Atsuro Riley grew up in South Carolina lowcountry and lives in San Francisco. His heavily stressed, percussive, consonant-rich, free-verse poems conjure up the elemental images of the lives of people inhabiting a specific, acutely portrayed landscape. His poems are dense with impressions, voices, and glimpses of people who have experienced the Vietnam War, rural life, and the South. Though grounded in a world that seems unmistakably North American, the poems’ rich Anglo-Saxon textures are reminiscent of the works of Gerard Manley Hopkins and Basil Bunting.
Riley's work has been anthologized in The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine, (2012), The Oxford Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (2014), Poems of the American South (2014), and The McSweeney’s Book of Poets Picking Poets (2007). He has received the Whiting Writers' Award, a Pushcart Prize, the J. Howard and M.J. Wood Prize from Poetry magazine, a NEA fellowship and a Lannan Literary fellowship. His first book, Romey's Order (2010), received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, The Believer Poetry Award, and a Witter Bynner Award from the Library of Congress.