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 Alaska, Hawaii, and the US Pacific 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, attuned to and questioning of tradition, historically aware, oriented to the overlapping concerns of the earthly, animal, and human.

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

Susto

by Tommy Archuleta

Surreal yet earthbound, orphaned yet mothered more than most, comforting yet disturbing— Tommy Archuleta’s Susto surveys many settings: the body, the soul, the terrain the soul encounters upon leaving the body. But the setting is also the high desert landscape that is the poet’s northern New Mexico home, a land whose beauty today is as silencing and brutal as was the colonization of the region and her Anasazi descendants by Archuleta’s Spanish antipasados.

In Susto, loss is everywhere to be found, though this work is not merely a concerted meditation on lament. Rather, it is part unearthed family album; part unlocked diary; part ode to motherhood and her various forms; part manual on preparing for a happy death; and part primer on the ancient art of curanderismo, whereby plants and roots are prepared for treating all manner of ills a mind and body might face.

Susto is a whittled bone of a book, seething with marrow. In Archuleta’s realm, loss is not an abstraction, and grief is not simply a feeling. Instead, they inspirit every element of the external world (the wolf, the chokecherry tree, the window, the moth, the rose) and enfever the body, the mind, the dream, and the nightmare. The dead, here, are relentlessly unsentimental. They don’t just haunt. They live, unfettered by metaphor. The remedy/remedio comes through in ritual prose poems that serve as counterpoint to the sustos’ honed music. When it works, the specter becomes, once more, the beloved, though ‘[t]he fever   it’s in us / for good . . . Just like the valley / Just like the moon.’ In Susto, Archuleta has delivered us back to the bottom-line sublime.”
—Diane Seuss, author of Frank: Sonnets

Latest Collections

  • Susto

    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

    Drawing inspiration from the life of Harriet Tubman, Cynthia Parker-Ohene’s poetic narratives follow a historical...

  • West : Fire : Archive

    West : Fire : Archive

    By Iris Jamahl Dunkle

    Nineteenth in the Mountain/West Poetry Series, edited by Stephanie G’Schwind, Kazim Ali, Dan Beachy-Quick, Camille...

Submission Guidelines

The Center for Literary Publishing is currently accepting submissions for the Mountain/West Poetry Series through January 20, 2022.

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.

Questions?

Contact Stephanie G'Schwind

Stephanie G'Schwind

  • Director, Center for Literary Publishing