Rickey Laurentiis was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the author of Boy with Thorn, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and the Levis Reading Prize, and a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and a Lambda Literary Award. Boy with Thorn was also named one of the top ten debuts of 2015 by Poets & Writers Magazine and a top 16 best poetry books by Buzzfeed, among other distinctions. Individual poems have are published widely and have been anthologized in Extraordinary Rendition: (American) Writers Speak of Palestine, Bettering American Poetry, A Tale of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, and Prospect.3’s art catalogue Notes for Now; as well as translated into Arabic, Spanish and Ukrainian.
His poetry has been supported by several foundations and fellowships, including the Whiting Foundation (2018), Lannan Literary Foundation (2017), Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy (2014), Poetry International Rotterdam (2014), the National Endowment for the Arts (2013), Cave Canem Foundation (2009-2011), and the Poetry Foundation, which awarded him a Ruth Lilly Fellowship in 2012. He received his MFA in Writing from Washington University in St Louis, where he was a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow, and his Bachelors in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, where he read literature and queer theory.