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Welcome to Zone 3 Press, the literary press of Austin Peay State University. Our mission is to promote the work of emerging writers and to develop an audience for contemporary poetry and prose. 

Zone 3 Press sponsors two book competitions: the Zone 3 Press First Book Award in Poetry and the Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award. For contest guidelines, click here.

Zone 3 Press expanded its mission in 2010 with the launch of the Zone 3 Press Chapbook Series. The series publishes the work of contemporary American poets in beautifully designed handmade books. Produced in-house by Zone 3 interns and APSU art students, the chapbooks feature handmade paper covers that are hand sewn and letterpress printed on APSU's Goldsmith Press. Zone 3's collaboration with the APSU Department of Art and Design fosters the learning process among creative writing students and student artists. We are especially grateful to Dr. Cindy Marsh, director of the Goldsmith Smith Press and Rare Type collection, for her support of the series.  

The first chapbook in the series is Norman Dubie's The Fallen Bird of the Fields. The next chapbook will feature poems by Mary Oliver. Poems for the series are solicited by the editors.

Our books are available from the Zone 3 store, Small Press Distribution, and  

Scroll down or click on the titles below to learn more about our titles and their authors.

Museum of Distance
Frost in the Low Areas
The Glass Crib 
If You Have Ghosts
Measuring the Dark
Houses Fly Away
City of Regret

Singing Bones
Quench Your Thirst with Salt 

The Fallen Bird of the Fields

Zone 3 Press is pleased to announce that judge Amy Fusselman has selected Erik Anderson's FLUTTER POINT as the 2015 winner of the Creative Nonfiction Book Award! We would also like to congratulate runner-up Paul Crenshaw for his manuscript STORM COUNTRY.

Finalists are Rachel Slotnick, Gary McDowell, Vivian Wagner, Craig Reinbold, Spring Ulmer, Jen Hirt, Gina Troisi, Chris Wiewiora, Anne Panning, Wendy Rawlings, Melia Schaum, Jan Shoemaker, Bethany Maille, Nancy Penrose, Kim Kupperman, Maureen Stanton, Jeff Oakes, Andrew Fitch, and Mary Ann Hogan.

 Finally, we would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s competition.

The Editors
Zone 3 Press

2014 Zone 3 Press First Book Award in Poetry

Winner: Ashley Seitz Kramer's Museum of Distance 
Runner-up: Cindy Veach's Thimbleful

Judge: Angela Ball 

2013 Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award

Winner: Kate Schmitt's Singing Bones
Runner-up: Matt Donovan's A Cloud of Unusual Size and Appearance

Judge: Joni Tevis

2012 Zone 3 Press First Book Award in Poetry

Winner: Karen Skolfield, Frost in the Low Areas
Runner-up: Sarah Blackman, Fourthspace 

Judge: Nancy Eimers

"I was so engaged by the voice in Frost in the Low Areas. My first impression was of its liveliness and energy; but I had not read many poems in the manuscript before I became aware of something darker, smarter, harder, sadder, truer even than the wit.  Our poems, writes poet Mary Ruefle in an essay, must be more sentimental, not less, must matter more, and somehow this rousing, spirited voice goes into the difficult stuff with a lovely, 
unsparing tenderness."
—Nancy Eimers 

"FOURTHSPACE is truly an original. The collection begins with a statement from Foucault on the "utopia" of our presence/absence in the mirror, and the poems explore this strangeness 
beautifully, passionately, willfully. There's an elusive "fetch" that keeps showing up to confirm in us our own spooky, yearning otherness. I found wonderful surprises on every page, little fairy tales, the true lies and the matter-of-factness of dreams, the primal and earthy things it seems to me we need in our poetry."
—Nancy Eimers

2011 Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award

Winner: Nicole Walker, Quench Your Thirst with Salt
Runner-up: Kat Meads, The Insomnia Essays

Judge: Lia Purpura

2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award in Poetry

Winner: Amanda Auchter, The Glass Crib

Judge: Rigoberto Gonzalez

"The journey to and out of The Glass Crib is a heart-breaking one with moments of revelation and gravity that will take the reader’s breath away. But this book will also be remembered for its countless lines of breath-taking beauty. Auchter shows enviable precision in orchestrating image and music—each poem a perfect sensory song. . . The Glass Crib heralds the arrival of a poet with the courage and the craft to write about the destruction and restoration of “the dissolving body” and its spirit, “the scattered seeds.” This is poetry borne out of perseverance, not self-pity, and shaped by a clarity of vision, not by an outraged perspective. To read Amanda Auchter is to  experience healing, joy, celebration, and above all, surprise."
 — Rigoberto González

2008 Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry

Winner: Kate Gleason, Measuring the Dark
Editors' Prize Selection: John Pursley III, If You Have Ghosts

Judge: Phillis Levin

2006 Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry

Judge Richard Jackson selected two winners for our inaugural book competition:

Andrew Kozma, City of Regret
Leigh Anne Couch, Houses Fly Away

Read more about Ashley Seitz Kramer

"Museum of Distance is an Ovidian adventure, in which thousands of images play a kind of dream-tag, each one prompting the next. Though flashes of autobiography appear occasionally, the book is very far from the typical stories-from-my-life collection. Instead, Ashley Seitz Kramer is committed to evoking the fungibility of experience as processed by imagination. 'I made my own bicycle / from cereal boxes...  I made a photograph from broken seashells. / I made a bat-house from orange peels.' Kramer's world is akin to the world of Dean Young — a world in which everything is changing before you know it. Kramer's poems are like seeds — 'each with a desire to sprout, each with genuine thirst.'"

Mark Halliday


Read more about Kate Schmitt

"Like Persephone, Kate Schmitt is dragged to the Underworld, not by Hades but by her own DNA. This beautiful and heartbreaking memoir is addressed to the grandmother she never knew, a woman she resembles and whose demons she also shares. With meticulous, poetic language Schmitt describes her descent and her return to the world. My body is both castle and battlefield, she says, and the ensuing siege pits one woman against the deepest impulses of her own blood.

The magic of this book is that a true heroine emerges, one who has braved the snares of the past and stepped into the present moment completely herself."

Barbara Hamby

"In these pages Kate Schmitt offers us a map for how to communicate with the dead. The dead, it seems, have always been talking to us—through letters, books, poems. Like a flash of lightning in the brain, Schmitt reveals that it is a two-way street, that if we are awake to music, to wonder, our words will allow us to talk to them as well. I picked up Singing Bones to simply see how it felt in my hands—a few hours later I put it down, strangely transformed, alive to the last command—Wake up."

Nick Flynn


Read more about Karen Skolfield

Frost in the Low Areas is a recent winner of the 2014 PEN New England Award for Literary Excellence in poetry!

"In her magnificent debut collection, Karen Skolfield made me fall in love with poetry all over again, reminding me of its divine power to find the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary. She understands that poetry does not exist independently; it is pulled out of all we see, without pretense or artifice, and not in the obvious and expected ways either. Her poems surprise with each turn of the line; they foray into the unexpected discoveries and dimensions. After reading her poems, I will never again look at a baby, a fossil, a painting, a key, a homunculus - or myself - as I had before. If poetry is meant to challenge and change our perceptions of the world and ourselves, then Karen is by all means an extraordinary poet."

Richard Blanco

"With Frost in the Low Areas, Karen Skolfield's debut collection, a multi-faceted poet enters our midst. In these well made and welcoming poems Skolfield is a country mouse, a girl in the woods, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a friend, a wife, a soldier and most of all, in her measured lines, a poet of grace, wit and purpose. I love how these poems examine what Skolfield encounters, inviting us in, letting us go renewed and eager and prepared to know more."

—Dara Wier 


Read more about Nicole Walker

"Part affecting memoir, part lyric meditation on water, part cultural critique, but finally about all that is unquenchable in the human experience, Nicole Walker has created a book that is truly sui generis.  By turns wry, elegiac, and always elegant in its precision and force, Walker investigates all that is contradictory and curious in the micro climate of her immediate family and the macro climate of Utah to create not a dry treatise, not a windless flight of experimental prose, but a natural history of thirst in all its manifestations, at once compulsively readable and intensely personal." 

Robin Hemley


Read more about Amanda Auchter

"Rendered with acute beauty, tenderness and measured dignity of expression, Amanda Auchter¹s debut collection breathes life into her speakers and themes: a woman in a coma, biblical figures, the divine and the earthly, an unborn child, being and nothingness, a daughter given up for adoption, the body and the soul, a hung-over unwed mother. These poems radiate insistent light, pure lyric courage and unflagging compassion."
Amy Gerstler  


ifyouhaveghostsRead more about John Pursley III

"John Pursley's striking debut is a collection of meticulously orchestrated lyric mediations, very confident in its music, and recalling Larry Levis and Charles Wright in the vividly rendered ways in which leitmotifs are obsessively shuffled in order to bring the poems to large and abiding reckonings. This is an ambitious book of abundant promise..."
--David Wojahn


measuringthedarkRead more about Kate Gleason

"Kate Gleason’s first book, Measuring the Dark, has the force of a full life behind it: a mature intelligence and gravitas gleaned through long experience. Gleason exhibits a sure handling of metaphor–both extended conceits and interlocking analogies— and a sure handling of the new science, from quantum physics to string theory, finding in the scientific world analogies for the human condition. Whether writing expansive narratives, layered with personal and political history, or tightly controlled lyrics with dazzling metaphysical conceits, Gleason measures love and loss on earth, set against the darkness and empty space that surrounds us, lit up, moment to moment, by the memory of those who moved us to words."

—Neil Shepard, editor of Green Mountains Review



housesflyawayRead more about Leigh Anne Couch

"What a surprising and exciting debut this is! Leigh Anne Couch's poems are a completely natural amalgam of the ordinary and the fantastical, as if our own zone of consciousness were repeatedly pierced by another, resulting in a kind of dual perception that's both weird and completely logical. Thus the world in which these poems form and flower is stranger and more dangerous than our own familiar one, but also more winged and beautiful."
—Chase Twichell


City of Regret coverRead more about Andrew Kozma

"In Andrew Kozma's poems, the world is intriguingly askew: 'The desert sky opens like the mouth of a dying fish.' Cafés undress, walls merge with air, and rooms speak, sometimes even returning one's gaze, projecting strange images that will shadow you like portraits whose eyes follow you around the room and even into the street. Kozma is at his best evoking those odd moments of disorientation when the stuff of your life transforms, seeming to submerge into a matrix of dream—'those moments air becomes solid and you stare through ice / like a man in a glacier.'"

—J. Allyn Rosser


Oval coverRead more about David Till

"David Till has produced in Oval a collection that encompasses the full circle of experience.... The 58 poems take a wide range of forms and lengths, including everything from the expressionistic, fragmentary "About Trout" ('...Go stardust / One goes off hot inside / yr dream hand'), to the joyous occasional piece "Two Poems for their Wedding": ('I could say: dogwood are like moonlight, / or like wedding gowns in the dark church; / but to me, / they are cold banks of snow in the mountains...') The disparate quality of the poems is offset by Till's consistently gentle, grounded sensibility...."

—Maria Browning, The Nashville Scene