ZYZZYVA was founded in 1985 in San Francisco with the goal of publishing a superb literary journal shining a spotlight on West Coast poets, writers, and artists from a wide range of backgrounds, many of whom were otherwise overlooked by established publications, and providing them with a much needed platform.

Since then, the journal has evolved into a nationally distributed, widely acclaimed publication showcasing contributors from across the country and around the world. As the journal marks 35 years of continuous publishing in 2020, we celebrate more than three decades of enriching contemporary literature and supporting literary communities in the Bay Area and beyond.

Editorial mission

Reflecting the values that made San Francisco a cultural beacon, ZYZZYVA is defined by its risk-taking and egalitarianism, and by its focus on inclusivity and excellence.

ZYZZYVA seeks out a meaningful consideration of the most urgent ethical issues of our time, in part via themed issues on topics ranging from ideas about resistance, the border, art, and the environment to views on labor and the ongoing violence in Mexico (as addressed by Mexican writers and journalists). We create substantial space for poetry, nonfiction, interviews, and fiction that consider these various concerns, resulting in a lively, thoughtful conversation in print and online (and in person through our events), across genres and generations, answering the need for a unique kind of engagement we believe ZYZZYVA offers.

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