Rigoberto Gonzalez

Author: Rigoberto Gonzalez

Profile: Rigoberto González is an American writer, professor and book critic. He was born in Bakersfield, California and grew up in Michoacan, Mexico. He belonged to a family of migrant family workers and in 1980 his extended family migrated to California and in 1992 returned to Mexico. He stayed on in the United States to finish his education. He underwent a difficult childhood and adolescence being an immigrant in California which is the basis for his memoir Buttterfly Boy: Memoirs of a Chicano Mariposa.

Rigoberto González received the B.A. degree in Humanities and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California, Riverside and graduate degrees from the University of California, Davis and Arizona State University in Tempe. While he was in college he has performed with a number of Flamenco and Folklorico dance troupes. Gonzalez enrolled for the PhD program in 1997 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, however joined his partner in New York City and dropped out that year, after which he pursued a career in writing. Together they wrote books and attained a number of recognitions and awards for their works.

Presently he teaches at the writing program of Rutgers University in Newark as director of the MFA program in Creative writing and professor of English.


Writing style: Rigoberto Gonzalez is an author and editor of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and bilingual children’s books and self-identities in his writing as a gay Chicano.


Published Texts:

Full-Length Poetry Collections

2019 – The Book of Ruin

2013 – Unpeopled Eden

2011 – Black Blossoms

2006 – Other Fugitives and Other Strangers

1999 – So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until it Breaks

Poetry Chapbook

2015 – Out Lady of the Crossword

Bilingual Children’s Books

2005 – Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio

2003 – Soledad Sigh-Sighs/ Soledad Suspiros


2015 – Mariposa

2012 – Mariposa Gown

2010 – The Mariposa Club

2003 – Crossing Vines

Memoirs and Other Nonfiction

2018 – What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth: A Memoir of Brotherhood

2017 – Pivotal Voices, Era of Transition: Toward a 21st Century Poetics

2013 – Autobiography of My Hungers

2013 – Red-Inked Retablos: Essays

2006 – Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa

Short Story Collections

2008 –Men without Bliss

Works Edited

2011 – Xicano Duende: A Select Anthology

2010 – Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing

In Anthology

2018 – Ghost Fishing: An Eco- Justice Poetry Anthology

Awards and Acknowledgements:

PEN/VOelcker Award for Poetry

The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime

Achievement (The Publishing Triangle)

2014 USA Rolon Fellowship

Guggenheim Fellowship

NEA Fellowship

American Book Award

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize (Academy of American Poets)

The Poetry Center Book Award

The Shelley Memorial Award (Poetry Society of America)

NYFA Fellowship

Lambda Literary Award

Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award

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