José Luis Rico

José Luis Rico (Ciudad Juárez, 1987) is a poet and translator from Northern Mexico currently living in Finland.

José began his exploration of poetry at César Silva Márquez‘s poetry workshop (2007-2010) in his hometown. He later studied a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature at Mexico’s National University (2014-2016), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at New York University (2016-2018).

Blanco (2012), his first chapbook, was published by the independent publisher La Dïéresis. Duna, his second chapbook, appeared through the Fondo Editorial Tierra Adentro, in 2013. His book Jabalíes was published by the Fondo Editorial Tierra Adentro in 2015.

He has been awarded with creative writing fellowships by the Fundación para las Letras Mexicanas from 2010-2012; the International Seminary for the Development of Young Translators, sponsored by the French Institute for Latin America and the French Embassy in 2012; the Chihuahua State Arts Council “David Alfaro Siqueiros” Fellowship Program, in 2014; the New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2016-2018; and by Mexico’s National Endowment for Arts and Culture in 2018-2019.

Since 2020, his work as a poet, translator, and literature promoter in Finland has been supported by Arts Promotion Center (TAIKE), FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange, and the Niilo Helander Foundation.

José is the winner of the National Poetry Prize for Young Writers “Guillermo López Muñoz” in 2012; the Premio Chihuahua Prize for the Arts and Sciences in 2014 in the category of “Literature” with a specialty in poetry; and the National Prize for Young Poets “Francisco Cervantes Vidal” 2015. 

He has translated into Spanish authors including Bill Mohr, Edward Myers, Annie Ernaux, Michel Butor, Ludovic Halévy, and Sini Silveri.

His first feature-length film as a scriptwriter, Qué tan lejoswas directed by Hiroshi Sunairi and debuted online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jose put together the volume Arúspice rascacielos (PEISA, 2021), an anthology of Peruvian poet Mariela Dreyfus’s work. Some of his most recent pieces have been featured in Harvard Review (“Helsinki,” 2020), in the collection Blickwinkel: Marasmo (2022), edited by the Goethe-Institut and Pitzilein Books, and La ciudad de los poemas, an anthology of contemporary Mexico City-themed poetry curated by scholar Claudia Kerik.

His forthcoming works include an anthology of Mexican folk drug-traffic-themed ballads translated into English, in collaboration with David Shook and Anthony Seidman; and two poetry collections in the making. On account of his work as a translator and promoter of Finnish literature, José Luis Rico is currently the holder of a Kone Foundation grant for the project New Havens & Humanoids (2023-2024).