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. Under the pen name of Meg West, she is author of the romantic comedy Love on Longboat Key.
She is professor of English 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, and quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
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, 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.
Awards and Recognition
- Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction
- Pirate's Alley Faulkner Prize for the Novel
- Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Series
- finalist, Los Angeles Times' Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction