Rickey Laurentiis was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Boy with Thorn (2015), named one of the top ten U.S. debuts of 2015 by Poets & Writers Magazine, received the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the 2016 Levis Reading Prize and was a finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and a Lambda Literary Award. His work has been elsewhere supported by several foundations or fellowships, including the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Rotterdam, and the Poetry Foundation.
In 2016, he traveled to Palestine as a invitee to the Palestine Festival of Literature. Later this year, he will travel to Seville, Spain to present and discuss his work at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. He is the inaugural 2017-19 Fellow in Creative Writing at the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, housed at the University of Pittsburgh.