About Aya

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Aya de Leon is a writer/performer working in poetry, fiction, and hip hop theater.  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.  She is currently working on a sexy female Robin Hood heist caper, and is represented by Jenni Ferrari-Adler of Union Literary in New York.  Aya is the Director of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program, teaching poetry, spoken word, and hip hop at UC Berkeley.  Aya began blogging in 2011, and in 2013 has begun blogging on race, gender and culture. Her recent freelance work has been featured in xojane, Movement Strategy Center, Writers Digest, Woman’s Day, the Good Men Project, the Feminist Wire, My Brown Baby, KQED Pop, Bitch Magazine, and she was recently a guest on HuffPostLive. She’s on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aya-de-Leon/409759779111035 and Twitter https://twitter.com/AyadeLeon.

4 Comments on “About Aya”

  1. Aya, congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. That’s what I love about FP; you find some wonderful gems in the blogosphere. I’m glad to have been introduced to your blog, and look forward to future posts from you.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Congrats on marrying yourself! Very excited to follow your blog!

  3. […] move in the world, and how we get categorized, sexualized, objectified, and dismissed, according to Aya de Leon, a writer and performer working in poetry, fiction, and hip hop […]

  4. Alex says:

    Hi Aya,

    My name is Alex and I am a Communications Manager at Barnard College. I am reaching out to you today with an idea for your blog. Being perfect and powerful, being a feminist: these are among the most popular topics of conversation among today’s young women. Barnard College’s new podcast series, Dare to Use the F-Word, tells the story of today’s feminists through the ideas, art, and activism that define them. Barnard President Debora Spar, in her new book Wonder Women: Sex, Power & the Quest for Perfection, explains that while most women today struggle with the idea of perfection, they also struggle with the concept of feminism itself. Are the two connected? Read President Spar’s thoughts in this exclusive post: https://barnard.edu/news/web-exclusive-president-spar.

    As a communications manager at Barnard, I want to continue these important conversations among feminist thought-leaders like you. I ask you to republish and share this post on your blog. Pose these questions to your audience; they may dare others to join us and use the f-word.


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