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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poetry review wish list:
Albert Abonado, Jaw (Sundress Publications, February 2020)
Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Migrant Psalms (Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize/Northwestern University Press, April 2021)
Raymond Antrobus, The Perseverance (Tin House, March 2021)
Sean Avery Medlin, 808s & Otherworlds: Memories, Remixes, & Mythologies (Two Dollar Radio, September, 2021)
Phillip B. Williams, Mutiny (Penguin Poets, September 2021)
Rosebud Ben-Oni, If This Is the Age We End Discovery(Alice James Books, March 2021)
Ali Black, If It Heals at All (Jacar Press, November 2020)
Sumita Chakraborty, Arrow (Alice James Books, September 2020)
Rohan Chhetri, Lost, Hurt, or in Transit (Kundiman Prize Winner/Tupelo Press/ HarperCollinsIN, 2021; UK edition from Platypus Press, 2022).
Armen Davoudian, Swan Song (Bull City Press, October 2020)
Diane Exavier, The Math of St. Felix (The 3rdThing, November 2021)
Ian Felice, The Moon Over Edgar (Sibling Rivalry Press, February 2022)
Joanna Fuhrman, To a New Era (Hanging Loose Press, January 2021)
Hafizah Geter, Un-American (Wesleyan University Press, September 2020)
Javon Johnson, Ain’t Never Not Been Black (Button Poetry, October 2020)
Cortney Lamar Charleston, Dopplegangbanger (Haymarket Books, February 2021))
Shayla Lawz, speculation (Autumn House Press, October 2021)
Yi Lei, My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree (Graywolf Press, November 2020)
Ananda Lima, Mother/land (Black Lawrence Press, October, 2021)
Jasmine Mans, Black Girl Call Home (Berkeley Publishing Group, March 2021)
Julie Marie Wade, Skirted (The Word Works, March 2021)
Khaled Mattawa, Fugitive Atlas (Graywolf Press, October 2020)
Rena Mosteirin, Experiment 116 (Counterpath Press, October 2021)
Shreela Ray: On the Life and Work of an American Master(Unsung Masters Series, 2021)
Solmaz Sharif, Customs (Graywolf Press, March 2022)
M. Soledad Caballero, I Was a Bell (Red Hen Press, September 2021)
Christine Shan Shan Hou, The Joy and Terror are Both in the Swallowing (After Hours Editions, March 2021)
Divya Victor, Curb (Nightboat Press, April, 2021)
Devon Walker-Figueroa, Philomath: Poems (Milkweed Editions, September, 2021)
Blake Z. Rong, I Am Not Young And I Will Die With This Car In My Garage (Atmosphere Press, August, 2021)
Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and its Diaspora(Green Linden Press, September 2021)
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 email@example.com.