By purchasing a print subscription:

+ You reserve 2 limited print editions of American Chordata each year (delivered straight to your door!)

You get free shipping within the US

You support an independent, unfunded, ad-free, and non-profit magazine

We’ll love you for it. A lot.



Photo: Abdi Farah
Design: Adly Elewa



Nonfiction by Katherine Culligan

Fiction by Alex Ebel, Alun Evans, and Katherine Karlin

Poems by Kamden Hilliard, Mai Ivfjäll, Omotara James, Seth King, Tom McGlynn, Irene O’Garden, Triin Paja, D. Eric Parkison, Isadora Spangler, Kailey Tedesco, and Barbara Tramonte

Art and photography by Mikael Almehag, Jeroen Bocken, Antoine Bruy, Luc Choqueur, Mariana Cook, Maggie Corn, Judy Dater, Rubin Geehan Gore, Anna Hahoutoff, David Hlynsky, Martin Hyers, Shaun H. Kelly, Küchendienst, Amiko Li, Kelia Anne MacCluskey, Edgar Martins, William Mebane, Noma Osula, Cécilia Poupon, Akasha Rabut, Anna Roberts, Stuart Rome, Sasha Rudensky, Adrian Samson, Andy Sewell, Tatum Shaw, Dham Srifuengfung, and Lisa Starr


Limited print edition.
Full color.
5.5 x 8.5 in. 208 pages.
ISSN 2378-2560 (print)
ISSN 2378-2579 (online)




Photo: Sophie Green
Design: Adly Elewa


Photo: Nick Ballon
Design: Adly Elewa


Photo: Matthew Bradley
Design: Adly Elewa


Photo: Jason Fulford
Design: Adly Elewa


Photo: Rick Erfmann
Design: Adly Elewa


American Chordata is a biannual magazine of bright voices in fiction, nonfiction essay, and poetry, as well as art and photography. We are founded on the belief that a good literary magazine can celebrate sophisticated design and earnest expression on the same page. We seek to publish work that is brave, illuminating, and emotionally detailed.

Each issue of American Chordata is published simultaneously online and in print. While we hope you’ll support the magazine by purchasing a print edition or yearly subscription, the online editions (PDFs) are, and will always be, free to read, download, print, and share.

ISSN 2378-2560 (print)
ISSN 2378-2579 (online)


Alison Lewis



Bobby Doherty



Justin Cahill


Matthew Hitchman
Sincere Brooks
Zach Fruit
Angeline Rodriguez
Rebecca Shaughnessy
Liza Sweeney


Zach Fruit
Rebecca Shaughnessy
Rachel Stuart



Justin Cahill
Emma Berry
Quynh Do
Melanie Tortoroli


Adly Elewa




Alice Rha




Ben Yarling


Stack Awards for Independent Magazines

Winner of “Best Original Fiction”
Special Commendation for “Launch of the Year”

Special Commendation for “Best Original Fiction”
Special Commendation for “Best Original Nonfiction”

“Highbrow and brilliant.”
—New York Magazine

“If you asked the American Chordata team why on Earth they started a literary magazine, I’m sure the answer would be clear. They have a precise vision, one that encompasses words as well as visuals, and a light aesthetic unlike that you usually find in dense, text-heavy publications.”

“The crème de la crème of new printed matter . . . It wasn’t so long ago that people were writing off the literary magazine as a form . . .This is a charming new example . . . a coherent and satisfying whole.”

“A brilliantly designed literary magazine that sidesteps smug melodrama.”
—It’s Nice That

“A new mag defined by a vision of transparency and clarity of expression.”

“A literary magazine everyone should read . . . Fantastically exciting . . . made an immediate impact with its fresh, entertaining writing . . . . the words and pictures are allowed to collide carefully on the page, each element helping to change the tone of the other.”
—Stack Magazines

“Flipping through American Chordata is really a breath of fresh air. So much great photography and paintings in a layout that really lets the imagery shine next to the text content <3.”

“Impressive . . . An earnest, attractive intelligence pervades the offering, from the directness of the journal’s mission (‘Deliberate respect for the plurality of human experience’) to the colorful art and bold pull quotes.”
—Poets & Writers

“Five stars. Impeccably curated. . . . a virtually unique publication, indeed, a carefully and beautifully crafted product.”
—The Review Review

“Easily the best (and best looking) new literary mag on the stand.”
—AIGA Eye on Design

“A WHOLE OTHER level of necessary reading.”

“A Brooklyn-based newcomer that has fast made a name for itself, literary magazine American Chordata publishes fantastic new writers alongside sophisticated design and intriguing visuals.”

“This New York-based startup thrills not only with an individual visual language, but also has a substantive, suspenseful editorial organization that creates a potent conversation between the design and the content.”
—Zimmerman Editorial, Reviews

“A literary magazine grows in Brooklyn. . . thrives with local staff and diverse content.”
—The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

“Illuminating. . . invites its readers to approach the uncertain future of global politics by recognizing a dialogue with the past.”
—Freunde von Freunden



American Chordata seeks short works of original fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We have no formal word limits or stylistic constraints but look for work that is brave, illuminating, and emotionally detailed. We also welcome art and photography submissions.


We are currently accepting submissions for Issue Seven. The deadline to be considered for Spring 2018 publication is December 1, 2017.


Please send us only finished work that you really believe in.

Interested in stocking American Chordata in your bookstore, newsstand, or shop?

We make it simple to become an official stockist by offering resale bundles of 5, 10, or 25 copies at deeply discounted prices.

American Chordata is a biannual magazine of bright voices in fiction, nonfiction essay, and poetry, as well as art and photography. We are founded on the belief that a good literary magazine can celebrate sophisticated design and earnest expression on the same 5.5 by 8.5 page. We offer a venue for work that’s brave, illuminating, and emotionally detailed. You can read more about us on magCulture and Stack, or in a good ‘ol search engine.

American Chordata is currently available from the following beloved retailers:

New York

Book Thug Nation
100 North 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249


Human Relations
1067 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237


McNally Jackson
52 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012


Bouwerie Iconic Magazine
215 Bowery
New York, NY 10002



Powell’s Books
1005 W Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97005



Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122



Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum
Spui 14-16
1012 XA



magCulture Shop
270 St John Street
London EC1V 4PE




22a Broad Street
Bath BA1 5LN
Somerset, England



La Biblioteka
70 Pinstone St.
Sheffield S1 2HP, UK

American Chordata is seeking an Fall 2017 Outreach Intern to help us get the word out about our magazine to potential readers, stockists, and subscribers. This is a part-time, remote position; if you are in the New York City area you’re welcome to attend AC meetings in person (otherwise, we are happy to Skype you in). Our ideal candidate is passionate about literature and the arts, writes clearly, and is a self-starter who can prioritize and balance tasks in an entrepreneurial environment. If you’re an American Chordata super-fan, that’s a big plus.


The fine print: this is a volunteer-basis internship with American Chordata Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit educational institution whose primary mission is to promote the development of creative individuals as writers and artists and fostering public appreciation of excellence in the literary and graphic arts by publishing, owning, operating, and maintaining a magazine containing fiction, poetry, essays, artworks, and photography. Because we’re an unfunded nonprofit, we regretfully are unable to offer compensation or benefits for the internship. The internship will offer meaningful experience to someone looking to break into the publishing industry.


To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume by to Justin Cahill, Nonfiction Editor, via [email protected]org.