About the Pinch Journal
the pinch journal
The Pinch was founded in 1980 as the Memphis State Review by William Page. In its first few years, the journal published such well-known writers as Robert Bly, Phillip Levine, Mary Oliver, Robert Penn Warren, and Margaret Atwood.
In 1988, the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program was formed at The University of Memphis, and Page handed his Editor in Chief position to Sharon Bryan. Under Bryan's leadership, the Memphis State Review became River City and published notable issues such as "Where We Stand: Women Poets on Literary Tradition," which was later published as a book by W. W. Norton & Contemporary Culture.
From 1998 to 2001, Editor in Chief Thomas Russell returned River City to its focus on creative and literary works. He also published a special issue for the 20th Anniversary of The River City Writers Series featuring the works of famous authors such as Donald Justice, Marvin Bell, Adrienne Rich, Lucille Clifton, Mary Gaitskill, John Updike, and Margaret Skinner, as well as the photography of William Eggleston. In 2002, Editor in Chief Mary Leader refocused the journal to an emphasis on poetry.
Kristen Iversen became Editor in Chief in 2005. The journal transitioned into The Pinch and expanded its focus on creative nonfiction. The Pinch became notable for its logo
and award-winning covers, which were designed by Gary Golightly, the Graphic Design
Program Coordinator of the University of Memphis Art Department. In 2014, Tim Johnston
took over as Editor in Chief.
In 2014, Tim Johnston became as Editor in Chief. He has created a new mentoring program to train incoming staff members, as well as partnerships with local arts venues and schools. There is increased student participation and leadership at local and national conferences.
In recent years, contributors have included Steve Stern, Linda Gregerson, Bobbie Ann Mason, Lee Gutkind, Scott Russell Sanders, George Singleton, Lee Sharkey, Ron Rash, Bob Cowser, Jr., Steven Church, Robert Root, Dinty W. Moore, Floyd Skloot, and many others.
a message from the editors of the pinch journal
As always, The Pinch is a graduate student run journal.
We are grateful for the support of our friends and alumni. Your gifts make an enormous difference in the experience we offer to our students and to the continuation of this creative effort. You can make a gift to the Pinch Journal through the University of Memphis secure online system, or by visiting the UofM Development office. You can subscribe to the printed edition of The Pinch Journal here.
For more information on The Pinch Journal and direct access to featured online Pinch content (including fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art works) please visit the journal website.
We do our best to honor and reflect the enthusiasm, artistry, and the eclectic voices that have marked Memphis and its historic 'Pinchgut' District for over a century within the pages of our journal, both in print and online. Questions, comments, and suggestions about our publication are welcome.