...Crossing over from Mexico to the United States is not a small thing, but not large either. This is an incorrect vocabulary. To cross over was big, but that part was easy. The big is like that. It was the small that was difficult. To cross the border was made up of these smaller things, then. It was lived as these more difficult-to-explain changes in color, more like that, more something of the body than one might suspect....
American poet, fiction writer, and memoirist. Ríos was born in Nogales, Arizona, to an English mother and a Mexican father. As a child Ríos spoke Spanish and English, but he was chastised by teachers for using Spanish and "forgot" the language until he encountered more encouraging mentors in high school. He earned a B.A. in literature, another in psychology, and an M.F.A. in creative writing, all from the University of Arizona. He currently teaches creative writing at Arizona State University. Ríos is the author of nine books and chapbooks of poetry, including The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body (2002) and The Theater of Night (2006), along with three collections of short stories. His memoir Capirotada (1999) won the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award. See also asu.edu.