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, Staff Director

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.

Brynn Martin, Literary Arts Director

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.

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.

Samantha Edmonds, Community Outreach Director

Samantha Edmonds is an MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee, where she serves as the Fiction Editor for Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts. Her fiction and nonfiction appear in Black Warrior Review, Pleiades, Indiana Review, VICE, Plougshares, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency, among others. She currently lives in Knoxville.

Chloe Hanson, Fundraising Director

Chloe Hanson is a PhD candidate at the University of Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Contemporary Verse 2, Pretty Owl, Arsenic Lobster, Crab Fat Literary Magazine, and Calamus. When she has time, she also loves to write and perform music, drink beer, and play with her dogs.

Ellen Orner, Sundress Reading Series Coordinator

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.

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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