Colorado Authors You Should Know

While Colorado might not be the literary hub that New York or Washington are, we we have our fair share of literary greats right here in the Centennial State.

Denver boasts a vivid literary history filled with novelists, poets and journalists. Some were born and raised here, while others came seeking our clean air and mountain views in the prime of their literary prowess. Our mountains beg for stories, our caves are rich with lore, and our blue skies are the stuff of legends.

Walt Whitman, a man famous for his love of nature, may have said it best: “So much for my feeling toward the queen city of the plains and peaks, where she sits in her delicious rare atmosphere, over 5,000 feet above sea-level, irrigated by mountain streams, one way looking east over the prairies for a thousand miles, and having the other, westward, in constant view by day, draped in their violet haze, mountain tops innumerable. Yes, I fell in love with Denver.”

There’s something special about reading works that take place where you live. To hear authors speak of the things you’ve seen makes an experience even more moving. Here are eight of my current favorite Colorado authors to check out from your local Anythink.

Natalie Mae. Genre: YA Fantasy. Must-reads books? "The Kinder Poison" and "The Cruelest Mercy."

Peter Heller. Genre: Adult Fiction. Must-reads books? "The Dog-Stars," "The Guide" and "The River."

Blake Crouch. Genre: Adult Sci-Fi. Must-reads books: "Dark Matter" and "Recursion."

Francine Matthews. Genre: Adult Mystery. "Death on Tucker-Nuck" and "Death in the Off-Season."

Kent Haruf. Genre: Adult Fiction. Must-read books: "Our Souls at Night" and "Plainsong."

Sandra Dallas. Genre: Historical Fiction. Must-read books: "Tallgrass" and "The Persian Pickle Club."

Sandyha Menon. Genre: YA Romance. "When Dimple Met Rishi" and "Curses and Kisses."

Stephen Graham Jones. Genre: Adult Horror. Must-reads books: "Mongrels" and "The Only Good Indians."

Emily France. Genre: YA Contemporary. Must-read books: "Signs of You" and "Zen and Gone."

Andrea Gibson. Genre: Poetry. Must-reads books: "Lord of the Butterflies" and "You Better be Lightning."

There must be something about Colorado’s beauty, altitude and history that lends itself to such wonderful literature, and gives us one more reason to be proud to call ourselves a part of the Centennial State.


Add Kate Lansing who writes cozy wine mysteries that take place in Boulder and beyond in Colorado. Great to read on a nippy Colorado evening (with wine) by a fire place.

Also Karen Auvinen who wrote Rough Beauty (NF Memoirs)about living in a cabin up in Left Hand Canyon, near Boulder, intending to write her book. She tells great details of the sturfy oldtimers who live independently around Jamestown.

Great local author recommendations to check out - thank you! - The Anythink team