Rita Ciresi is the author of four novels--Blue Italian, Pink Slip, Remind Me Again Why I Married You, and Bring Back My Body to Me--and two short-story collections, Sometimes I Dream in Italian and Mother Rocket.  

She is professor of English and director of creative writing at the University of South Florida in Tampa, a mentor for the Bay Path University online MFA program in nonfiction, and fiction editor of 2 Bridges Review.

Her awards include the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, finalist for the Los Angeles Times' Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Series, the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Prize for the Novel, finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize, runner-up for the Faulkner-Wisdom Novella Prize, quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and runner-up for the 2016 Moon City Press Short Fiction Award for her manuscript Red Tide:  Stories of Florida.

Ciresi has received support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Virginia Commission on the Arts, the Florida Department of State, and the National Writer’s Voice. Her residencies include visiting writer at the American Academy in Rome, a fellowship to the Hawthornden International Writers’ Retreat in Lasswade, Scotland, a fellowship to the Sozopol Fiction Seminars, and stints at the Martha's Vineyard Writers Residency, Virginia Center for the Arts, Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. She has written the first and final drafts of most of her work at the Ragdale Foundation, an artists' colony located in Lake Forest, Illinois.