Alberto Ríos Named Arizona State University Piper Center's Newest Director
The first poet laureate of Arizona (and an Arizona State University Professor) Alberto Ríos is the new Piper Center Director, according to a press release distributed by the university's digital publication ASU News. Ríos has held a strong connection with the university's students, faculty, and administration for over 30 years. His new title encapsulates artistic direction and administrative oversight of daily activities at the center. The university explains that "Ríos will be instrumental in building connections between writers and readers, establishing educational opportunities to support literary artists, encouraging artistic exchanges with international communities and enriching the cultural environment of Arizona and the entire Southwest." Let's pick up with the story from there:
“Ríos is an unparalleled talent in the crafting of American poetry,” said Patrick Kenney, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “His poetry and literary works have positively influenced our community and have been a driving force for Arizona’s culture and heritage.”
Ríos has authored 10 books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories and a memoir about growing up on the Mexico-Arizona border. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, the Arizona Governor's Arts Award, the Walt Whitman Award and the Western States Book Award for Fiction.
Ríos’ work is regularly taught, translated and included in more than 300 national and international anthologies. In 2014, he was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.
“I’m confident with this new appointment that Ríos will continue to foster a thriving creative and literary environment at ASU following on the long and successful legacy of Professor Jewell Parker Rhodes, who was the founding director of the Virginia G. Piper Center,” said Mark Searle, the executive vice president and university provost at ASU. “His immense talent and dedication to creative writing will promote the value of the humanities generally and the Piper Center specifically for the college, university and the broader community.”
Read all about it at ASU News.