Alicia Mountain

Alicia Mountain (Poetry) | Denver, CO

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Alicia Mountain’s first collection, High Ground Coward (University of Iowa Press, 2018), was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy as a winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. She is also the author of the digital chapbook Thin Fire, selected by Natalie Diaz and published by BOAAT Press. Mountain is a lesbian poet, a PhD student, and an assistant editor of the Denver Quarterly. Keep up with her at


High Ground Coward (University of Iowa Press, 2018). Iowa Poetry Prize. Poetry.


  • Thin Fire (BOAAT Press, 2018)

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“Alicia Mountain looks at every tiny thing very closely, and in doing that conveys the big picture of a vast inner life with marvelous clarity and depth. Her voice is intimate, brash, always precise, heartbreaking in both its vulnerability and its authority. These poems are carried away by both lust and intelligence. This poet understands desire: its expression lets loose while giving form. This book doesn’t detour, it goes right to and through the overpowered, relentless heart of its speaker and the reader is struck through too, and good. High Ground Coward is a dazzling debut by a rare, true talent.”
—Brenda Shaughnessy, judge, Iowa Poetry Prize

High Ground Coward is raw and intimate. Alicia Mountain looks at what she loves and that foreground blurs into a backdrop of practical constraints and injustices. The poems press at those boundaries where desire starts to interfere with the opportunities of others and cast an unsparing eye on the cost. This is a book of hard, shifting, dreamlike gems.”
—Joanna Klink, author, Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy

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