{ letters }

candy cane surpriseDear Readers,

Hello. In the spirit of this year's end and also that of traditional familial year-end catch-up letters, we at The New Yinzer would like to take a quick minute or two to recap our year's activities and achievements and small, silly stories. Also, we should confess that the magazine recently switched its Web host (to pair Networks, Pittsburgh's favorite hosting company) and lost every one of its letters from you, our readers. We apologize up front for this mix-up and request you resend anything that may have been lost. We'd love to print it. Here's something in the place of those letters.

The year began with our inaugural issue on 30 January 2002. For some short laughs, go take a gander in the archive. Back then we were fortnightly, and in that first fortnight we got some flattering press in the Pittsburgh City Paper and the Pittsburgh Business Times where certain New Yinzer editors were quoted outside of their element, which, it turns out, is no element. Around this time of its wintry beginnings, we also received our first (and not last) piece of hate mail from one Olivia Ciummo, whose poetic name and blind rage at our little project we'll never forget. Olivia, if you're reading, your letter meant a lot to us. You continue to haunt us in doubts and troubled sleep, and for this we thank you.

This spring brought its signature newness and rebirth to The New Yinzer with our first intern, Bill Julin, and our first community arts project, FLUX No. 6. In the former we found a like-minded, swell-enough guy who could dance well beyond our wildest dreams. In the latter, we found an exciting and open venue for us to work writing and storytelling into this city's visual/performing arts scene. Our installation was kindly received by FLUX-goers and led to the publishing of our first storybook, Bedtime Stories for People in Trouble, which, to our knowledge, is pretty much sold out at local retailers. Thank you to those who purchased copies.

In June, after publishing our wildly successful Essay Issue and receiving generous funding from the Sprout Fund, we celebrated our tenth-issue anniversary at Bloomfield's Boxheart Gallery. We had fun here. Folks drank Iron City. Someone's shirt was backless. Someone's mother sold storybooks. We came in under noise regulations. Robots danced to rock music. Those of you who came, thank you. Those of you had fun, thanks even more, and stay tuned for more parties.

And then more things happened. We went monthly. We started Sociable Behavior, our monthly happy hour at Zythos on the South Side. We brought on Margaret Emery, whose vivid dreams inspire ours. We had more fun at another FLUX event. We planned and will start a monthly reading series, Pros Only, to be held on the third Wednesday of every month at Modern Formations gallery in Garfield this month. We continued to publish the work of new writers and artists. And more than anything, we kept having fun putting all this together and hearing kind words from new readers and people who've been there all along.

So here, at the end of our first year of existence, we'd just like to say thank you. The Internet has given you a lot of choices, and it makes us happy that—amid the online auctions for ironic tchotchkes and college girls taking their already tiny tops off—you've chosen us, even if only once.

Here's to you and yours as the year-end's events brings you ones together:
Bill, Dave, Jenn, and Margaret

back home.