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Cover of Not Go Away Is My Name by Alberto Ríos
May 2020
Copper Canyon Press

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Not Go Away Is My Name

Alberto Ríos

Resistance and persistence collide in Alberto Rios’s sixteenth book, "Not Go Away Is My Name," a book about past and present, changing and unchanging, letting go and holding on. The borderline between Mexico and the U.S. looms large, and Ríos sheds light on and challenges our sensory experiences of everyday objects. At the same time, family memories and stories of the Sonoran desert weave throughout as Ríos travels in duality: between places, between times, and between lives. In searching for and treasuring what ought to be remembered, Ríos creates an ode to family life, love and community, and realizes “All I can do is not go away. / Not go away is my name.”


Alberto Ríos is a Regents Professor of English in creative writing and University Professor of letters at ASU, where he also holds the Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair and directs the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Praise for this book

“This striking 12th collection from Ríos draws its energy from the space between active resistance and sturdy persistence … A vibrant attention to color animates even simple descriptions … This work captures Ríos’s singular voice at its best.”

Publishers Weekly starred review

“Alberto Ríos has always had a gift for restabilizing the personal universe in his poems, and his new book, 'Not Go Away Is My Name,' is strong and deep as gravity … This is a border book, rural and urban at once, a pay-better-attention book, for all human beings who embrace one another, or think they relate to only a few. This is a major book for our time.”

Naomi Shihab Nye
The New York Times