Statement of Commitments

In recent months, the staff of Ploughshares has been shaken by the eruption of violent rhetoric across the country. We know it has affected many of you--our readers and contributors--as well. It’s important to us that you know we remain committed to the values of diversity and inclusion inherent to our founding mission.   

Ploughshares was started in the Plough and Stars, an Irish pub in Cambridge, MA, named for Sean O’Casey’s influential play “The Plough and the Stars” about the liberation of Ireland. In the early 1970s, the pub hosted a handful of regulars who started their own small revolution. Their central concern was that the work of a new generation of writers--representative of a seismic shift in the culture at that time--was going unnoticed by traditional publishing. To address the problem they decided to publish a journal that would extend their discussions about contemporary literature beyond the walls of their favorite haunt.  

The history of Ploughshares is not only one of critical inquiry, but also one of active reform. The current staff of Ploughshares holds dear the history of our founding, and we pledge to uphold our founding mission of publishing exceptional work by emerging and established writers that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in art. We will continue to publish writers who might otherwise be marginalized or outright excluded. We promise to continue our work of recognizing and supporting the unique ways writers respond to and reflect significant changes in culture. More than ever, we need our writers to help us understand the world, and we look forward to discovering those writers Sherman Alexie describes as “crazy and courageous enough to think that poems and stories matter more than just about everything else.” *

*introduction to Ploughshares, Winter 2000