The Mountain / West Poetry Series

Learn about the Colorado Prize for Poetry book contest

The Mountain West Poetry Series

Launched in January 2011 with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, this series publishes one to two collections of poetry each year by poets living in the United States west of the Mississippi River, including all US Territories.

The Mountain/West Poetry Series seeks submissions that are relevant, environmentally conscious, and culturally engaged. We are interested in manuscripts that are vital in care, honest in ethics, formally inventive and astute; that are attuned to and questioning of tradition, historically aware, oriented to the overlapping concerns of the earthly, animal, and human; and that have a discernible throughline, narrative arc, or unifying intention.

Mountain/West Poetry titles are distributed nationally by the University Press of Colorado and the Chicago Distribution Center.

Series Editors

  • Stephanie G’Schwind
  • Donald Revell
  • Kazim Ali
  • Dan Beachy-Quick
  • Camille T. Dungy

Newest Title

A Face Out of Clay

by Brent Ameneyro

Written at the convergence of imagination and memory, A Face Out of Clay delves deep into childhood experiences and cultural identity. Through eloquent verses and poignant imagery, alternating between narrative and lyric poems, the book paints a complicated portrait of a bi-national speaker. The poems navigate the interplay between Mexican roots and the American experience, seeking to reconcile both cultural identities. They present themes of social justice, family bonds, and the power of cultural traditions, highlighting both difficult truths and everyday beauty. The poems transport readers back in time, reliving childhood innocence, natural disasters, and political oppressors. They serve as a reminder of the power of nostalgia along with the challenges that come with recreating memories. A Face Out of Clay is a profound exploration of the human experience, inviting readers to reflect, celebrate, and connect with the transformative power of poetry.

“So much is said and written about ‘intersectionality’ these days and always as something, like a burglar, to be ‘interrogated.’ I say leave the intersections to the academicians. Poets, like Brent Ameneyro, can be found at the crossroads—that liminal space between worlds. Life and death, memory and forgetfulness, cuerpo y alma. Ameneyro’s lush, exquisitely crafted poems don’t interrogate so much as remind us to ask—of ourselves, of the universe (observable or not)—what is it to live? Here? Now? And why bother? A Face Out of Clay is a road map, a galaxy guide, for soul travelers who ‘don’t mind tripping on the uneven stone sidewalk.’ It is not an interrogator’s floodlight but a torch held out in front of us while we journey, meant neither to blind nor to overwhelm with its own brilliance, but to help us see.” —JOHN MURILLO

Latest Collections

  • A Face Out of Clay

    A Face Out of Clay

    By Brent Ameneyro

    *** FORTHCOMING JUNE 2024 / THE MOUNTAIN/WEST POETRY SERIES *** Written at the convergence of...

  • Susto


    By Tommy Archuleta

      Surreal yet earthbound, orphaned yet mothered more than most, comforting yet disturbing— Tommy Archuleta’s Susto surveys...

  • Daughters of Harriet

    Daughters of Harriet

    By Cynthia Parker-Ohene

    Finalist, 2022 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry Finalist, 2022 Foreword INDIES for Poetry...

Submission Guidelines

The Center for Literary Publishing is currently accepting submissions for the Mountain/West Poetry Series through January 31, 2024.

We consider submissions for the series from poets living in the US west of the Mississippi River, including Hawaii, Alaska, and the US Pacific Territories. Please do not submit if you do not currently reside in one of these states or territories.

Poets who enter the Colorado Prize for Poetry and live in the US west of the Mississippi need not submit, as their manuscripts will automatically be considered for the series.

Manuscripts must be at least 60 pages but no more than 100 pages.

Individual poems within the manuscript may be previously published, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished. Self-published books are not eligible for submission.

This is not a contest, and there is no submission fee.

Manuscripts will not be read blind. You may include, if applicable, acknowledgments noting poems’ previous publication.

Authors will receive a standard publishing contract that offers a $500 advance against royalties with 10 percent (net) royalties once the advance is earned out, as well as ten complimentary copies and a 40 percent author discount. Books are distributed to the trade by the University Press of Colorado.

Submissions will be accepted online only. Please submit here.


Contact Stephanie G'Schwind

Stephanie G'Schwind

  • Director, Center for Literary Publishing