Rowena Tiempo Torrevillas was born on 13 June 1951 in Dumaguete City. She has an AB and an MA Creative Writing, 1971 and 1978, and a Ph.D. English Lit., 1983, all from SU. She was an associate program administrator of the International Writing Program, University of Iowa.

Her several awards are as follows: the Palanca for poetry: 3rd prize, 1980, for The Running Shadow and the Secret Tree, with Alfred Yuson; 1st, 1983, for Seeress and Voyager, with G. H. Abad; the Palanca also for fiction in English; the UMPIL Distinguished Writer Award, 1984.

Her works include: Mountain Sacraments/Selected Poems, DLSU Press, 1991; The Sea-Gypsies Stay, forthcoming 1999. Fiction – Upon the Willows and Other Stories , New Day, 1980. Also co-ed. with Paul Engle, The World Comes to Iowa, Iowa State U. Press, 1987. Essays – Flying Over Kansas, Giraffe Books, 1998.

Her parents are also writers, Edilberto Tiempo and National Artist for Literature Edith Tiempo.