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No Through Trail: Cold Mountain Review

In the late eighth or early ninth century, Chinese poet Han-shan penned twenty-seven poems centered on Cold Mountain. As a philsopher, he is claimed by Buddhists and Taoists alike, although he poked a wry finger in the ribs of both.

As a poet, he was adopted by the Beats: Gary Snyder translated the Cold Mountain poems, and Jack Kerouac dedicated The Dharma Bums to the man who claimed to be “full of illusions,” roaming the mountainside to “Gaze and gaze, but can’t see the sky.”

It is in this spirit of seeking, and of “cosmopolitan bioregionalism,” that Cold Mountain Review was founded in 1972 by R.T. Smith (current editor of Shenandoah), Charles Frazier (author of the novel Cold Mountain, among other bestsellers), Donald Secreast, and Jo Anne Eskridge:

Multi-genre and multi-perspective; local, regional, and international; featuring the established, the neglected, and the emerging: Cold Mountain Review aims to recapture strands of its founding vision as well as to offer new and innovating ideas about place, sustainability, writing, and art.

The most-recent issue includes poems by the finalists of the R.T. Smith Prize for Narrative Poetry, as well as poems by Jan Beatty, Bruce Wiegl, and Elizabeth Rees. The issue offers two short stories, artwork, and a series of interviews, including “A Conversation with Rose McLarney” by Kathryn Kirkpatrick.

Cold Mountain Review publishes twice a year. Each Fall issue is themed (this Fall’s theme is “Extinction”), and all submissions are due by October 31. Poets should submit up to five poems; prose writers should aim for something under 6,000 words.

This Fall’s theme is “Extinction.” Note that while CMR is not a “scholarly journal, [they] encourage critically informed work and hybrid genres, e.g., multispecies ethnography or autoecography.”

Poets have been published more than once across recent issues; space seems limited for prose writers.

To submit, click here.

As always, it’s best to check out a sample copy before submitting (just $10!). Or better, yet, subscribe.

Learn more about Cold Mountain Review at, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

As Han-shan wrote, “Men ask the way to Cold Mountain / Cold Mountain: there’s no through trail.”