Alberto Rios

January 6, 2014 Rios Alberto



The border fence,

The chain links, the wires:


They are strung like two harps

At cross purposes,


Two harps at the same time:

One with its strings up and down,


The other with its strings sideways.

To make music this way


Is difficult.  To hear

The song of the two harps


Requires someone ready to play.

We are waiting.

Alberto Álvaro Ríos is the author of eleven books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir.  His books of poems include, most recently, A Small Story About the Sky.  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 250 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.