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 the 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. Smith 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. She is also the managing editor for Sundress Publications and Stirring: A Literary Collection.

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.

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.

Chloe Hanson, Literary Arts Director

Chloe Hanson is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee. She earned her MA and BA from Utah State University, where she also helped to establish and direct the Science Writing Center. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including Public Pool, Off the Coast, Driftwood Press, Contemporary Verse 2, The Heartland Review, and Pretty Owl Poetry. While she's procrastinating her homework, she can often be found with a beer in her hand and her dogs, Simon and Ruby, by her side.

T.A. Noonan, Development Director

T.A. Noonan is a writer, artist, witch, and translator whose books include The Bone Folders, Petticoat Government, four sparks fall: a novella, and The Ep[is]odes: a reformulation of Horace. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Whiskey Island, LIT, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Ninth Letter, Phoebe, and Open Letters Monthly, among others. She lives in Florida and serves as an Associate Editor of Sundress Publications, the Development Director of the Sundress Academy for the Arts, and the Founding Editor of Flaming Giblet Press.

Kristi Larkin Havens, Community Outreach Director

Kristi Larkin Havens serves as the Community Outreach Director for Sundress Academy for the Arts. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she is currently a Lecturer and the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies. She is a photographer and has served as a producer on films for several local competitions including The Knoxville 24-Hour Film Festival and the Grindhouse Grind-out. A social media enthusiast, Havens is looking forward to helping increase awareness of SAFTA's activities and fostering greater community involvement in the cooperative and inspiring artistic opportunities available at Firefly Farms

Adam Crandall, Theatrical Arts Director

Adam Crandall is a graduate of the University of Tennessee's Theatre program, where he was involved with both Clarence Brown Theatre productions as well as student productions with All Campus Theatre, including his directorial debut Almost, Maine, which won the 2013 EUReCA award for Theatre. He is passionate about developing SAFTA's performing arts programs, as well as building bridges between local arts organizations.

Ellen Orner, Staff Director

Ellen Orner is a staff member of the University of Tennessee School of Art. She writes creative nonfiction, mostly about her hometown of Gary, Indiana. She earned her BA from Valparaiso University and lived for a while in Missoula, Montana. Since moving to Knoxville, she has enjoyed hiking in the Smokies and swimming in the quarries. She served as the nonfiction editor for Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts and reads for Sundress Publication's Best of the Net Anthology. More than anything, she loves a cutthroat game of ping pong.

Brynn Martin, Sundress Reading Series Coordinator

Brynn Martin is a Kansas native living in Knoxville, where she recently received her MFA in poetry from the University of Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared in Public Pool and Contrary Magazine. She loves ee cummings and cats almost equally.

Laura Robbins, Development Intern

Laura Robbins, a Memphis native, is a senior at the University of Tennessee studying English Literature. For the last year, she has worked at UT's library in Special Collections. When she isn't writing papers or reading books for class, Laura enjoys buying more books than she has the room for and discussing anything from feminism to the latest superhero movie.

Sam Campbell, Editorial Intern

Sam Campbell lives for four things: writing, learning, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. She graduated in 2014 from East Tennessee State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Science in both Psychology and History. She went on to earn a Master of Education in Educational Media and Technology from ETSU in 2017. She is currently teaching Honors English II and Advanced Placement Psychology at Seymour High School. While she adores her job, writing is and always will be her passion. Her fiction has appeared in Unto These Hills and The Mockingbird. Her poetry has appeared in Pine Tree Poetry and The Claiborne Progress.

Katie Culligan, Editorial Intern

Katie Culligan is currently young and terrified at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she is a junior studying creative writing. Her favorite responsibilities are NCAA rowing, big sisterhood, and believing unwaveringly in ghosts. Her writing is informed by this age of indestructible men, though she likes to think her life isn't. She also thinks if you haven't tried fig newtons with peanut butter yet, you really should. .

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.






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