From Our Staff | April 01, 2013

On Saturday April 6th at 7:00 PM, we’re throwing a shindig: our 22nd Annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize Reading and Reception. This event is at the Country Club of Missouri, which is located at 1300 Woodrail in beautiful Columbia, Missouri. We’ll be serving wine, hors d’oeuvres, and featuring a reading by all three of the Editors’ Prize winners, who will be traveling from distances far and wide to hang out with us. You’re invited! You should come! This event is free (yes, really!) and open to the public (yes, really!). We’ve scheduled it until 9:00 PM. We’re a little fancy with this one, so bust out your high heels and dresses, ties and blazers, if you plan on attending.

Our three writers are delighted to be on their way to Columbia. Who are they? Glad you asked! Rachel Yoder (fiction) earned an MFA in Fiction from the University of Arizona and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her work has appeared in Bat City Review, Hobart, The Rumpus, and The Sun, among many others. She is a founding editor of draft: the journal of process and serves as Senior Editor for Defunct Magazine. Katie Bickham (poetry) is a student in the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Maine. Terry Ann Thaxton (nonfiction) is the author of the poetry collection Getaway Girl and her poetry has appeared in journals such as Rattle, Connecticut Review, Comstock Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and West Branch. She is Associate Professor of English at UCF where she founded and directs the Literary Arts Partnership.

Because we aren’t based in a major literary hub like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, events like this are rare for us. We host a few events each year—The Peden Prize, The Perkoff Prize, the Murry’s Dinner and Fundraiser, launch parties when we can—but getting writers to Columbia is hard and expensive. The University of Missouri often brings writers to town throughout the year; so does Columbia College. Orr Street Studios also hosts readings. And readings are definitely a part of this event. But we’re hoping that you will view this event more like a celebration of having a literary culture here in Columbia. And to do that, we need our community to turn out and spend a little time with us.

You might think that this sorts of celebration is just for The Missouri Review and its writers. Not at all! This is actually an event for anyone and everyone in the greater Columbia area who wants to support the arts and have a great time. It’s a chance to meet the writers (who I promise are friendly!) and get a little grub in you before heading out on a Saturday night.

I hope to see you there!

Follow Michael on Twitter: @mpnye