People Send Out Fire to Prepare for the Winter Months: Issue 51 Action Shots!!

Posted in Issue Fifty-One with tags , , , on December 30, 2013 by mohawko

At last! Just in time for the latest year in our century, we are proud to present a group of Action Photos from Issue 51, worn by Jessica Otto around Jacksonville, Arkansas, as we transition into the full-fledged winter months.


Now then, this is where we were:

The Trees Go Bare in Anticipation

The Trees Start to Go Bare in Anticipation

(at River Market)

The War Begins in the Corporate Hive

The Revolution Begins in the Corporate Hive

(at Wal-Mart)

The Ground & the Sky Mist Each Other

The Ground & the Sky Mist Each Other


Just Another Perfect Anatomy

Just Another Perfect Anatomy

(at Black Cobra Tattoos)

Happy new year! Go make something beautiful.

Issue Fifty-One!!

Posted in Issue Fifty-One with tags , , , on December 16, 2013 by mohawko

At long last, during the winteriest of all months, the Safety Pin Review is proud to present its latest issue, 51 (!), summoned in from Alabama and worn on the back of Operative Jessica in Arkansas. Breathe in:

ISSUE FIFTY-ONE (12/16/13):


“A Present from a Small Distant World”

by Krystin Gollihue

issue 51 portrait

Operative: Jessica Otto (Jacksonville, AR)

About the author: Krystin Gollihue is the design editor for Black Warrior Review, a printer, pet astrologist, and candidate in the MFA program at the University of Alabama.

About the operative: Jessica Otto is a poet and avid bus rider. Hobbies include amateur photography and daydreaming about deep sea fishing. She sporadically blogs at




Posted in Announcements with tags , on December 9, 2013 by mohawko


Popular demand dictates that we EXTEND OUR 1st CONTEST DEADLINE to January 1, 2014 at midnight.

Which means you have until THE NEXT YEAR to finish honing your 75-character masterpieces.

Check out the full contest guidelines here.

Resolutions aside, this may be the best decision you make in the last three weeks of this calendar year.



Posted in Announcements with tags , , on October 30, 2013 by mohawko


The editorial we of the Safety Pin Review are thrilled to announce our first-ever contest, details of which can be found below. Not only will the winning piece be distributed and worn by at least four operatives across the globe (and later turned into a shirt!), but it will also be painted, designed and presented in a radical new format as yet unseen in the SPR. We are so excited to read your work.

Please read all of the contest guidelines carefully, as they are quite different from our regular submissions guidelines.

*If you’re new to the SPR (welcome!), I’d recommend you check out our About page and one of our back issues to see what we’re about.*

The winning piece will be painted onto a patch, which will then be distributed to 4-5 operatives around the country/world, who will wear it simultaneously for a week. The patch will be designed in a form very different from all of our past issues. I can assure you: it won’t be anything like we’ve done before.

In addition, the work will be published digitally as an issue of the Safety Pin Review, with accompanying action photos and commentary by the operatives. Finally, later on down the line, it will be made into a t-shirt, which will be given free to the winning author and be available to all for purchase.

Submissions are open from November 1, 2013 to midnight on December 15, 2013  January 1, 2014. The winning piece will be announced in January 2014, and published in various forms shortly thereafter.

Each piece should be no longer than 75 characters, including spaces, and including title. Titles are not necessary, and may only serve to frustrate your character count, but if used should be put in quotes. Yes, it’s extremely short, but we like it this way.

Please do not send previously published work.

Because these entries are so short (and thus tacitly encouraging of wild, voluminous experimentation), please limit your submission to three well-honed pieces.

While we generally encourage formal experimentation, given the way in which the winner will be published for this contest all submissions must be in plain text – that is, you should stay away from anything that requires alternate fonts, mysterious foreign characters, or wonky formatting, because it cannot be maintained for publication. On a similar note, please do not include line breaks.

Any submissions heedless of the above technical guidelines (for shame!) will be ignored.

Far be it for us to dictate the content of your submissions, but given the peculiar way in which the winning entry will be published, here’s a list of encouraging words (which, in a way, are always relevant given the medium and format in which the SPR publishes):

Feel free to be meta, self-referential, mysterious, reflexive, reflective, algorithmic, corporal, ghostly, mythic, “within you,” aphoristic, ethereal, exhortative, inspiring, threatening, or none of the above. Rather than thinking of the pieces you’re creating as “stories” or “poems,” it may be better to think of them as “signs.” But then again, maybe not – if you’re stubborn, you’ll ignore all of this and it will still be great.

The contest is open to anyone and everyone, obviously. If you’ve worn, submitted to, or been published in the Safety Pin Review before (or even are wearing for this contest), all the better. Consider this eager encouragement to submit again.

To submit, please send submissions in the body of an email to safetypinreview [at] gmail [dot] com with the words “SPR contest” in the subject line. Please do not send attachments – the text should be simple enough that you don’t need them. Include a line introducing yourself. We like to know who’s taking the time to send work our way.

There is no entry fee, because that’s not punk at all.

To sum up: send up to three (3) unpublished pieces of no more than 75 characters each (including spaces and optional title), in plain text, to safetypinreview [at] gmail [dot] com, with the words “SPR contest” in the subject line, between November 1 and December 15, 2013 January 1, 2014.

If you have questions, please ask in the comments so that everyone can see my responses.

Please note that regular submissions are *closed* during the entry period for contest submissions (between November 1 and December 15 January 1). They will re-open after the contest ends. If you’ve been fooling around with work to send us, why not whip it into a contest submission?

There are so few words; really, there’s no excuse not to enter. We are ecstatic to read what you come up with.

Eggs in the California Sun: Issue 50 Action Shots!

Posted in Action Photos!, Issue Fifty with tags , , , on October 24, 2013 by mohawko

Welcome back! We’re proud to present (finally!) the action shots of Issue 50, collected by Operative Ashley Tobin around Orange County, CA, in the warmest days of this summer (photos and commentary both by the operative).

Little Paris

Little Paris

Gazing at the Eiffel Tower mural in my great aunt Cheryl’s tea shop, “Paris in a Cup.” It’s located in the historic “Orange Circle,” in Southern California. If you’re ever around there, check it out. *wink wink*

Some Shapes

Some Shapes

Leaving “The Perfect Circle” cupcakery, also located in the “Orange Circle.” Yes, I am aware that cupcakery is not an actual word, but bear with me.

The Best Ones

The Best Ones

Outside of “Paris in a Cup.” It was imperative to my little sister that she be in some of the pictures with me.



The iconic water fountain in the center of the “Orange Circle.” It seemed that the event that was going on around me was a meet and greet with locals and Orange County bikers. Yes, very enthralling.

Road Signs

Road Signs

Examining Audrey and the wall decals of the cupcakery in all their glory.



The harmonious voices of my family rang out in this picture while they sang “Happy Birthday” to me.



Late night picture of a late night food run.

"The Mermaid Lagoon"

“The Mermaid Lagoon”

Hiking to “The Mermaid Lagoon,” a quaint little water hole my father and I found when I was younger.

The Oversized Plants of California

The Giant Flora of California

Indulging in Indian cuisine at Himalayan Grill in Huntington Beach.


Many, many thanks to both Alisa Golden and Ashley Tobin for making 50 issues come off in fine style.

Next issue, we are heading to the swamps.

Issue Fifty!!

Posted in Issue Fifty with tags , , , on September 30, 2013 by mohawko

WELCOME. I realize that we’ve been away for a little while (a bit over a month, all told), but we are BACK with Issue 50 (!!!!), worn by Operative Ashley around Orange County, CA. In the intervening time, we passed our two-year anniversary, which is also something. We are toddling now.

ISSUE FIFTY (9/30/13):


“The Way We Count to Infinity”

by Alisa Golden

Operative: Ashley Tobin (Orange County, CA)

Operative: Ashley Tobin (Orange County, CA)

About the author: Alisa Golden is the editor of Star 82 Review and teaches at California College of the Arts, where her students set their words in metal type and print them via letterpress (

About the operative: Ashley Tobin is a sophomore at Orange County School of the Arts. She is enrolled in the Creative Writing conservatory, and very much enjoys  writing poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Ashley is finding it very difficult to write her bio, and decided to end it here.


Stay tuned for action shots to come later this week, and please note that submissions are now OPEN. We’ll be responding to all of your pending submissions in the next two weeks. Thanks to all of you for being so patient while we catch up with ourselves.

The Last Days of the Hoosier: Issue 49.3 Action Shots

Posted in Issue Forty-Nine (Part Three) with tags , , , on August 26, 2013 by mohawko

We are thrilled to present the following action shots of Issue 49.3, brought to us, words and all, by Operative Tyler Gobble:

“My Time With A Little Piece of Rad Tadd on My Back”

This rad Tadd poem stuck to me during my last weekend in Indiana. Tadd lived in Indiana when he was a younger Tadd. Did you know that? Me, I just moved to Austin, Texas, after almost 25 years of Hoosier fun. My galpal Layne starts grad school at UT next week or something. I’m in the library right now, pretending to be a freshman. Cal McGraw, aquatic equestrianism major, in case anyone asks. Anyhow, I wore this as I bustled about central Indiana that final weekend, saying buh-byes and getting amped up for the move. Here’s the story of that. I call it “My Time With A Little Piece of Rad Tadd on my Back”:

(No Pants)

(No Pants)

First step of being a good operative is always finding some pants to wear. Here I am finding some pants to wear.


(Beer for Last Cornhole Playin’ Night With My Dad)

Next step is buying some beer. That’s probably not true, but what do I know? I’m only a freshman!

My dad prefers Bud Light. I bought him a bunch of Bud Light, though not all those cases you see in the picture. That’d be crazy! It was for my going-away party. My parents are really nice people (hi mom! hi dad!) and grilled up a bunch of burgers and unthawed a bunch of pre-baked cookies and let people who like me hang out all night and play cornhole and drink beer. My mom even gave two sacks of leftovers to my friend Turner! Wow, mom!

My mom kept asking me to explain Safety Pin Review and let her friends read the poem. Then, they’d say, “I don’t get it. Who’s bones are they?” And my mom would say, “Only Tyler, am I right?!” (She wasn’t right. There are many cool operatives!)

(Huggin' Pals)

(Huggin’ Pals)

I’ve never been the one to leave. It’s weird being the one to leave. A necessary step is hugging people goodbye. In the hat, that’s my friend, Davis. Davis didn’t know I had the patch on so he just thought Layne was taking pictures of me hugging dudes, which she’d totally do. Stop being a weirdo, Layne!

I hugged Davis goodbye at the beginning of the summer because he moved to Chicago, but he didn’t like it much so he came back. And then, I left. What a butthead!

(Shoppin' for Tanks)

(Shoppin’ for Tanks)

I had to buy some new clothes because my medium tanks are getting too small on me and my shorts (I realized during the taking of this picture, I haven’t bought new shorts since freshman year of high school!) are starting to fall apart. I needed to make a good impression as a (fake) incoming UT freshman. I bought two pairs of Tony Hawk cargo skate shorts and two tanks (one has a giant shark on it and the other is bright orange and says BEEF CAKE), in case you wanted to know.

(Strip Club)

(Strip Club)

This dark box is a strip club. I needed to break in my BEEF CAKE tank (after a careful transfer of the patch), so we went to Muncie’s strip club, Joker’s Wild.

It wasn’t weird at all! The bouncer has been in two UFC pay-per-view fights and has been hit in the head with a 2×4 (though that was in the parking lot of Joker’s, not a ring). He read the poem at least twice. He called me “an intelligent motherfucker.” Thank you, bouncer badass guy, but Tadd is the intelligent motherfucker!

One of the strippers asked me what a BEEF CAKE was. I said, I guess we’ll find out. That was the weirdest part. Who doesn’t know what a BEEF CAKE is?

(Shoppin' for Motorcycle)

(Shoppin’ for Motorcycle)

This is how I say goodbye to my friend Alina, by picking out a motorcycle for me. I chose this one because of the way the green lights accentuate the flame paint job. I rode it down to Texas. I was wearing my shark tank top with the poem pinned on. People got into wrecks reading the poem off my hog-hustling back. That seems like a great way to end this story, am I right Tadd?



Here’s a little bonus: I call it “Thumbs Up Goodbye.”


We love you. See you all soon.


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