In 1999, Texas Tech University founded Iron Horse Literary Review in order to bring the literary arts to West Texas, which did not have a national print venue for the literary arts. We wanted an inexpensive way to bring America’s respected poets, storytellers, and essayists to serious readers living in the remote panhandle. Too, we hoped to juxtapose regional writers next to headliners, thereby increasing the attention artists in the West received. Our early contributors included Frederick Busch, Robert Olen Butler, Li-Young Lee, Barry Lopez, Bobby Ann Mason, Stanley Plumly, Pattiann Rogers, Leslie Ullman, and David Wagoner.


Today, we continue our earliest mission but also spend a great deal of time ferreting out those up-and-coming writers who keep poetry, fiction, and nonfiction energized. Most importantly, we're making an earnest push to find and welcome voices of diversity—women, LGBTQIA writers, and writers of color—who challenge the boundaries of what the literary arts can accomplish.

Iron Horse releases four print issues (every October, December, February, and April) and two e-editions (the three IHLR Trifecta winners in June and our PhotoFinish on New Year's Eve). IHLR Online also features interviews with writers on our Blog and NewsFlash. Each year's print volume includes one themed issue, our NaPoMo issue, one open issue, and the IHLR chapbook winner.

In August 2016, IHLR received permanent funding from TTU President Lawrence Schovanec!

Our recent contributors: Nickole Brown, Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas, Ching-In Chen, Michael Chin, Tiana Clark, Chelsea Dingman, Stephen Dunn, Carolina Ebeid, Bob Hicok, Tyehimba Jess, Joe Jimenez, Ted Kooser, Paige Lewis, Gina Ochsner, Katie Peterson, Anne Valente, and Afaa Michael Weaver.