First published by New American Press in 2009 and relaunched with an expanded editorial staff in 2020, MAYDAY presents new poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translations, cultural commentary, and visual art to an international community of readers.
MAYDAY takes its name from the international distress call derived from the phonetic French m’aider (“help me!”). Recalling William Carlos Williams’ famous remark that “it is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there,” MAYDAY features art that compels our attention by virtue of its urgency, something we find there that sustains us, excites us, reveals new ways of being and knowing in a complex and ever-changing world.
While MAYDAY is a literary magazine, we recognize that great literature has often been genre literature. We publish artists that explore culture and history; politics regional and global; the past, present, and future. Send us writing that surprises us, introduces images and ideas in new and strange ways, that complicates our perspectives. Send us fiction, poetry, personal essays, translations, reviews, visual art, and cultural criticism that have achieved a balance of craft and story so compelling that we cannot look away. We must read more.
We welcome writers working in English or in translation anywhere in the world, especially those who have been marginalized historically, including writers of color, queer and trans writers, disabled writers, and others who have suffered systemic discrimination.
MAYDAY nominates for The Best of the Net, the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize, and the Pushcart Prize.