Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom


thieves - emcee(click here for 150-word bio)

Aya de Leon is an acclaimed writer of prose and poetry. Kensington Books will publish her debut novel UPTOWN THIEF, a Latina Robin Hood heist story on New York’s Lower East Side. Aya is the Director of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, teaching poetry and spoken word at UC Berkeley. Her work has received acclaim in the Village Voice, Washington Post, American Theatre Magazine, and has been featured on Def Poetry, in Essence Magazine, and various anthologies and journals. She was named best discovery in theater for 2004 by the SF Chronicle for “Thieves in the Temple : The Reclaiming of Hip Hop,” a solo show about fighting sexism and commercialism in hip hop.  Also in 2004, she received a Goldie award from the SF Bay Guardian in spoken word for “Thieves…” and her subsequent show “Aya de Leon is Running for President.”  In 2005 she was voted “Slamminest Poet” in the East Bay Express, and she also co-hosted the kickoff party for Current TV with Mos Def.  Aya has been an artist in residence at Stanford University, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a slam poetry champion.  She publicly married herself in the 90s and since 1995 has been hosting an annual Valentine’s Day show that focuses on self-love.  She has released three spoken word CDs, several chapbooks, and a video of “Thieves…”  Since becoming a mom in 2009, she has been transitioning from being a touring performer into being a novelist.  Aya began blogging in 2011, and since 2013 has been consistently blogging on race, gender and culture. Her recent freelance work has been featured in Guernica, xojane, Huffington Post, The Toast, Ebony, Womans Day, Writers Digest, Mutha Magazine, Movement Strategy Center, My Brown Baby, The Good Men Project, KQED Pop, Bitch Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Racialicious, and Quartz. She’s on Facebook and Twitter.

Aya de Leon author photo 2015 crop smaller

Upcoming Appearances

  • Faith: A Litfolks Reading Event September 30, 2016 at 2:00 am – 4:00 am 126 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004, USA Faith: A Litfolks Reading Event by Litfolks LA LOS ANGELES Free LOCATION Chevalier’s Books DESCRIPTION A fun evening with reading and talking about being a writer and a moment when you almost lost faith in writing. Afterparty at Vernetti . With readings and talking by: Aya de Leon Bryan Allen Fierro Minal Hajratwala Dana Johnson…
  • Aya reads PUFFY at Live is Living October 8, 2016 DeFremery Play Ground, 1651 Adeline St, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
  • LITQUAKE Panel: Latina Fiction: Politics, Social Justice, and Sexuality October 9, 2016 at 10:15 pm – 11:15 pm Mechanics' Institute Library 57 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94104 FREE: Aya de Leon, Carolina De Robertis & Yalitza Ferreras, Moderated by Maria Poblet http://sched.co/7sNQ

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