Subscribe to Zone 3 Journal
Subscribe to Zone 3 Journal
Subscribe to Zone 3 Journal
Subscribe to Zone 3 Journal

“Lovely, Carefully Crafted And Enticing Work…”

—Sima Rabinowitz (NewPages.Com)

“Over The Years This Biannual Has Become A Top Tier Literary Magazine.”

–Iconoclast Magazine

About Zone 3

Zone 3 is a nationally distributed literary journal published twice a year by the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts. The editors welcome submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from both established and emerging writers. Recent contributors include A. Van Jordan, Kimiko Hahn, Nancy Eimers, H.L. Hix, Brenda Miller, Ander Monson, Sara Majka, Geffrey Davis, Louise Erdrich, Jill Talbot, Ira Sukrungruang, Charles Haverty, and Oliver de la Paz. Contributors whose first publicatons appeared in Zone 3 include Robert Krut, Zoe Mays, Peter LaBerge, Brandon Timm, and Troy Taylor, among others.

Founded in 1986 by APSU professors David Till and Malcolm Glass, Zone 3 was originally named for the climate zone that covered our region. The editors' note featured in the early volumes speaks to the poems you'll find there:

ZONE 3 comes from a place where trees do well—oak, walnut, hickory, and poplar—and where grasses struggle to survive in the red clay along the banks of the Cumberland. Tobacco country. In the northern bow of the weather system called the Bermuda High. What roots and blossoms here might survive anywhere, or nowhere else at all half so well. And what roots and blossoms elsewhere in native profusion might, like kudzu, take hold here—bring an end to erosion, or choke the forest. ZONE 3 seeks to be a ground where these things are tested, where the blossoms tangle, where poems from the center and the far-flung circle “grip down and begin to awaken.

Nonfiction editor Amy Wright adds to the original editors' note, describing Zone 3 as “a 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!”

Zone 3 Press is a nonprofit literary press dedicated to publishing and promoting the work of emerging writers. The press sponsors book contests in poetry and nonfiction: the Zone 3 Press First Book Award for Poetry and the Zone 3 Creative Nonfiction Book Award. Winners receive $1,000 and book publication, as well as an invitation to give a reading at APSU with the contest judge.

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

The Zone 3 Reading Series brings distinguished writers to the Austin Peay campus each year for readings and short residencies.


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 novelist and essayist Dorothy Allison (2016-17), poet David Huddle (2012-13), novelist and poet Louise Erdrich (2008-09), poet and translator Michael Blumenthal (2004-05), PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novelist David Bradley (2000-01), poet Carolyn Forche (1996-97), poet and essayist John Haines (1992-96), and novelist and critic David Madden (1988-89).

Literary Heritage