Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom

Aya’s 175-word BIO

Aya de Leon directs the Poetry for the People program, teaching creative writing at UC Berkeley. Kensington Books publishes her award-winning feminist heist/romance series, Justice Hustlers: UPTOWN THIEF (2016), THE BOSS (2017), THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS (2018), and SIDE CHICK NATION (2019) which was the first novel published about Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Aya has received acclaim in the Washington Post, Village Voice, SF Chronicle, and The Establishment. Her work has also appeared in Ebony, Essence, Guernica, Writers Digest, Huffington Post, Catapult, The Root, The Toast, VICE, Ploughshares, Bitch Magazine, Mutha Magazine, and on Def Poetry. In 2020, Kensington will publish her first spy novel, A SPY IN THE STRUGGLE, about FBI infiltration of an African American eco-racial justice organization. She is currently at work on a YA spy girl series featuring African American and Latina teens called GOING DARK, as well as a picture book to help talk to children about racism. She blogs and tweets about race, class, gender, culture, and social justice politics on Twitter at @ayadeleon and on Facebook and Instagram at @ayadeleonwrites.

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Aya wins first place Independent Publisher Awards for UPTOWN THIEF, THE BOSS, THE ACCIDENTAL MISTRESS

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