American Chordata 13
Delivered to Stack subscribers in  Oct 2023

by Steve Watson in October 2023
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A long-time Stack favourite, American Chordata is a submissions-based literary and arts magazine that publishes a new issue in the Autumn each year. Their 13th instalment has a subtly creepy undertone, telling stories of characters becoming unmoored from reality, alongside photography and artwork that creates a sense of darkness and loneliness.

Hannah Hirsh and Natasha Rao

Job title

What is American Chordata?
American Chordata is a magazine dedicated to featuring emerging voices in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art and photography. Our mission is to broaden the appeal of the traditional literary journal by bringing writing and visual art together on the page.

What makes it different to the rest?
American Chordata is set apart by its dedication to publishing great writing alongside art and photography. Each piece of writing is paired with an image or series of images, so that the work of the writer and the work of the artist are placed in conversation with each other. This pairing of writing and art is something we’ve become more intentional about as the magazine has grown. Our goal is to offer a magazine that is as exciting and thought-provoking to look at as it is to read – that appeals not just to readers and writers of literature, but also to those who might not typically pick up a literary journal in a store.

Who makes American Chordata?
American Chordata is run by an all-volunteer staff of editors and readers who are committed to publishing a diversity of voices.

Who reads it?
American Chordata is read by lovers of art and literature alike. We have subscribers around the world, and are distributed by Small Changes in the Pacific Northwest, Antenne in Europe, and our editors everywhere else.

Why do you work in magazines?
We love the process of creating a print object and value the chance to be involved in the wider conversation. It’s exciting to see the connections between the art and text emerge and to hold the finished product in our hands. Our hope in publishing this magazine is to bring together the art and literary communities and make us all feel like a part of something bigger.

Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
We are currently redesigning our website in order to make contributors’ work available online and bring American Chordata to a wider readership. Our online transition is emblematic of our team’s objectives: to amplify diverse voices and broaden access to the writing we publish.

What would you change about American Chordata if you could?
Because of our small team, we don’t have the resources to expand our social media presence or publish more than one issue a year. We would love for this to be a possibility in the future!

Where do you see American Chordata in five years?
See above.

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