This section is for poetry book reviews and submissions for our “Last Poem I Loved” and “Last Book of Poems I Loved” series.

The Rumpus has two reading periods for unsolicited original poetry: January 1–January 31 and July 1–July 31. Unsolicited poetry can only be submitted during those reading periods to our Rumpus Original Poetry category. Please do not submit unsolicited poetry here; the submission will be discarded.

We’re focused on reviews of full-length poetry collections and chapbooks by both emerging and established poets. We accept drafts of completed reviews only; please do not submit pitches.

We’re eager for reviews that embrace the traditional form as well as those that challenge or experiment convention, that welcome the “I” and a reader’s personal relationship to a text, and that engage with the form beyond our own imaginations. Please disclose any relationship you have to the author of the book you’re reviewing, if one exists, so we may determine any conflict of interest.

Your review should be accessible to a general audience. We're more interested in the reader's experience of the poems, subject matter, arc, and the poet's use of craft than we are in scholarly criticism or theory. We love reviews that address how the collection interacts with poetic tradition, the current landscape of poetry, and that speaks to what the collection brings to our shared discourse as readers and writers.

Formatting details:

  • Reviews should be between 1200–2500 words for full-length collections, 1000-1500 words for chapbooks.
  • Please provide the following information at the top of your review: title of book being reviewed, author of book, name of press and publication date, reviewer's name and email address
  • Reviews should be single-spaced and paginated.
  • Poem excerpts of more than three lines should be formatted exactly as they appear on the page, and set off in the text of the review. Please include at least 1–2 excerpts of more than three lines. Shorter excerpts should be quoted within the text of the review using quotation marks and virgules ( / ), with one space ahead and behind the virgule to indicate line breaks. Poems cannot be reprinted/quoted in their entirety. When excerpting poems, spaces at the front of the line and within lines should be done using the space bar rather than the tab key.
  • There is no need to cite page numbers within the review, but please check excerpts and quotes carefully to ensure they are free of errors and formatted correctly.
  • In your cover letter, please include: your contact information and a brief bio that we would use should your review be accepted

We are also always interested in entries for our "Last Poem I Loved" and "Last Book of Poems I Loved" series, which should be 1500–4000 words.

All work must be previously unpublished—this includes personal blogs, websites, and social media. We do allow simultaneous submissions; please withdraw your review from Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere. Please wait at least three months from date of submission before querying about submission status.

To learn more about specific collections we are interested in seeing reviewed, check out our wish list below, which we’ll aim to update monthly. To inquire about available review copies, please email Brian Spears at poetry@therumpus.net.

Poetry review wish list:

Rick Barot, During the Pandemic (Albion Books, 2020)

Rosebud Ben-Oni, If This Is the Age We End Discovery (Alice James Books, March 2021)

Destiny O. Birdsong, Negotiations (Tin House, October 2020)

Ali Black, If It Heals at All (Jacar Press, November 2020)

Armen Davoudian, Swan Song (Bull City Press, October 2020)

Tyree Daye, Cardinal (Copper Canyon Press, October 2020)

Krista Franklin, Too Much Midnight (Haymarket, April 2020)

Joanna Fuhrman, To a New Era (Hanging Loose Press, January 2021)

Hafizah Geter, Un-American (Wesleyan University Press, September 2020)

Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Migrant Psalms (Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize/Northwestern University Press, April 2021)

Ghinwa Jawhari, BINT (Radix Media Own Voices Chapbook Prize, March 2021)

Javon Johnson, Ain’t Never Not Been Black (Button Poetry, October 2020)

Taylor Johnson, Inheritance (Alice James Books, November 2020)

Yi Lei, My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree (Graywolf Press, November 2020)

Aditi Machado, Emporium (Nightboat, October 2020)

Aditi Machado, Rhapsody (Albion Books, January 2020) 

Jasmine Mans, Black Girl Call Home (Berkeley Publishing Group, March 2021)

Khaled Mattawa, Fugitive Atlas (Graywolf Press, October 2020)

Tiana Nobile, Cleave ( Hub City Press, April 2021)

Joy Priest, Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, September 2020)

Arisa White, Who’s Your Daddy (Augury Books, March 2021)

JinJin Xu, There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife (Radix Media Own Voices Chapbook Prize, November 2020)

Already Felt: Poems in Revolt and Bounty (A Chapbook Centering Queer & Trans Black Poets & Poets of Color, 2020)

Publishers seeking to submit finished books for review consideration should not use this Submittable account. Instead, please send a description of the book to Brian Spears at poetry@therumpus.net.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.