by Leonard Gill
Thirty-five years ago, The Pinch, the literary journal of the creative writing department at the University of Memphis, was launched. But back in 1980, it was known as Memphis State Review. In 1988, the name was changed to River City. But now it’s known as The Pinch, and its current editor in chief is Tim Johnston of the U of M’s creative writing department.
In this latest issue you'll also find the winners of the 2014 Pinch Literary Awards: Sarah Viren's essay "My Murderer's Futon" (literary nonfiction); Mark Wagennar's "Shake & Bake Blues (Midwest Blues)" (poetry); and Emily Ruth Verona's short story "Care" (literary fiction).
On Friday, March 20th, everyone is invited to celebrate the journal’s 35th anniversary. The fund-raising event, inside story booth at 438 N. Cleveland, starts at 7 p.m. and will include food, refreshments, music, readings, and a general good time.
Poet and assistant managing editor of The Pinch Ashley Roach-Freiman is a second-year MFA student and coordinator of Crosstown Arts’ “Impossible Language” reading series. She had this to say, to set the tone, of Friday night’s celebration:
“We're hosting fabulous Memphis poet Heather Dobbins, as well as fiction writer Schuler Benson and nonfiction writer Kendra Atleework. We'll have the Hot Mess Burritos food truck along with other enticing refreshments, and we're going to host a raffle with some nice prizes to help raise funds for future issues. There will be dancing and revelry after.” •