Coal City Review

Cover of Coal City Review vol. 45, edited by Brian Daldorph

Coal City Review is a literary magazine founded & edited by KU English Senior Lecturer Brian Daldorph since 1990.

You can find more information by visiting the Coal City Review website here.


What’s a press called Coal City doing in a town called Lawrence?

The story starts when an English poet, Brian Daldorph, came to the US to study poetry — first in Normal-Bloomington IL (Illinois State University), then in Champaign-Urbana (University of Illinois). Coal City (population 6000) was right up I-55. What better name for a journal that Brian envisioned as gritty, raw and full of all kinds of people experiencing all kinds of life.

Now, Coal City Press is in Lawrence, Kansas, a river city town and home of the University of Kansas. Brian now teaches creative writing at the university and the Douglas County Jail, where he founded a writing program for incarcerated writers.

Coal City Press continues to publish and introduce more literary voices each year. Since 1990, Coal City has published 35 annual reviews and 10 collections of poetry, including John Musgrave’s Notes to the Man Who Shot Me, featured in Ken Burns’ documentary, The Vietnam War.

Staying true to Brian’s original intent, the review and press publish both new and experienced poets and writers, with a fierce commitment to good writing


Coal City Review welcomes submissions of poetry and short stories throughout the year. Flash fiction/short short fiction submissions welcome..

Give us the voices of real people. Use language and structure in ways that make us wake up and care.  Tell us something new or tell us something ancient in a new way. 

Poets, send up to 6 poems per year. 

Short story writers, send one story per year, up to 5,000 words.

Send all submissions via SNAIL MAIL to:

Brian Daldorph, Editor at Coal City Review, English Department, University of Kansas, Lawrence KS, 66045.  Include SASE for reply.

Contact Brian Daldorph at

Book-length manuscripts for Coal City Press are by invitation only.