We’re Four Chambers. We’re an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, AZ whose mission is to give greater visibility to the literary arts and encourage their larger participation in the cultural scene. Basically, we like to think of ourselves as a heart: something centralized, organic, and part of a larger body; that connects, supports, and circulates life. While most literary magazines publish literary work, and some community literary magazines may get that work from the community, we are publishing work to build community.
We don’t have a particular aesthetic. We aren’t looking for specific styles, genres or forms. We publish work from writers who are established, emerging, unknown, uninterested, or simply don’t think of themselves as writers in the first place. We’re just trying to get people’s work out there and assemble an eclectic collection of contemporary literary work.
We print one issue a year (in October). Each issue, we award $200 in prizes to authors. We also commission illustrations from local artists.
We are available for purchase online through our website or on consignment at a number of venues throughout Arizona (ranging from bookshops and record stores to art galleries and concert spaces).
MEMBERSHIPS AND LISTINGS
Jake Friedman moved to Phoenix in August of 2011 with his friends Danni and Matt after graduating from college with degrees in English and Philosophy whereupon he started going to a writing group and working on a small zine they had called the Palo Verde Pages. When that ended (June 2012), he started reading for Hayden’s Ferry Review. He also started going to open mics and writing again (early 2013). During this time he was sending lots of e-mails and having sporadic meetings trying to figure out how to start a literary magazine and–with the help of some very talented and resourceful people–he eventually did.
We opened our first submission period on June 24th, 2013 and closed 12 weeks later on September 15th with 912 submissions. Our first issue was released on December 5th, 2013 with a launch party at FilmBar (catered by Short Leash Hot Dogs). Over 100 people attended. You can see pictures here. We closed the submissions period for our second issue on February 14th, 2014 with 1100 submissions. After taking a break to figure things out, we released our second issue in October 2014.
To find out more about what we’re doing in the present and future, please see our page for events and programming.
In August 2014, Connor Descheemaker wrote a nice article about our Literary Flash Mob / Public Transportation project for the Phoenix New Times that does a really good job of succinctly explaining some of our approaches and goals in terms of using literature to build community and create public art. In the same vein, Becky Brisley also write a nice article about our Festival of Literary Oddities for the Downtown Devil back in March 2014. Bojan Louis of La Phoenikera Writer’s Guild also wrote a nice blog post about a publishing panel we organized for the Copper State Poetry Slam in August 2014.
In October, Brandon Kutzler wrote a nice article about the release of our second issue for the Downtown Devil that not only chronicles the “labor of love for its editor-in-chief Jake Friedman, who spent many self-described sleepless, over-caffeinated nights selecting and editing poetry and fiction, coordinating with writers and editors and frantically fussing over page margins,” but highlights some of the challenges we face simply producing a literary magazine / running a small business. Similarly, staff writer Matt Marn wrote a nice article on about our continued efforts to build community for Yab Yum Music and Arts. Joanna Braithwaite provided a nice overview of our mission and goals for Valley Hype, too.
We also had some short articles about our first issue in the Phoenix New Times (Oct 2013) and our second issue on Arizona Central (Oct 2014).
In October 2014, Mark Brodie of local NPR affiliate KJZZ spent a few minutes talking with Editor in Chief Jake Friedman and Contributor 02 Josh Rathkamp on The Show about some of the advantages of local publishing and the literary landscape here in Phoenix. It is also worth noting that Jake wrote his undergraduate philosophy thesis on hipsters (and apparently felt the need to tell the world this
In June 2014, our Editor in Chief made No. 67 on the Phoenix New Times 100 Creatives list. Independent author and Associate Editor to boot Chris Winterberg also did a relatively in-depth interview with our Editor in Chief all the way back in June 2013.
BEST OF PHOENIX 2014
Also, somehow, on September 25th 2014, we were named Best Literary Journal in Phoenix (2014), which is a huge honor, we are totally not worthy.