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For more information, contact:

Jake Friedman

Founder and Editor in Chief


Call for Submissions

Four Chambers Seeks Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix, AZ (December 23rd, 2014)… Four Chambers—what people may or may not know is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, Arizona, also a figurative heart—is looking for local authors to write work in response to exhibitions and collections housed in the Phoenix Art Museum so they can put together a boutique chapbook and stage a live performance in the gallery during Art Detour on First Friday, March 6th (submissions for which close Sunday, February 1st 2015).

Art Loves Literature

Sometimes–in all the hubbub of giving greater visibility to the literary arts and encouraging their larger participation in the cultural scene–people don’t have the opportunity to enjoy art as much as they’d like to. To stop for a moment. Breathe. Smell the roses. The important things in life get missed.

So when things come up and literature doesn’t get to spend as much time with art as it would like to, art can get a little sad.

I mean, I know literature’s been working really hard to create another space in this city where people can come together, have meaningful interactions and build sustainable forms of community and relationship—we’re all so busy trying to do our own thing—it’s just that, well,” art pauses, looks off into the distance and then down. “We just used to have so much fun together. Literature really understood me.” Art sniffs, quavers, and looks up with sad, shining eyes. “I just miss it.”

What happened? Art and literature made each other so happy. They had such a long history. And now, art is completely heartbroken, literature is lonelier than ever, it has no idea what happened, and it has no idea what to do.

Literature Loves Art

So literature called Four Chambers. And after much heartfelt discussion—tears streaming down literature’s face, Four Chambers nodding empathetically on the other line—Four Chambers thinks the best thing literature can do is to ask local authors to go to the Phoenix Art Museum, walk through the galleries, and write something responding to the Museum’s collection of work.

This, the magazine thinks, is the way to win back art’s heart, and will show art that literature cares more than a vintage crockpot from the 1970s or a small yellow cactus in a concrete pot ever could (though both of these would make really great gifts). Then art will understand that literature is truly sorry for whatever it did wrong, people in Phoenix will have a greater sense of cultural cohesiveness and shared identity, and art and literature can continue building the long-lasting relationship they already have.

 Four Chambers Loves You

So all silliness aside,” explains the magazine’s Founder and Editor in Chief Jake Friedman, standing in front of the Art Museum dressed as a baby cupid, “If all we do is help people fall in love with art and / or literature,” adjusting his cloth diaper, shifting the bow and arrow in his hand, “if people can have a slightly more meaningful experience in their life because of this project,” a cold wind causes Friedman to shiver, a wing falling off. “Well…” Friedman shrugs. “That would be a beautiful thing.”

Individuals who are interested in submitting poetry and prose for the Phoenix Art Museum can find more details online at

Individuals who are interested in visiting the museum may do so for free every Wednesday evening from 3 to 10 pm or every First Friday night from 6 to 10 pm, and any other time, the Museum is open for a modest and reasonable fee. Four Chambers will also be organizing a tour at the Museum Wednesday January 7th at 6:30 pm. Selected works are available online at

Four Chambers will also be holding a workshop for the project at Rollover Coffee and Doughnuts (10 W Vernon St, Phoenix AZ 85003) on Saturday January 17th, 1 to 4 pm)

Submissions for the project close Sunday, February 1st, 2015 at 11:59 PM MST.


About Four Chambers Press Local-National


Four Chambers Press is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, AZ that wants to expose you to wonderful literature + give you something to do every once in a while + make your life slightly more meaingful. For more information please visit

P. S. Here’s a flier

03 Call Phx Art




You can read it here.  Thanks to Lynn Trimble, Becky Bartowski, Amy Silverman, and everybody at the Phoenix New Times for their continuous and ongoing kindness and support, we are, quite clearly, very grateful.




Don’t tell anybody, but we’re looking for poetry and prose for the Phoenix Art Museum so we can do a live performance / release a chapbook March 2015. Silly press release by the beginning of next week. More details here.




Just kidding. Or are we?

It’s 11:19 pm MST, we are 13 submissions away from exceeding our maximum monthly amount allotted to us by Submittable, and there are still 40 minutes left before we close our submissions period for issue 03.

If our system goes down, please e-mail us your submission directly at fourchamberspress [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject line “Manual Submission 03 [your last name]”.  If you do not follow these instructions to a tee, there is an extremely high chance we will miss your submission, you’ll get sad, and then we’ll get sad.


Final numbers Monday afternoon. Thanks for a lovely submissions period!







For more information contact:

Jake Friedman

Founder and Editor in Chief



Submissions for Four Chambers 03 Close Friday November 28th 2014

(and a few other things)

Phoenix, AZ (November 19th, 2014)… Independent community literary magazine Four Chambers— what some people may have recalled hearing about on KJZZ or other local media a month or two ago, also Best Literary Journal in Phoenix by the New Times (2014)—will be closing the submission period for its third issue Friday, November 28th at 11:59 PM MST.

Each issue, Four Chambers awards $200 in prizes and works with local artists to illustrate selected pieces from the magazine. But, as Assistant Director Kelsey Pinckney explains, Four Chambers is about so much more.

Where publishing can often be a distant, impersonal, rejection-laden process, Four Chambers is trying to cultivate real, personal relationships with the people who submit their work. “We spend so much time just reading and talking about things it’s nuts,” explains Pinckney, petting a small cat “Each submission that comes in gets read by a Managing Editor before it’s sent out to two or three Associate Editors, each of whom reads it, scores it, and leaves a note before it gets read, again, by the Managing Editor. If it passes, it gets sent to our editorial board, who meets together for a few hours at the end of the month to eat pastries and talk about the submissions. If it doesn’t pass, we send people a personal letter. “

Pinckney continues. “It’s magazine policy to send a personal letter for every single submission. We receive thousands of submissions, so it’s totally crazy, but people took the time to write something and send it to us, so we’re just trying to honor that.” The cat closes its eyes and purrs. “We just care.”

What’s more, Four Chambers is committed to promoting its authors and having a felt, immediate presence in the local community. As a styrofoam heart-shaped mascot for the magazine explains, ticking off the list on his oversized fingers, “We give people pages from the magazine and drop them around town at coffee shops and cafes. We bring authors to local writing groups and open mics. We do short presentations for creative writing classes at community colleges and ASU. We table at Farmers Markets and local festivals. We get sunburned and dehydrated.” Having run out fingers, the mascot looks up and shrugs. “We want to get the work out there. We do a lot of things.”

It’s also worth noting that Four Chambers ends up publishing about 50% local work. “Not because we have quotas or reserve a certain amount of room for people who have a connection to Phoenix / Arizona,” says an animatronic bear wearing overalls and a straw hat. “There are just a lot of good writers living here who don’t have any other place locally to submit their work.”

And unlike other magazines which may have specific editorial missions or focuses, Four Chambers is just looking for good work. “Seriously,” says Jake Friedman, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, holding a small cup of coffee, taking the occasional sip. “We’re just looking for good work. Like I know everybody says they’re looking for good work but we’re serious, we mean it.”

As Friedman has stated in previous releases, on record, Four Chambers wants to publish contemporary literature. This being said, he doesn’t know what that means. Fortunately, he thinks part of what makes art contemporary is figuring out what contemporary art means in the first place. But, as Friedman is quick to point out, he has no idea what he’s talking about. “I mean, at the end of the day, you’re just a person, right?” Friedman is washing dishes. “Art is something we do because it’s fun, because it makes our lives more meaningful and gives us something to do. Don’ get me wrong. I think publishing work is crucial, especially if we’re trying to engender a more cohesive scene.” Friedman is scrubbing vigorously at the corner of a pan. “But I think it’s important to remember that publication is just a means to an end, it’s just a way for people to engage with artistic work, and I think one of the reasons people do so is because we’re looking for a shared, abstract human experience, a connection or a resonance, whatever that may be.” Friedman turns off the faucet and dries his hands. “And because we’re looking for community.”

So when you can read a piece of work and feel something for that piece, when it means something to you, when you can develop a relationship with it,” Friedman has found a plush arm chair and has taken a seat. “That is fantastic, that is a great thing.” Friedman crosses his legs, adjusts his robe, and begins to light a large tobacco pipe. “And when you have a relationship with that piece of work,” he puffs, “you have a meaningful, substantive relationship with the person who wrote it. This is what we mean when we say we’re publishing work to build community” Friedman leans back, satisfied, and a small yellow cat jumps onto the back of the chair.

But when you can have that kind of experience with a person who lives in the same city as you,” Friedman leans forward. “When they shop at the same grocery store, when they post pictures of their cat on facebook, when you see them walking down the street,” gesturing with his free hand, “That’s a real, personal connection, that adds value to your experience with the piece of art, that adds value to your experience in life, and that too is a great thing.”

Individuals who wish to submit to Four Chambers can find policies, guidelines, forms, and all other relevant information at Copies of Four Chambers 01 and Four Chambers 02 are also available for purchase online at modest and reasonable prices ($10 for the first issue, $12 for the second, $20 for both—they also have a chapbook) and make great gifts for friends or family with vaguely related literary interests (wink win).

Four Chambers would also like you to know that they just released their first chapbook, Poems for the Future President by Michael Bartelt, more information for which is available online at

Four Chamberswill also be:

  • tabling at Alternative Black Friday at Cityscape on Friday, November 28th
  • bringing Elizabeth McNeil, Paula Ashley, and Johnnie Clemens May to Changing Hands Tempe on Friday December 5th,
  • tabling at Phoestivus on Wednesday December 10th and 17th
  • tabling at the Phoenix Festival for the Arts Friday December 12th through Sunday December 14th
  • sitting on a publishing panel at Wilkes College in Mesa on December 13th.

Four Chambers is also working on:

  • a wine tasting + themed reading tentatively titled “Drunk in Love” in February
  • a mural by Art Director Isaac Caruso for PaintPHX in early March
  • a collaboration with the Phoenix Art Museum in which local authors will respond to the museum’s permanent collection in April.

Calls for special projects will be released by the beginning of December. Four Chambers 03 will be released in March 2015.



About Four Chambers Press Local-National

Four Chambers Press is an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, AZ that wants you to read awesome literature from people in Phoenix / Arizona / beyond + give you something to do every once in a while + make your life slightly more interesting. For more information please visit