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The Canelands Magazine


The Canelands is a new magazine affiliated with the department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies at the University of Kentucky. As a magazine of ideas, we seek intelligent, provocative, and complex essays that employ reason to better understand the world.

Our inaugural issue is thematically centered on love, which author Diane Ackerman calls “the great intangible.” In A Natural History of Love, Ackerman writes, “[Love] is a wholesome violence. Common as childbirth, love seems rare nonetheless, always catches one by surprise, and cannot be taught. Each child rediscovers it, each couple redefines it, each parent reinvents it. People search for love as if it were a city lost beneath the desert dunes.” Across time, writers and thinkers have sketched their own maps to that lost city. The ancient Greeks described kinds of love: eros, philia, storge, agape. Some theologians have defined love as willing the good of the other. Still others describe love as dropping into the deep present.



We welcome submissions that consider love philosophically and descriptively. Especially encouraged are essays that touch on the following topics or motifs:

  • Genealogies of love: familial, cultural, or historical
  • Love and attention
  • Friendship and its value in culture and politics
  • Love amidst catastrophe
  • What genres tell us—or don’t tell us—about love
  • Love as gratuity, hospitality, gift
  • Pedagogies of love
  • Love and obsession
  • Self-emptying love (kenosis) with its limits and opportunities 
  • Love in middle age and old age



Whatever the stylistic approach to the theme, submissions should reach for insights on love that extend beyond subjective experience or simply perform cultural critique.

Blended genre essays, as well as reviews of books or media related to the theme, are welcome. If you are considering writing a review, please query us about the book or media first. In that query, be sure to explain in detail how the artifact under review is relevant to the issue’s theme.

Please note that The Canelands does not currently publish fiction, poetry, or pure memoir. While an essay may incorporate narrative, the larger drive of the piece should be critically or philosophically minded discussion.

If you have questions about theme or genre, please contact us at the email address below.


Format and Length

All manuscripts should be submitted electronically in a .docx file. Essays should be between 500 and 5,000 words. Reviews may be between 500 and 1,500 words.



Submissions currently closed. Please email questions to

At this time, we do not allow simultaneous submissions.