Julie Price Pinkerton was born and raised on a grain farm five miles outside the bustling metropolis of Brazil, Indiana. She’s been teaching Creative Writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry) and Rhetoric at the University of Illinois since 1998, with the exception of the two years she spent in Phoenix, teaching at Paradise Valley Community College and trying to survive the convection oven, windshield-cracking summer heat. She received her undergraduate degree in Advertising from the University of Evansville, and her MFA from Purdue University, where she worked on the editorial staff of the Sycamore Review.
Julie's poems and nonfiction pieces have appeared in Rattle, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Literal Latte, Tamaqua, Fish Stories, dragonfire, Full Circle Journal, The James Dickey Review, The Timberline Review, and a number of other journals. Her poetry has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize (but it didn’t win, so why is this even included here?) and one of her poems was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Rattle Poetry Prize competition. (Oooh, so close. Still didn’t win.) Her poetry was included in the 2014 anthology The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss and in Rattle's Poets of Faith issue. Then, in 2016 (heavens open with celestial singing), Julie’s poem, “Veins,” won the Rattle Poetry Prize, which included a cash prize of $10,000.
Julie has received multiple teaching awards at the department, college, and university levels, including the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She is a two-time recipient of the U of I. Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Before coming to the U. of I., Julie worked as managing editor of the Indianapolis New Times and later owned a (perpetually struggling) bookstore on Green Street near campus. The store was known for its occasional “20% Off All Books By Dead People” sales and its fake full-sized skeleton sitting out front in a lawn chair. Julie also spent time in France where she wrote a monthly column about Parisian pop culture for the now-defunct Octopus. (Her cat, Hankie, accompanied her, though he preferred American cat food.)
Julie lives in Champaign with her amazingly cool husband, Scott. They pretty much live to binge-watch “The Twilight Zone” and “Tiny House Hunters.” They also like to travel, drive out into the Blair Witch-esque dark parts of Champaign to look at stars, and they enjoy visiting family members, especially Julie’s 94-year-old mom, who says things like “The other night when your sister and I were on our way to church, a cop flew around us like a blue-assed fly.”