Alberto Alvaro Ríos was born in the city of Nogales, Arizona, on the Mexican border. His mother was British and his father Mexican. Ríos was educated at University of Arizona and now teaches at Arizona State University. His poetry has been set to music in a cantata by James DeMars called "Toto's Say” and also adapted to both dance and popular music. As “Madre Sofía” demonstrates, there is a distinctive strain of magical realism in his work, something he is adept at sustaining in verse narratives. Ríos’s short story “Eyes Like They Say the Devil Has” takes up the same childhood visit to a gypsy fortune-teller. Ríos is equally well known for his fiction and for Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir (1999). His work presents one of the most vital imaginative accounts of life on the border between Mexico and the United States.