The primary function of Colorado Review’s book reviews is to bring attention to works that might not otherwise be noticed by the mainstream press. To that end, we’re interested in reviews of books from small, independent publishers and university presses, and books from new and emerging writers. We accept previously unpublished reviews of poetry and short story collections, novels, and literary nonfiction that, generally, have come out within the last year. We do not review work that has been self-published. All book reviews are featured on our website:

Reviewers are compensated with a one-year subscription to Colorado Review.

Aim for 750 to 1,000 words in your review.

While there is certainly a space for negative book reviews, Colorado Review is not that space. This is not to say you should refrain from offering criticism, simply that we wish to recommend the books we choose for review.

The review should offer a well-crafted blend of summary and analysis, and avoid scholarly criticism. If you’re unfamiliar with the distinction, please look to such popular publications as Rain Taxi or the review section of the
New York Times to get an idea of what we’re looking for. The review should provide a sense of what the book is about, and should be accessible to any reader of literature. If your review is rife with academic jargon, it’s probably
not what we’re looking for.

Please don’t send us a review of your friend’s/colleague’s/professor’s/student’s book. While you may have met the author at a conference or are perhaps even an acquaintance, you should not have a relationship with the author that will compromise your ability to praise and/or criticize the work objectively.

At the top of your review, please include the following publication information, formatted as follows:

Cloud Study, by Susan Jones-Carlson
Table Press, 2011
reviewed by Fiona Edwards

It’s unlikely that we’ll have a copy of the book you’ve reviewed, so please triple check any quotations carefully and provide page numbers for each within the body of your review.

The body of your review should be double spaced, but extracts (block quotations) should be set off using Word’s“increase indent” function (that is, please don’t indent them with tabs or spaces) and single spaced.

Please avoid using parenthetical title references following poetry extracts, such as:

Without a dream of trains
I took your only suitcase.
(“I Left You In Paris”)

Or introducing extracts without providing context, such as:

From “I Left You in Paris”:
Without a dream of trains
I took your only suitcase . . .

Poem titles should instead be incorporated into the text, typically before the extract. Often the sentence introducing an extract will contain the title reference and a small synopsis that situates the extract you choose to quote:

Example: In “End of Night” we get a withering image of our intellectual solipsism:
Rising from the bay
the moon through my socket

Example: A similar shadow is cast in the opening of the poem “Autumn Threshold”:
Bees by the clover
ditch gravel and weeds

When quoting lines of poetry within your text (rather than setting off as an extract), please use one space on either side of the slash to indicate line breaks.

Example: William Carlos Williams opens his poem with “So much depends / upon . . .”

Please submit in Times New Roman, 12 point.

We follow The Chicago Manual of Style.

With your review, provide your mailing address, phone number, e-mail, and a bio note.