Ramon Gonzalez was raised in El Paso, Texas, and spoke only Spanish until the age of five. He earned his BA in English from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and his MFA in creative writing from Texas State University in San Marcos.
Gonzalez is the author of fifteen books of poetry, including Cutting the Wire: Poetry and Photography (University of New Mexico Press, 2018); Beautiful Wall (BOA Editions, 2015); Soul Over Lightning (University of Arizona Press, 2014); The Religion of Hands (University of Arizona Press, 2005), which received the 2006 Latino Heritage Award for Best Book of Poetry; The Hawk Temple at Tierra Grande (BOA Editions, 2002), winner of a 2003 Minnesota Book Award; Turtle Pictures (University of Arizona Press, 2000), a winner of a 2001 Minnesota Book Award; and The Heat of Arrivals (BOA Editions, 1996), a winner of a 1997 PEN/Josephine Miles Book Award.
Gonzalez is also the author of works of fiction, including Circling the Tortilla (Dragon Creative Arts Books, 2002), and the essay collection Renaming the Earth: Personal Essays (University of Arizona Press, 2008). He provided the Spanish translation for the children’s book El Conejito Claudio / Claudio the Rabbit by Carole Olson and Cheryl Schneider (Third Week Books, 2006). Over the past several decades, he has also edited and coedited a dozen anthologies, most recently Sudden Fiction Latino: Short Short Stories from the U.S. and Latin America (W. W. Norton, 2010), coedited with Robert Shapard and James Thomas.
Gonzalez’s other honors include the 2017 Witter Bynner Award, a lifetime achievement award from the Border Regional Library Association, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.
Gonzalez has served as poetry editor of The Bloomsbury Review since 1980 and as coeditor of Luna: A Journal of Poetry and Translation with Alex Lemon. Gonzalez previously taught at the University of Illinois Chicago and currently teaches at the University of Minnesota, where he has been a professor of English since 1998.