, Mississippi Review, DIAGRAM, Puerto del Sol, Passages North, Joyland and others. Their flash fiction has appeared in the Wigleaf Top 50 and the SmokeLong Quarterly Best of the First 10 Years Anthology. They teach creative writing and publishing at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Prose Editor at Doubleback Books

Rebecca Youé is a professional editor from Worcestershire, England. She has a degree in English and American Literature from Keele University and has worked in the publishing industry since graduating in 2012. In 2020 she was a reader for the Highland Book Prize. She is working on her first novel in her spare time.

Bethany Milholland

Poetry Editor at Doubleback Books

Bethany Milholland resides in Southern Indiana and is a research analyst assistant at global law firm. She has a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Evansville and loves thrift shopping and petting cats.

Assistant Prose Editor at Doubleback Books

Bayleigh Kasper recently graduated from the University of Evansville with a creative writing degree, where she was the co-Editor-in-Chief of The Evansville Review. She dreams of owning a tiny home in her native Colorado where she can adopt cats, make music, write, and eat very judge-worth amounts of chocolate without actually being judged.

Assistant Editor-at-Large at Doubleback Books

Robin Gow is a trans queer poet and Young Adult author from rural Pennsylvania. Gow earned their MFA from Adelphi University where they also teach. Gow runs the trans & queer reading series Gender Reveal Party and serves as a Managing Editor at MAYDAY magazine and The Nasiona. They served for four years as the production editor of the Lantern literary magazine. Also working to produce several zines, Gow loves DIY publishing. Gow is also the author of the chapbook Honeysuckle by Finishing Line Press and the collection Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy by Tolsun Books. Their first collection of essays, Blue Blood, is forthcoming spring 2021 with Nasiona Publishing House, and their first Young Adult novel, A Million Quiet Revolutions, is forthcoming Winter 2022 with FSG Books for Young Readers. Their chapbooks have been finalists for competitions hosted by New Delta Review, Glass Poetry, Black Lawerence Press, Digging Press, and Thirty-West Publishing House. Their poetry has recently been recognized by Best New Poets, Brooklyn Poets, Brain Mill Press, and Fearsome Creatures.

Coordinator for Poets in Pajamas

Sarah Jordan Stout has published poems in Connotation Press, Rust+Moth, Sleet, Stirring, and others, and is serving as an associate poetry editor with Stirring: A Literary Collection. She has a masters degree in literature from West Virginia University and currently works with an environmental nonprofit fighting pollution and fossil fuel buildout across the state of Texas.

Aslan Gossett

Coordinator for Poets in Pajamas

Aslan Gossett is a queer poet from Tennessee with a heart built for southern Appalachia. They hold a BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where they served as poetry editor for the Phoenix Literary Arts Magazine. They are a two-time recipient of the Margaret Artley Woodruff Award for Creative Writing and were runner-up for both the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize for Traditional Forms and Michael Dennett Prize for non-Traditional Forms. Aslan is also an enthusiast of coffee, meditation, and corduroy.

Host of Shitty First Drafts

Stephanie Lee Phillips is a writer and photographer from Tennessee currently working at her alma mater and hanging out with mostly poets. She has a BFA in English from the University of Tennessee and an MA in fiction from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers program. Currently living in Knoxville, TN, she works closely with the local literary non-profit Sundress Academy for the Arts and serves as art editor for the online literary journal, Stirring. Her fiction appears in Entropy Magazine.

Managing Editor of Stirring: A Literary Collection

Luci Brown is an Appalachian highlander currently pursuing nonprofit work in the bourbon barrel hills of Louisville, Kentucky. Her chapbook, Home Brew, was published in 2015, and her work has appeared in Moon City Review, Rogue Agent, Menacing Hedge, and others. She is the managing and poetry editor for Stirring as well as a reader for Best of the Net. She lives with her tall partner, particular child, and strange dogs.

Ryleigh Wann

Blog Contributor for Lyric Essentials

Ryleigh Wann (she/her) earned her MFA from UNC Wilmington, where she taught poetry and served as the comics editor for Ecotone. She often writes poems about swamps and the midwest and loves music and making people laugh. Ryleigh has worked as a bartender at a Zoo and with the Parks and Rec. Dept. in Michigan. She currently lives in Brooklyn. Her writing has appeared in The McNeese Review, Longleaf Review, and elsewhere. Her website is
Nicole Bethune Winters

TikTok Manager at Sundress Publications

Nicole Bethune Winters is a poet, writer and multi-faceted artist, though her primary love is working with clay. Her first book of poetry, brackish was published by Finishing Line Press, and her work has appeared in Backlash Journal, Wildroof Journal, and Seaborne Magazine. When she isn’t writing or wheel-throwing, Nicole is likely at the beach, on a trail, climbing, or exploring new landscapes with her dog. She currently resides in Southern California, where she works as a full-time artist from her home studio.


Lead Designer at Sundress Publications

Kristen Camille Ton is an artist and graphic designer with five years of experience as a professional designer in the world of small business. She holds a double BA in Literature and Creative Writing with minors in Graphic Design and Anthropology. In 2021, Kristen uprooted from Chattanooga, Tennessee and moved to Japan. She lives on the lush southern island of Kyushu, where she enjoys cycling through fields of rice paddies and painting her surroundings.

Graphic Designer at Sundress Publications

Lori Tennant is a poet pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Georgia College and State University. Her undergraduate degree is in graphic design and that merges with her poetry to become Crankies. She is prone to chasing butterflies, storytelling, and pretending to be a mermaid. Nature and myth play a large role in her work.

Amber Alexander

Editorial Intern at Sundress Publications

Amber Alexander (they/she) has been writing creatively since the age of ten years old and hasn’t put the pen down since. She is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Arts in English with research distinction and has previously worked on editorial for Cornfield Review, where they have also been published as an author. In their spare time, Amber reads fervently, attends musical theater, symphony, and ballet performances, and is building a small army of Squishmallows. Alexander hopes to pursue graduate school in the near future and continue to get more work published.

A Chinese woman taking a mirror selfie with an iPhone, held up with one hand wearing a pale green resin ring. She has shoulder-length, silver-blonde dyed hair with pink peeking out from underneath. On her face, she is wearing round glasses with thin rims and smiling with her teeth. She is wearing a small Vivienne Westwood pearl choker around her neck, a silver earring depicting an abstracted face, and an oversized dark green hoodie over a navy blue wool sweater.

Social Media Intern at Sundress Publications

Stephanie Chang (she/they) is a Chinese-Taiwanese Canadian writer and editor from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her writing appears in The Rumpus, Adroit Journal, Kenyon Review, Frontier Poetry, Waxwing, Penn Review, and wildness, among others. She is the winner of the 2021 Adroit Prize for Poetry, judged by Carl Phillips. Her poem, “Lotus Flower Kingdom” received a Special Mention in the 2022 Pushcart Prize anthology. Currently, she studies Art History and English at Kenyon College, where she received the $15,000 S. Georgia Nugent Award in Creative Writing.

Pema Donnelly

Editorial Intern at Doubleback Books

Pema Donnelly is a poet and interdisciplinary creative born and raised in Southern California. In her work, she explores representing queer joy, silver linings, and aspects of her own mental health journey. Today, Pema attends the University of California, Irvine where she studies English and Education. When she is not studying, you may find her visiting your local estate sales or spending time with her senile tuxedo cat, Rose.
Jillian A. Fantin

Editorial Intern at Sundress Publications

Jillian A. Fantin (they/them) is a poet with roots in the American South and north central England. They are a 2021 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Poet Fellow, a 2020 Jefferson County Memorial Project Research Fellow, and the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of RENESME LITERARY. Jillian received BAs in English and Political Science with an emphasis in Political Theory from a small university in Birmingham, Alabama, and an MFA in Creative Writing with a focus in Poetry and a graduate minor in Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame. Their writing appears or is forthcoming in American Journal of Poetry, Spectra Poets, Barrelhouse, and, among others.

A brown person sitting on a grey couch beside a faux cherry blossom tree. They have short curly black hair and is wearing gold glasses, a black skirt, and a white argyle sweater vest.

Editorial Intern at Sundress Publications

Mack Ibrahim is a sophomore at Wheaton College, majoring in English with a Writing concentration and minoring in Studio Art. During their free time, they buy and brew specialty teas and read webcomics.

Grace Jenkins

Editorial Intern at Sundress Academy for the Arts

Grace Jenkins (she/her) is a student at UTK majoring in English and minoring in Religious Studies and Political Science. Her cats, coffee, and fantasy novels are the best things in life.

Emory Night

Intern at Large at Sundress Publications & Sundress Academy for the Arts

Emory Night is currently studying at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. They plan to graduate with a BA in English and a Minor in Secondary Education. They are an intern with The Jones Center for Leadership and Service and read regularly with Writers Block, a writing club at the University of Tennessee.

Robin LaMer Rahija

Editorial Intern at Sundress Publications

Robin LaMer Rahija (she/her) did her MFA in Poetry at the University of Kentucky. Her work has appeared in Puerto Del Sol, FENCE, Guernica, and elsewhere. She loves books, writers, and Excel documents.

A black and white photo of a white man with blond hair sitting down in front of bookshelves. His arms are wrapped around his shins, he is wearing a sweater and ripped jeans.

Editorial Intern at Sundress Publications

Max Stone is in his third year as an MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Nevada, Reno. He received his BA in English with a minor in Book Arts and Publication from UNR in 2019. He is originally from Reno, but has lived in many other places since including, most recently, New York City. His poetry has been published in Black Moon Magazine, Sandpiper ReviewNight Coffee LitCaustic FrolicKCB Mag, and elsewhere. Max is also a book artist and retired college soccer player.

Zoe Sweet

Editorial Intern at Sundress Academy for the Arts

Zoe Sweet is a junior at Widener University, where she is a double major of English and Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies and Analysis. She is the vice president of her school’s literary journal, along with being on the executive board or a general member of a multitude of other clubs and activities. When not studying or working, she is active on campus, volunteers in the local prison, and spends time with friends. She loves reading and writing, and hopes one day to be a judge.

Lyra Thomas

Editorial Intern at Sundress Publications

Lyra Thomas is a black nonbinary poet from the St Louis area, currently residing in Carbondale, IL for their MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University, which is also their alma mater. They received their BA in Creative Writing in 2018. Lyra enjoys reading/writing poetry, curating Spotify playlists, and cuddling with their cats Max and Silver.