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AZO Cast Members & Creatives

Alberto Ríos

Alberto Álvaro Ríos, born in 1952 in Nogales, Arizona, is the author of ten books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir.  

Born and raised in Nogales, Arizona, Alberto Álvaro Ríos earned his BA and MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and holds the esteemed position of Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University. His poetry, stories and autobiographical work have been extensively published for nearly 4 decades. Among many other honors, Ríos has received the Walt Whitman Award in Poetry, the Western States Book Award for Fiction, and the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award. In 2014, Ríos was elected to the prestigious position of Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

His books of poems include, most recently, The Dangerous Shirt, preceded by The Theater of Night, winner of the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award, along with The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, a finalist for the National Book Award, Teodoro Luna’s Two KissesThe Lime Orchard WomanThe Warrington PoemsFive Indiscretions, and Whispering to Fool the Wind.  His three collections of short stories are, most recently, The Curtain of Trees, along with Pig Cookies, and The Iguana Killer.  His memoir about growing up on the Mexico-Arizona border—called Capirotada—won the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award and, most recently, was designated as the One Book Arizona choice for 2009.

Ríos is the recipient of the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, the Arizona Governor’s Arts Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Walt Whitman Award, the Western States Book Award for Fiction, six Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and fiction, and inclusion in The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, as well as over 250 other national and international literary anthologies.  His work is regularly taught and translated, and has been adapted to dance and both classical and popular music.

Ríos is a Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University, where he has taught for over 30 years and where he holds the further distinction of the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English.

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