About Us

Mission Statement

Cleaver Magazine showcases Philadelphia as a literary hub to the city, the region, the nation, and the world. We share “cutting-edge” visual and literary art from a mix of established and emerging voices. Our literary quarterly features poetry, short stories, essays, flash prose, graphic narratives, and visual art. Look for this literary quarterly in March, June, September, and December. In each issue we present several emerging voices alongside established writers and artists. We see ourselves as facilitators and stewards of the literary and artistic work that we publish.

In addition to our literary quarterly, we publish weekly and daily features, including “Life As Activism” (poetry and prose with a social justice theme), “writer-to-writer” craft essays, author interviews, travel essays, and reviews of books from small and independent publishers. Cleaver reviewers present the most exciting literary work from around the globe. We specialize in American independent press releases but also vital work in translation that’s all too often overlooked by American readers. Our weekly in-house advice columnist, “Ask June,” written anonymously by a local attorney and writer, opines on matters punctuational, interpersonal, and philosophical, spinning wit and literary wisdom in response to readers’ ethical quandaries. Our podcast “On The Edge” is a virtual poetry reading series, available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud. Our radio plays feature original short scripts performed by professional actors. The scripts are available as PDF files; the recordings are free for listeners on iTunes and SoundCloud.

About our name: cleave is a Janus word, also known as an “auto-antonym,” meaning both itself and its opposite. To “cleave” is both to stick tight and to fall away. A cleaver is the most broad-edged and brutally efficient kitchen knife, designed to be swung like a hammer for the most effective channel of force. “Cleave” also means to come together with strong attachment.

We are a Philadelphia-based magazine with an international reach.

We are independent and self-funded and are grateful for support, in part, from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and Kelly Writers House.


 “…There’s lots to love here, and the editors make it easy by not only selecting great work but also by presenting it in a desirable manner with accompanying images with each piece, artists’ statements with the visual work, contributor bios, and easy navigation. I look forward to following Cleaver along with the many issues I’m sure are to come.”—Kirsten McIlvenna, NEW PAGES.

“Despite its name, the new online journal Cleaver Magazine is neither a venue for the latest Hannibal Lecter fan fiction nor one for decidedly more sane foodies to wax poetic about their favorite cuts of meat. Instead, Philadelphia-based Cleaver is a slick and inviting site that takes full advantage of its online environment to enhance both the written and visual work it publishes.”—Emily Hoffman, THE REVIEW REVIEW.

“I can certainly see why CLEAVER has put forward a preview issue; with a solid design and an already established style with crisp writing, it has me licking my lips in anticipation for the first full issue (due out next month).”—Kirsten McIlvenna, NEW PAGES.


WRITERS: To submit fiction, flash, poetry, or essays to Cleaver, visit our Submissions Page. If you are interested in writing book reviews, craft essays, or travel essays for Cleaver, contact the editors directly.

PUBLICISTS: Query the editors for book reviews of poetry, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction.

INTERNSHIPS & STAFF OPPORTUNITIES: Apply using the “Editorial Internship Application” on our Submissions Page.

ISSN 2330-2828