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Alberto Álvaro Ríos (born 1952 in Nogales, Arizona) is the author of ten books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir. His books of poems include, most recently, The Dangerous Shirt, along with The Theater of Night, winner of the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award, The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, finalist for the National Book Award, Teodoro Luna's Two Kisses, The Lime Orchard Woman, The Warrington Poems, Five Indiscretions, and Whispering to Fool the Wind, which won the Walt Whitman Award. His three collections of short stories are, most recently, The Curtain of Trees, along with Pig Cookies and The Iguana Killer, which won the first Western States Book Award for Fiction, judged by Robert Penn Warren. His memoir about growing up on the Mexico-Arizona border, called Capirotada, won the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award and was designated the OneBookArizona 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 300 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 since 1982 and where he holds the further distinction of the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English. In August 2013 Rios was named Arizona's first state poet laureate, a position he holds until 2015.
His books of poems include
- The Dangerous Shirt (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)
- The Theater of Night (Copper Canyon Press, 2006)
- The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body( Copper Canyon Press, 2002) which was nominated for the National Book Award,
- Teodoro Luna's Two Kisses
- The Lime Orchard Woman
- The Warrington Poems
- Five Indiscretions
- Whispering to Fool the Wind
- Sleeping on Fists (Dooryard Press, 1981)
- Elk Heads on the Wall(Mango Publications, 1979)
- Spring in the Only Place Spring Was
Short story collections
- The Curtain of Trees
- Pig Cookies
- The Iguana Killer
- Capirotada, a memoir about growing up on the Mexican border
- 2002 finalist for the National Book Award
- At the request of Governor-elect Janet Napolitano, Ríos wrote and delivered a poem at Arizona's gubernatorial inauguration in 2003.
- At Governor Napolitano's request, wrote a poem for the visit of President Vicente Fox of Mexico.
- 2002 recipient of the Western Literature Association's Distinguished Achievement Award
- Arizona Governor's Arts Award
- Guggenheim Foundation fellowship
- National Endowment for the Arts fellowship
- Walt Whitman Award
- Outstanding Latino/a Cultural Award in Literary Arts or Publications, AAHHE, 2004
- Western States Book Award for Fiction
- six Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and fiction
- inclusion in The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry
- inclusion in over 175 other national and international literary anthologies
- selected as a 2005 Historymaker by the Arizona History Society's Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, at Papago Park, Tempe, Arizona
- 2007 recipient of the PEN Open Book Award (formerly titled the Beyond Margins Award) for The Theater of Night
- Once met Michael "El HefeGande" Padilla in an ASU function
- Wild, Peter (1998). Alberto Ríos. Boise, Idaho: Boise State University "Western Writers Series" #131. pp. 51. ISBN 978-0884301301 OCLC 40252765 and 246369356
- Alberto Álvaro Ríos faculty/personal website – Arizona State University