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Piper Center Artistic Director Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Director

About Alberto Álvaro Ríos

Alberto Álvaro Ríos, born in 1952 in Nogales, Arizona, is the author of eleven books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir.  His books of poems include The Dangerous Shirt, 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 Kisses, The Lime Orchard Woman, The Warrington Poems, Five Indiscretions, and Whispering to Fool the Wind, winner of 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.  His memoir about growing up on the Mexico-Arizona border—called Capirotada—won the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award and was recently chosen as the OneBookArizona selection.

Ríos is host of the Eight, Arizona PBS ground-breaking original production Books & Co., now in its 22nd year on-air, where he provides viewers exclusive access to renowned authors and fresh faces on the literary scene, in intimate conversations with writers offering an unparalleled exploration into the heart and creative process of contemporary literature.

Recently honored with the University of Arizona Outstanding Alumnus Award, 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 for over 35 years and where he holds the further distinctions of the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English and University Professor of Letters. He is Arizona’s inaugural poet laureate and is currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.