What is Refrain Magazine?

Our goal with Refrain is to provide a place for working class people to share their thoughts, troubles, and experiences in what we now call the southwest. Refrain is built on the understandings of shared history and we encourage all our writers and readers to step into these histories for themselves to understand how they perceive their own narratives and those circling around community.

For us, the Southwest is not a reflection of the “Wild West” or any western trope, but rather a depiction of the deeply rooted stores and families that still exist with us today around Tucson, Douglas, Nogales, and beyond.

If you are interested in contributing a piece for Refrain, please send it here:

All pieces will be read and reviewed by our editing team, and they will promptly notify you within 2 weeks if your piece will be featured on the site. Currently, we are running submissions in a block format, meaning it might take a while for a block to come around that will feature your piece. We will always try our best to ensure as many people who want to contribute are able to do so.

Why We Chose Refrain

Refrain is interesting because it can mean two separate things. Inside of poetry and writing, a refrain is a poetic device that usually repeats a phrase to emphasize it. In terms of actions, to refrain is to stop yourself from doing something you might have regularly done.

Through this word, we wanted to reflect some key aspects of Refrain and it’s magazine platform. One important aspect of this word that reflects both meaning, is in the context of listening. To refrain, is to take a step back and let other energies take this space. For us, this is an essential part to dismantling capitalism and we understand how important the practice of listening is to shared histories.