SAFTA

Workshops

The Sundress Academy for the Arts hosts the Sundress Workshop Series, a series of generative writing workshops emphasizing composition, revision, and creative development. As part of Sundress Publications, the Sundress Workshop Series provide focused, personalized instruction to writers of all skill levels. Participants are treated to guidance from advanced instructors who help them to not only hone their craft but also find suitable venues for their work. These monthly workshops are free to attend.

From Selfie to Poetry: Writing the Self-Portrait Poem

June 12, 2024, 6:00-7:30PM EST
http://tiny.utk.edu/sundress

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “From Selfie to Poetry: Writing the Self-Portrait Poem,” a workshop led by Amie Whittemore on Wednesday, June 12th, 2024, from 6-7:30 PM EST. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).

In this generative workshop, we will explore the self-portrait poem and what it means to explicitly make the self—as messy and resistant to definition as it is—the subject of our poems. We’ll take inspiration from visual arts as well as contemporary poetry to draft new work and expand our poetic selves.

Participants of all levels of experience are welcome.

While there is no fee to participate in this workshop, those who are able and appreciative may make donations directly to Amie Whittemore via Venmo @Amie-Whittemore or Paypal via @AmieWhittemore.

Amie Whittemore (she/her) is the author of the poetry collections Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press), Star-tent: A Triptych (Tolsun Books), and Nest of Matches (Autumn House Press, 2024). She was the 2020-2021 Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. She teaches creative writing at Eastern Illinois University and directs MTSU Write, a from-home creative writing mentorship program.

This event is brought to you in part by grants provided by the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Before and After: Taking the BIPOC Road to Literary Taxidermy

July 10, 2024, 6:00-7:30PM EST
http://tiny.utk.edu/sundress

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “Before and After: Taking the BIPOC Road to Literary Taxidermy,” a workshop led by Denise Ervin on Wednesday, July 10th, 2024, from 6-7:30 PM EST. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at tiny.utk.edu/sundress (password: safta).

Many contemporary poets find inspiration in the words of others. Sometimes, that inspiration takes the form of an “after” poem, where the writer imitates the form, rhythm, cadence, anaphora, etc. of another poet to pay homage to the original idea. In this workshop, we will take this idea beyond the flattering imitation by generating new work that borrows old lines. Specifically, we will examine several sample poems by BIPOC writers and vote for a consensus of our favorite lines from each. Workshop participants will then be charged with literary taxidermy, using two of the lines we’ve chosen as the first and last lines of a new poem and packing the middle with an original poem to bring it to life. Participants will have an opportunity to share their work with the group and will leave with multiple first drafts that they can continue to build on in future writing.

While there is no fee to participate in this workshop, those who are able and appreciative may make donations directly to Denise Ervin via Venmo: @deniserervin, PayPal: denise.ervin@hotmail.comm or CashApp: $deniserervin

Denise R. Ervin is a creative writer hewn from the streets, classrooms, and boardrooms of Detroit. 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 Graduate Fellow by The Watering Hole and a semifinalist for America’s Next Great Author. She also serves as Literary Arts Director for SAFTA and manages a youth writing program in her hometown.