Richard Leis (he/him/his) lives in Tucson, Arizona where he writes poetry and fiction, attends and teaches writing workshops, and works in planetary science.

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Photograph of Richard Leis in HiRISE office wearing a black and cyan "I love Pluto" t-shirt


Richard earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Arizona in 2015. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype, The Laurel Review, and Manzano Mountain Review. His fiction has been published in Cold Creek Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published online at Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files.”


Richard is a writing instructor at the Writers Studio in Tucson and will be teaching an 8-week introductory workshop in fiction and poetry beginning Saturday, April 20, 2019.


Richard works for HiRISE, a team in the Lunar & Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona with a camera in orbit around Mars onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.



Secrets: a Writers Studio Tucson Reading

24 February 2019, 3:00 – 4:30 PM
Host: The Writers Studio Tucson
at Antigone Books

I will read my poem “Coward’s Unsent Query Letter Including Chapter Summary of Memoir Not Written.

Room: A Literary Reading

20 October 2017, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Host: The Writers Studio Tucson
at Antigone Books

Image of white doors opening into white room with wood floor and all-cap text of the word "room" in red at the top of the doorway

I read my poem “These Are the Animals You May Eat.”

More information: Appearance Wrap-Up: “Room: A Literary Reading” at Antigone Books

The Hattie Lockett Awards Reading

20 November 2014, 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Host: The University of Arizona Poetry Center

I read my poems “He can wear hats,” “The Talents,” and “The Divorce of Lilith and Samuel.”


The Book of Resting Places: A Personal History of Where We Lay the Dead

by Thomas Mira y Lopez
Counterpoint Press
14 November 2017 (print, pp. 171-173)

Richard Leis, HiRISE Downlink Lead

10 December 2014 (online)

Cryonics believers alive and well in Scottsdale

by Shari Rose
The Republic
10 September 2014 (online)

See all the landing hardware that Curiosity scattered on the surface of Mars

by Robbie Gonzalez
7 August 2012 (online)

NASA releases video of Curiosity’s descent, rover returns images of Martian mountain

Fox News
7 August 2012 (online)

“Richard Leis Interview” 

Immortality Institute
15 February 2009 (YouTube)
Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6

With medical advances, many put faith in freezing

by Kelly McGrath
Cronkite News Service
8 December 2008 (online)

Member Profile: Richard Leis, Jr.

by Jerad Kaliher
Cryonics, 29:2
2nd Quarter 2008 (PDF, p. 16)

Can technology and science add to our human existence? Transhumanists think so

by Irene Messina
Tucson Weekly
14 August 2008 (online)


The Martian Codex: More Reflections from Mars

by George J. Haas & William R. Saunders
North Atlantic Books (Random House)
22 September 2009 (print, pp. 26, 38.)

Bionic Woman (2007): gender, disability and cyborgs

by Margaret M. Quinlan & Benjamin R. Bates
Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 9.1
3 March 2009 (online, pp. 48-58)