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Voices from the American Land is a periodical offering attractively designed chapbooks by distinguished American poets to the widest possible readership.
Our chapbooks are, usually, 36 pages in length (6" by 9") of which up to 24 pages are poetry and associated illustration. The poetry, by a single author, can consist of any number of poems that will fit this space, typically some 500-600 lines, allowing for illustrations. The illustrations, which include cover art, frontispiece, and two or three smaller pieces for inside pages, are black-and-white line or halftone drawings or wood- or lino-cuts, and are commissioned by the publisher. (Authors may propose an artist for consideration by the editors, but such recommendations may or may not be accepted.) The remaining content of a chapbook includes an introduction by one of the editors and an author's note (about 500 words) at the end. Flap copy, prepared by the editors, contains a brief description of the contents and an author's bio.
The way to begin a conversation with our editors is to submit a concept statement that proposes a basic theme in terms of the place to be written about. This can be celebratory, or despairing, or both. The point is that the place be specific and locatable and thought to be nationally significant. The poetry about the place must have an organizing idea so that the chapbook as a whole is thematically coherent.
The proposal should contain a brief biography and contact information and include three or four poems that are germane to the theme. These may be previously published, but should clearly express the concept proposed. Proposals thought to have merit are circulated among the editors, and if accepted, an issue editor is assigned and in due course a contract put in the mail.
For the most part the contract is legal boilerplate, but there are a few points that should be mentioned here. One is that since Voices is a periodical, exclusive use is for one time only, with non-exclusive rights to republish in reprints, anthologies, or for educational and promotional purposes. Another item is that while we expect the work submitted to be previously unpublished, we will accept up to one-third of the content to have been published earlier in books or other periodicals. In this case, the author must obtain legal permissions to reprint. A final item is payment, which is an honorarium plus 25 copies and a complimentary subscription for future issues.
We encourage prospective authors to examine this website carefully. For further information, please contact us by mail or via our website. Should you wish a copy of the current issue, or a previous one, individual copy price is $13.50 postpaid.