Polyphony Lit, formerly Polyphony H.S., founded in 2004, was born of Chicago high school teacher and writer billy lombardo’s deep love for and faith in literature as well as his experience of the crucial role reading and writing can play in the lives of young adults. His vision for a peer-reviewed literary magazine for high school students was encapsulated in the word “polyphony,” meaning many voices, as he designed this unique and dynamic forum in which teens acquire invaluable editorial skills, receptively and thoughtfully read and evaluate each other’s poems, stories, and essays, and provide respectful and constructive feedback. Polyphony Lit editors also learn how to assemble and publish a literary magazine. Polyphony Lit’s success and billy’s ardent advocacy as the first managing editor (2004-2020) brought the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers to the magazine, brought the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers to the magazine, thus offering further incentive for teens to participate. Polyphony Lit has evolved steadily from this original vision, extending its reach first across the nation and then around the world.
billy lombardo is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, and essayist. His awards include the Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for short fiction, Guild Literary Complex Prose Award for Fiction, Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Short Story Prize for Clover, and a Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts Summer Fellowship. He has published work in TriQuarterly, The Chicago Reader, and Tikkun, among other publications. His books include Morning Will Come (re-issue of How to Hold a Woman), and The Logic of a Rose: Chicago Stories. billy has taught at Roosevelt University, Illinois Benedictine University, Global Online Academy, and Northwestern University’s Summer Writing Conference.