What’s this all about?

A release every other month, featuring one core longform story and a constellation of other pieces interpreting or reacting or springboarding off it. You might read 7,000 words on an idea you’d never thought about before, and then find a piece of short fiction, a musician’s playlist, and an essayist telling a personal story. An interpretation from a visual artist. A poem. A piece of tech.

Expect contributions from film critics, activists, theologians, sociologists, chefs, sportswriters, flash fiction specialists. A rotating group of people from a range of perspectives and disciplines (and ages! and identities! and backgrounds! and and and!), all in bouncing off one another. It’s a magazine that’s a conversation.

Take a look at our first few published issues — you’ll see what we mean.

Why is it called Pipe Wrench?

Thanks for asking. Three reasons: 

  1. A pipe wrench is a tool you use to take things apart so you can get inside them and see what’s gunking up the works. And then you use it to tighten the thing back up again and make it stronger than it was, so that the water flows faster and freer. We all need pipe wrenches, real ones and figurative ones.
  2. The greatest music video of 1985, for A-ha’s “Take On Me,” prominently features an angry motorcycle sidecar racer chasing the hero-slash-lead singer with an enormous pipe wrench. Everything about that sentence makes us happy, and we should all work on things that make us happy. And an opportunity to remember “Take On Me” fondly is always an opportunity worth grabbing.*
  3. As A-ha taught us, the pipe wrench is useful for both offensive and defensive maneuvers as well as for plumbing. We need critique. We need to unpack history. We need to learn what we can from people who have come before us. We also need new things: voices, ideas, ways of being. 

* If anyone wants to pitch us a 5,000 word story interrogating “Take On Me,” we await your email and look forward to the dissection.