The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Anne with an E” by April Michelle Bratten

I am so thankful to the Sundress Publications blog for including some poems from my chapbook Anne with an E in their Best Dressed Series this week.

The Sundress Blog

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This selection comes from the chapbook Anne with an E, available from Dancing Girl Press. Our curator for July is Raquel Thorne.

April Michelle Bratten‘s work has appeared in Gargoyle, Southeast Review, Zone 3, THRUSH Poetry Journal, The Boiler Journal, and others. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the online journal Up the Staircase Quarterly, a Contributing Editor at Words Dance Publishing, and the Vice President of the Tandem Reader Awards. She was recently accepted into the MFA program at UBC Vancouver. Find out more at

RhiannonThorne, known as Raquel by friends, grew up in the Bay Area of California, a couple hours north of San Francisco in the wine country. A genderqueer poet, she currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA, where she is a MFA candidate at LSU and the Interviews/Reviews editor for New Delta Review. Raquel is also co-creator of

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The Landing: Interview with Kaveh Akbar at Up the Staircase Quarterly

Rhiannon Thorne

The Landing: An Interview Series seeks to gain insight into the diverse creative processes of some of our favorite writers with the hopes that we can inspire others through this sharing. Each quarter we will highlight one previously published poem in a short interview.

Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar’s poem, “Portrait of the Alcoholic with Craving,” was published earlier this year at Boston Review.

Akbar discusses formatting verse with cadence, creating a compassionate awareness of alcoholism, and engaging “whatever animal is roaring loudest” in his poetry. Read our interview here.

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Interview with April Michelle Bratten, Co-founder of the Tandem Reader Awards

The Sundress Blog

Sundress: First, can you tell our readers what the Tandem Reader Awards are and what you and your team hope to accomplish with this launch?

April Michelle Bratten: Tandem Reader Awards are a post-publication chapbook award and a new nonprofit organization. President Rhiannon Thorne and I are passionate about chapbooks and the hard work that goes into creating them. We created TRA with the intention of honoring the collaboration between authors of chapbooks and their editors/publishers. However, our purpose for TRA quickly evolved into a larger concept as we researched the field of post-publication awards. We found that most reader awards were charging in the ballpark of $25 for submissions—a fee that many cannot afford, resulting in a very abrupt gatekeeper to awards in our creative community. Likewise, the publishers for chapbooks are often small publishers who may not be making a profit from their press, let alone have additional…

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Help Launch Tandem Reader Awards

Please visit the Tandem Reader Awards Fundraiser

TRA AD 2016 Final

Donating to their campaign has some really nice—and unique—perks! Including handwritten poems signed by the author from poets Kaveh Akbar, Heather Bell, Sarah Blake, Chen Chen, Siaara Freeman, and Megan Peak.

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Tandem Reader Awards is a FEE-FREE post-publication award for chapbooks, where the award will be given to both the author and editor of the winning chapbook. TRA began as an idea in 2015 when we noticed a deficit of reader awards for chapbooks and a similar deficit of reader awards for editors. As we discussed these needs in our community, we realized an additional and more prevalent need in our community for more accessible awards.

TRA believes it is important to acknowledge the hurdles, including submission fees, impeding accessibility to many awards in our creative community, especially for minority and marginalized voices. We asked ourselves: What if we could award the special relationship between writer and editor, while pledging our commitment to being broadly accessible within the literary community by maintaining fee-free nominations? The answer was clear: We can. These ideas work beautifully in tandem and you can help make it happen.

Our goal is to raise a minimum of $2,000 to cover the initial start-up costs: A PO box for mail nominations, a checking account, promotional materials, and registering for our 501c3. Additionally your contribution will go towards the $150 prize awarded each to the editor and the author of the winning chapbook, and will guarantee the first two years of the awards. Any additional funds raised over $2,000 will sweeten the prize pot; we hope to surpass the $150 prize amount for our winners and demonstrate community support and commitment to a more inclusive writer community, where we can honor the work first and foremost.

Donate Here