August 10, 2007
Poet's Work Inspired by His Upbringing 'Between Cultures'
Alberto Rios, born in 1952 in Nogales, Ariz., grew up along the Mexican border. His father was from Mexico and his mother from England, which helped contribute to his transcultural voice.
Rios is the author of at least 10 works: in poetry -- "The Theater of Night" (2006), "The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body" (2002), "Teodoro Luna's Two Kisses" (1990), "The Lime Orchard Woman" (1988), "Five Indiscretions" (1985), "Whispering to Fool the Wind" (1982); in fiction -- "The Curtain of Trees" (1999), "Pig Cookies" (1995), "The Iguana Killer" (1984); and a memoir -- "Capirotada" (1999).
His poems have been included in more than 150 national and international literary anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, and magazines, such as The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review and Ploughshares.
He is a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2002 Western Literature Association's Distinguished Achievement Award.
Rios, who Prairie Schooner has called "arguably the best Latino poet writing in English today," teaches at Arizona State University at Tempe. He regularly gives readings of his work and lectures around the country.