Nela Río, Argentine-Canadian artist and educator

Portrait of Nela Rio
Nela Río

Nela Río was born in Córdoba, Argentina in 1938 and was a writer from an early age. She studied literature in college in Argentina, at Emory University in Georgia, and finally earned a graduate degree from the University of New Brunswick in Canada. The political environment in Mendoza, Argentina and her first husband’s teaching career prompted her moves to Georgia, then Canada, where she has been a citizen since 1977. Río is known as a poet and professor of literature for over three decades at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.



Books by Nela Rio
Books by Nela Río






Major themes in Nela Río’s work include ideological repression; violence against women; illness and aging; love and sexuality; revision of traditional myths; migration, exile, and nomadism. She states in her professional resume:

“In spite of the violence of some of the situations, love, tenderness and solidarity are prevalent in my work; I want my poems and short stories to praise life and the tone of my writing is definitely celebratory.”


Nela Río’s papers include her drafts, artist books, academic work, correspondence with authors, and materials for three international poem poster collaborations.

Poem poster by Livia Diaz
Poem poster by Livia Diaz

In addition to her personal papers, Río donated her book collection that includes authors from Latin America, Canada, and the United States. The vast majority are volumes of poetry, but there are also novels, short stories, and serials in Spanish, French, and English. Researchers should note there are also works on literature, women’s rights, and political history in Latin American countries. Over 800 titles have been recently cataloged, and many of the books are inscribed to Río by the authors.

Books in the Nela Rio collectionBooks in the Nela Rio collection

The finding aid to the collection is available online, and books in her collection can be found in the online catalog by using the search string “Part of the Nela Río collection.”


Please contact for questions about Nela Río’s papers and her book collection in DeGolyer Library.