Pinyon is a national journal of poetry, prose, and art published at Colorado Mesa University.

Submissions are invited from both established and emerging writers.


Pinyon, Colorado Mesa University’s national literary magazine, was founded in 1994 and has published continuously since spring 1996.  Initially, the magazine was called Pinyon Poetry and published twice a year— as a sort of literary experiment— using private donations.  Since the name change, the journal has featured: poetry, prose, and art, along with the occasional review. In addition it has become an annual publication funded primarily by the Department of Languages, Literature and Mass Communications at CMU. The magazine is edited by both faculty and students; with undergraduates filling vital roles usually reserved for graduate students or even faculty at other institutions.  The experiment has succeeded, and the experience has been invaluable.

Each year Dr. Randy Phillis appoints a student Managing Editor for a practicum experience running an annual national publication. The Managing Editor for the 2019 edition is CMU senior Janine Hald. Janine has put in many hours of hard work and as a result has created a beautiful collection.

Professor TJ Gerlach serves as Fiction Editor. TJ Gerlach is a fiction writer with an MFA from the University of Utah and a PhD from the University of Denver. He currently teaches creative writing and literature at Colorado Mesa University. His work has appeared in, among other places: Fiction Southeast, Shark Reef, Press, Literal Latte, The Wisconsin Review, Mid-American Review, and The Review of Contemporary Fiction.

Randy Phillis, co-founder of Pinyon, is the author of three collections; A Man Explains His Posture, Kismet, Colorado, and Plots We Can’t Keep Up With. His poems have appeared widely in journals such as American Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, Florida Review and Iowa Review. He has been editing various literary magazines since 1980, and has edited two small presses. He teaches writing and American Literature at Colorado Mesa University.

Co- founder Allen Learst serves as Fiction Editor alongside TJ Gerlach. Allen Learst won the 2011 Leapfrog Fiction Contest for his short story collection, Dancing at the Gold Monkey, judged by Marge Piercy. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry appeared in War, Literature and the Arts, Alaska Quarterly Review, Chattahoochee Review, Hawaii Review, Passages North, Ascent, The Literary Review, Pisgah, and Water~Stone. Amongst many other achievements, Allen is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Colleges—Marinette, Wisconsin, and a Faculty Mentor for the Regis University Mile High MFA low-residency program in Denver, Colorado.

A special thanks to everyone that has helped make the Pinyon exceptional over the last few years:

2019 Student Staff:

Managing Editor: Janine Hald

Assistant Managing Editors: Sarah Cerrone and Emily Talbott

Web Editor: Sarah Cerrone

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