April 19, 1943
Canton, New York
|Occupation||Novelist, poet, illustrator|
|Alma mater||Bard College|
|Literary movement||Surrealism, postmodernism|
Ducornet's father was a professor of sociology, and her mother hosted community-interest programs on radio and television. Ducornet was raised in a multicultural household as her father was Cuban and her mother was Russian-Jewish. Ducornet's father, Gerard DeGré, was an important figure in her life as he encouraged her to read novels by authors like Albert Camus and Lau Tzu, and to pursue an exploration of knowledge. Ducornet's father also taught her the rumba at the age of ten. Ducornet grew up on the campus of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, in New York, earning a B.A. in Fine Arts from the same institution in 1964. While at Bard she met Robert Coover and Robert Kelly, two authors who shared Ducornet's fascination with metamorphosis and provided early models of how fiction might express this interest. In 1972 she moved to the Loire Valley in France with her then husband, Guy Ducornet. As a young girl, Ducornet dreamed of being a visual artist and it wasn't until she moved to France with her husband that she began to seriously think about writing. Being in Europe brought out something new as Ducornet explained, “I was acutely aware of language”. It was in France too, that Ducornet raised her son, Jean-Yves, who became bilingual in French and English. In addition to living in France, Ducornet has also lived for periods of her life in other countries. Ducornet spent part of her childhood in Cuba and in Egypt, after her father received an invitation to teach at the University of Cairo. Ducornet also spent two years in Algeria after the Algerian war of Independence. Ducornet currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington. In 1988 she won a Bunting Institute fellowship at Radcliffe. In 1989 she moved back to the United States after accepting a teaching position in the English Department at the University of Denver. In 2007, she replaced retired Dr. Ernest Gaines as Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Ducornet is known for her writing characterized by motifs of nature, Eros, abusive authority, subversion, and the creative imagination. Ducornet hand writes the drafts of her books with pen and ink and when writing, Ducornet does not begin with a set plot but rather derives her stories from the hearts of her subjects. In Ducornet's first book, The Butcher’s Tales, she dealt with ideas of “conveying moral understanding, a visceral need to confront abusive Authority in its many forms, and to fully engage the beautiful”, all themes that reoccur in her later work. In addition to being known as a writer, Ducornet also works in the mediums of painting and printmaking. Ducornet has illustrated books by Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Coover, Forrest Gander, Kate Bernheimer, and Anne Waldman among others. A collection of Ducornet's papers, including prints and drawings, are in the permanent collection of the Ohio State University Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. In 2017, Ducornet partnered with multimedia artist Margie McDonald in a collaborative installation show at the Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend. The show exhibited a series of 25 foot long painted scrolls hand painted by Ducornet and multimedia wire sculptures by Margie McDonald. These scrolls were painted during a month long residency at the Vermont Studio Center prior to Ducornet and McDonald's collaboration. The show then traveled in 2018 to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to be shown at Carmen Gutierrez’a surrealist gallery, Casa Diana.
Ducornet is the subject of the Steely Dan song "Rikki Don't Lose That Number." Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen had met her while both were attending Bard College. Ducornet says they met at a college party, and even though she was both pregnant and married at the time, he gave her his number. Ducornet was intrigued by Fagen and was tempted to call him, but she decided against it.
- Arts and Letters Award in Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters (2008)
- Lannan Literary Award for Fiction (2004)
- Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters (1998) 
- Critics Choice Award (1995) 
- Lannan Literary Award for Fiction (1993)
- The Stain Chatto & Windus, London (1984); Grove Press, New York (1984); revised edition Dalkey Archive Press, Normal IL (1995)
- Entering Fire Chatto & Windus, London (1986); City Lights, San Francisco (1986)
- The Fountains of Neptune McClelland & Steward, Toronto (1989); Dalkey Archive Press, Normal, Illinois (1992)
- The Jade Cabinet Dalkey Archive Press, Normal, Illinois (1993)
- Phosphor in Dreamland Dalkey Archive Press, Normal, Illinois (1995)
- The Fan-Maker's Inquisition Henry Holt, New York (1999)
- Gazelle Alfred A. Knopf, New York (2003)
- Netsuke: a novel Coffee House Press, Minneapolis (2011)
- Brightfellow: a novel Coffee House Press, Minneapolis (2016)
- Short fiction collections
- The Butcher's Tales (1980)
- The Complete Butcher's Tales (1994)
- The Word 'Desire' (1997)
- The One Marvelous Thing (2008)
- From The Star Chamber (as "Rikki") Fiddlehead Poetry Books, Fredericton NB (1974)
- Wild Geraniums Actual Size Press, London (1975)
- Bouche a Bouche by Guy Ducornet & Rikki, Soror, Paris (1975)
- Weird Sisters (as "Rikki") Intermedia, Vancouver (1976)
- Knife Notebook (as "Rikki") Fiddlehead Poetry Books, Vancouver (1977)
- The Illustrated Universe (as "Rikki") Aya Press, Toronto (1979)
- The Cult of Seizure The Porcupine's Quill, Erin, Ontario (1989)
- The Monstrous and the Marvelous City Lights, San Francisco (1999)
- The Deep Zoo Coffee House Press, Minneapolis (2015)
- Anthologies edited
- Shoes & Shit: Stories for Pedestrians edited by Geoff Hancock & Rikki Ducornet, Aya Press, Toronto (1984)
- Children's books
- The Blue Bird Adaptation of Mme. D'Aulnoy's old French fairy tale, Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1970)
- Shazira Shazam and the Devil by Erica and Guy Ducornet, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (1972)
- Spanking the Maid by Robert Coover (1981)
- Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges (1983)
- Torn Wings and Faux Pas by Karen Elizabeth Gordon (1997)
- Horse, Flower, Bird by Kate Bernheimer (2010) 
- Paz, Diane Urbani de la (2011-04-24). "PENINSULA WOMAN: Prolific Port Townsend artist, writer Rikki Ducornet explores transformation". Peninsula Daily News. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- Ducornet, "Class of '64," in Rikki Ducornet, ed. G. N. Forester and M. J. Nicholls (Singapore: Verbivoracious Press, 2015), p. 85
- david (2016-07-20). "Rikki Ducornet : Brightfellow". Between The Covers. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- "Rikki Ducornet". Lannan Foundation. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- Gregory, Sindra. "Finding a Language: Introducing Rikki Ducornet" The Review of Contemporary Fiction Fall 1998.
- "Writers-in-Residence". 1 September 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
- "rikki ducornet". rikki ducornet. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- "INTERVIEW I Rikki Ducornet by The Editors | The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review". Eckleburg. 2015-01-30. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- "CRAZY HAPPY: Painted Scrolls by Rikki Ducornet & Sculpture by Margie McDonald". Numéro Cinq. 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
- McCormack, J.W. (May 20, 2016). "The Burden of Strangeness: Rikki Ducornet". PWxyz, LLC. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Sleeman, Elizabeth, ed. (2004) . International Who's Who of Authors and Writers (19th ed.). Europa Publications. p. 151. ISBN 1 85743 1790. ISSN 1740-018X.
- Bernheimer, Kate (24 August 2010). "Horse, Flower, Bird". Coffee House Press. Retrieved 2 October 2017 – via Amazon.