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 Justice Hustlers series of feminist heists: Uptown Thief, 2016 (winner of first place Independent Publisher and International Latino Book Awards), The Boss, in 2017 and The Accidental Mistress in May 2018. Her writing and performance work have received acclaim in the Village Voice, Washington Post, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Express, and American Theatre Magazine. A graduate of Harvard College, with an MFA in fiction from Antioch University, 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 from 1995 to 2012 hosted an annual Valentine’s Day show that focused on self-love. She has written for for various media outlets such as xojane, Ebony, Huffington Post, Guernica, Catapult, Reductress, VICE, Writers Digest, Bitch Magazine, Racialicious, Ploughshares, Quartz, and The Toast. She also blogs and tweets about culture, gender, and race. Visit her at @ayadeleon.


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Aya wins a first place Independent Publisher Award for UPTOWN THIEF

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