Four Chambers Press will release Four Chambers 04, its latest literary magazine, on Monday, December 12. The journal features 61 works of poetry, short stories, and flash fiction from 45 authors. Nearly half the authors are local, says Four Chambers founder and director Jake Friedman, who also works as a coordinator at ASU’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.
Four Chambers is an independent community literary magazine and small press, which was created in 2013 to give greater visibility to the literary arts while integrating literary arts more fully into the local arts and culture scene.
In addition to publishing annual journals, Four Chambers partners with local small businesses and art venues to produce limited-run special projects and editions. Previous partners include Phoenix Art Museum, Welcome Diner, and Eye Lounge artist collective.
“There’s been a lot of activity in the Phoenix literary scene this year,” Friedman says. “Four Chambers continues to be an entry point by offering a broad variety of styles representing what’s out there on the local scene.” But it connects with the national scene as well, because half its authors typically hail from outside Arizona, Friedman says.
For its latest volume, Four Chambers took a different approach to soliciting works. Rather than a short period for accepting submissions, people had more than a year to answer the call for work. So Friedman and company ended up with about 4,000 submissions to review, and chose just 61 of those works for the current volume.
Selected authors come from a variety of backgrounds, Friedman says. Featured authors include college and university students, recent college graduates, MFA candidates and alumni, professors, and established writers. The specific lineup includes Shawnte Orion, Kathryn Hill, Jim Sallis, Bernard “The Klute” Schober, Joel Salcido, and Pamela Davenport.
This time around, Four Chambers decided not to feature art by local artists. It’s a decision made for a couple of reasons, Friedman says. The cost of incorporating color into the journal is beyond the Four Chambers Press budget, and reproducing works in black and white simply doesn’t do the artwork justice. Down the line, he hopes to incorporate local art into their publications again.
The official unveiling for Four Chambers 04 happens Monday, December 12, at Valley Bar. Doors open at 7 p.m. and readings from the new volume start at 8 p.m. The 21-and-over event is free. Copies of Four Chambers 04 are $12, and will be available at the event. Find details on the Four Chambers Press website.