Rigoberto González

Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry

  • Biography


Rigoberto González is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and eleven books of prose, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.  The recipient of Guggenheim, NEA and USA Rolón fellowships, a NYFA grant in poetry, the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Poetry Center Book Award, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award, he is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and writes a monthly column for NBC-Latino online.  Currently, he is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey, and the inaugural Stan Rubin Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Rainier Writing Workshop.  In 2015, he received The Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle.  As of 2016, he serves as critic-at-large with the L.A. Times and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

Mentor. Classes in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction.

Statement: “Writing has never been a luxury or pastime for me, it has always been a passion and a mission. That means that I look at writing as purpose, an expression that’s meant to communicate something important enough for the artist that it is to be shared and hopefully appreciated. Writing bears the responsibility to appeal to the linguistic, intellectual and/or emotional pleasures, and to expand the reader’s understanding of the powers and politics of voice, knowledge, and/or identity. I also take mentorship seriously, and my role as an instructor is to motivate and guide students to a place of creativity and reflection, where those students can build on their strengths and improve on their weaknesses. I believe the goal of interacting in a writing program is for students to see themselves as artists participating in an expansive and diverse literary landscape that expects them to write compelling work, to challenge and surprise their readers, and to encourage curiosity, critical thinking and emotional growth. To that end, I uphold a high standard for myself, and I invite those who choose to work with me to do so as well.”