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)


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”

“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