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VOLT was created on an unusually sunny afternoon in San Francisco in 1991. VOLT was originally published by Pacific Film and Literary Association, a non-profit organization registered in California. VOLT is now housed at Sonoma State University. Innovative in design and content, VOLT publishes a range of adventurous writing. The magazine's size (9' by 12') offers a larger space than usual for an individual poem. Often, work utilizing white space and typography can be found in VOLT.

Founded and edited by poet Gillian Conoley, VOLT appears every spring. Each issue includes cover art, frequently by such artists as Eve Ascheim, Joan Mitchell, Hawley Hussey, Jo Whaley, and Stephen Curry. Contributors have included Lyn Hejinian, Harryette Mullen, Norma Cole, Barbara Guest, Yusef Komunyakaa, Leslie Scalapino, Lisa Fishman, Brian Teare, Andrew Joron, and Charles Simic, among many others.

VOLT has received many awards and honors, including several Pushcart Prize Anthology selections, a Fund for Poetry grant, and several selections for the annual anthology, The Best American Poetry (Scribners). In 2012, VOLT was named one of the top literary magazines in the country by Every Writers Resource. VOLT is produced with the help of Managing Editor, poet Iris Jamahl Dunkle and Assistant Editors, poets Paula Koneazny, and Kathleen Winter, while its continuing design innovations and page layout are created by Production Editor Steve Galbreath. Contributions to the magazine are welcome and fully tax-deductible.

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