Vermont Publisher Returns to Support Rural LGBTQ and POC Voices & A Call for Submissions

Mount Island is BACK! Vermont publisher returns to support rural LGBTQ and POC voices

BRATTLEBORO, Vermont, May 10, 2019: It might be an understatement to say that America is filled with literary magazines—each one trying to carve its own niche as it relates to the scene. However Desmond Peeples—a Brattleboro-born writer, artist, and editor—has a different kind of vision. Peeples and a growing team of creatives are launching Mount Island, a literary magazine focused on supporting rural LGBTQ and POC writers and artists. What Mount Island brings to the table is a dedication to the visibility of rural voices that are too often muffled or erased. The magazine seeks to bridge the rural-urban gap by first connecting and empowering our most marginalized rural communities.

As a queer person of color born and raised in rural America, Peeples knows first-hand the need for this kind of focus in publishing. As Peeples puts it, “Rural America is miscounted, fundamentally misunderstood. Too many of the folks who call it home are excluded from the popular image of ‘rural Americans,’ and that erasure goes hand in hand with less access to support structures than their urban counterparts.”

The numbers further tell the story. According to a recent report from the National Black Justice Coalition, the Movement Advancement Project, the Equality Federation, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, “an estimated 2.9-3.8 million LGBTQ/SGL people live in rural America, accounting for roughly 15-20 percent of the national LGBTQ/SGL population,” and many of these queer folks are also people of color. One fifth of rural Americans, approximately 10.3 million people, are people of color. But even these numbers need rethinking. The US census defines an urban area as any town with population over 2,500–a definition that anyone from rural America should know is out of touch.

The vital necessity of supportive platforms for these voices inspired Peeples to revive the magazine they started in 2014, this time with a pressing mission. The original Mount Island was a print and digital biannual for critical literature, art, and music. Three issues were released, all of which are archived online for free download. The reboot of Mount Island will publish creative writing and art online and in special print anthologies. We seek prose and poems that buck the standard, art that liberates vision, and interviews, reviews, and articles that further creative and critical engagement with marginalized rural communities.

Whether you are a new friend or someone who was with Mount Island from the beginning—we invite you to join us! While we plan to focus our attention on writers and artists from our specific underrepresented communities, we welcome the voices and support of allies. Our new editorial focus may be narrower, but it is rooted in our dedication to inclusion, justice, and the self-actualization of rural communities in all their diversity.  Don’t forget to visit our website to check out our call for submissions or our Facebook Page at




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