María Luisa Arroyo was born in Manati, Puerto Rico, and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. She received a BA from Colby College, an MA from Tufts University, and an MFA from Pine Manor College. She is the author of Gathering Words/Recogiendo palabras (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2008). In 2014, Arroyo was named the inaugural poet laureate of Springfield, Massachusetts. She has also received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship and New England Public Radio’s Arts & Humanities Award. She lives in Springfield, Massachusetts.