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About Us

Founded in 1986, Zone 3 is a biannual literary journal published in May and November by the Center for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University. We welcome unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in a wide variety of aesthetics. Past contributors include A. Van Jordan, Nancy Eimers, H. L. Hix, Brenda Miller, Ander Monson, Sara Majka, Geffrey Davis, Dinty W. Moore,  Jill Talbot, Ira Sukrungruang, Mary Ann Samyn, Charles Haverty, and Oliver de la Paz, as well as many emerging writers.

"lovely, carefully crafted and enticing work…” –Sima Rabinowitz (

“Over the years this biannual has become a top tier literary magazine.” –Iconoclast Magazine

Nonfiction Editor's Statement:

"My vision and ideology for Zone 3 is conversation between a number of disparate voices—directly, as in interviews with artists and writers, and indirectly, in subtexts that arise in juxtaposition. I prize range—of form and perspective—and most enjoy when threads of insight cross like throughways between, for example, an excerpt from Gerald Stern's cultural memoir, Stealing History, and Mira Rosenthal's translations of Tomasz Różycki's poems on the rainforest. Such contrast, one hopes, makes readers more conscious of the vast terrain we inhabit and traverse quickly.

Thus, I imagine the journal as a kind of agile vehicle capable of bouncing into wilderness areas, across farms and prairies, into the suburbs, and coming up to speed around urban centers. This vehicle, to my mind, has wide rectangular windows through which readers can glimpse African track teams running drills, Salt Lake City film goers on their way to a festival, an outdoor quilt exhibition in Pennsylvania, an opossum rooting for worms in a compost heap. Fertile territories!

I value most the journal's ability to embrace genre-bending projects even as we honor the literary foundations that inspire the ongoing production of poems, stories, essays, and visual art that carry us ever closer to the world of soil and electrons, skyscrapers and hard drives through which we move."
--Amy Wright, Zone 3 Nonfiction Editor


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

The Zone 3 Press Chapbook Series was launched in 2010 with the publication of Norman Dubie's The Fallen Bird of the FieldsThe series publishes the work of contemporary American poets in beautifully designed books featuring handmade paper covers that are hand sewn and letterpress printed on APSU's Goldsmith Press. 


The Zone 3 Visiting Writers Series brings distinguished writers to the Austin Peay campus each year for readings and short residencies. Information about the 2015-16 reading series is available here.


Established in 1985, the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence brings regionally and nationally acclaimed artists to campus to work with students and the community. Former recipients of the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence include:

David Huddle (2012-13) - acclaimed essayist and poet.

David Huddle is an esteemed poet, fiction writer, and essayist. His books include Kira's List (Tupelo Press, 2016), Dream Sender (Louisiana State University Press, 2015), The Faulkes Chronicle (Tupelo Press, 2014), Black Snake at the Family Reunion (Louisiana State University Press, 2012; winner of the Pen New England Award for Poetry), Nothing Can Make Me Do This (Tupelo Press, 2011; winner of the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction), Glory River (Louisiana State University Press, 2008), Grayscale (Louisiana State University Press, 2003), La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl (Houghton Mifflin, 2002), Story of a Million Years (Houghton Mifflin, 1999), and many others. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. He currently teaches at the University of Vermont and at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.

Louise Erdrich (2008-09) - esteemed novelist and poet.

Louise Erdrich is the author of fourteen novels, as well as several volumes of poetry, children's books, and non-fiction works. She was awarded the 2015 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction and has received a Pushcart Prize, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, a PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction, Love Medicine won the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Plague of Doves was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore in Minnesota.

Michael Blumenthal (2004-05) – acclaimed poet and translator.

Internationally renowned poet, memoirist, novelist, and translator, Michael Blumenthal is the author of several books, including Sympathetic Magic (1980; winner of the Water Mark Poets of North America First Book Prize), Laps (1984; winner of the Juniper Prize), Dusty Angel (1999; winner of the Isabella Steward Gardner Prize), Weinstock Among the Dying (1993; winner of the Ribalow Prize for Best Work of Jewish Fiction), and, most recently, No Hurry: Poems 2000-2012 (2012), and “Because They Needed Me”: The Incredible Life of Rita Miljo and Her Struggle to Save the Baboons of South Africa (2015). He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Ingram-Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Blumenthal is currently a visiting professor at West Virginia University Law School.

David Bradley (2000-01) – PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novelist. 

David Bradley is a scholar and novelist. He is the author of South Street (1975) and The Chaneysville Incident (1981, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and an Academy Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters). His short story, “You Remember the Pinmill” (Narrative Magazine), won the 2014 O. Henry Award, and he has published essays in various magazines and journals, including Esquire, Brevity, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Dissent. Bradley has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Carolyn Forche (1996-97) – internationally acclaimed poet. 

A poet and human rights activist, Carolyn Forché is the author of several books, including Blue Hour (HarperCollins, 2004), The Angel of History (HarperCollins, 1994; winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award), The Country Between Us (HarperCollins, 1982; winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award and Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets), and Gathering the Tribes (Yale University Press, 1976; which was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets). Forché has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has also received the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum, the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation Award, and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship. She is currently director of the Lannan Center for Poetry and Poetics and holds the Lannan Chair in Poetry at Georgetown University. 

 (1992-96) – esteemed poet and essayist. 

Poet and essayist John Haines authored several books, including Winter News (1966), The Stone Harp (1971), Cicada (1977), Living Off the Country (1981), News from the Glacier: Selected Poems 1960-1980 (1982), The Stars, the Snow, the Fire (1989), New Poems 1980-1988 (1990; which received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Award and the Western States Book Award), The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems (1993), Fables and Distances: New and Selected Essays (1996) and For the Century’s End: Poems 1990-1999 (2001). Haines served as Poet Laureate of Alaska in 1969, and he taught at Ohio University, George Washington University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He received several honors, included the Alaska Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, two Guggenheim Fellowships, an Amy Lowell Travelling Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Library of Congress, and was named a Fellow by the Academy of American Poets.

David Madden (1988-89) – acclaimed novelist and critic.  

David Madden is a Southern fiction writer whose novels and short story collections include The Beautiful Greed (1961), Cassandra Singing (1969), Bijou (1974), The Suicide’s Wife (1978), On the Big Wind (1980), Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War (1996), Abducted by Circumstance (2010), London Bridge in Plague and Fire (2012), and The Last Bizarre Tale (2014), among many others. In addition to novels, short stories, plays, and poetry, he has also authored many critical works, including The Poetic Image in 6 Genres (1969), A Primer of the Novel (1980), Revising Fiction: A Handbook for Writers (1988), Beyond the Battlefield (2000), Touching the Web of Southern Novelists (2006), and The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction (2015). Madden is the recipient of a Rockefeller Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts prize, a Bread Loaf Writers Conference William Raney fellowship, the National Council on the Arts Award, and has two Pulitzer Prize nominations.



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