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Aya de Leon

Aya de León directs the Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. Kensington Books publishied her debut feminist heist novel, UPTOWN THIEF, in July 2016, followed by the 2nd book in the series, THE BOSS in June 2017. Her writing and performance work has received acclaim in the Village Voice, Washington Post, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco ChronicleSF Bay Guardian and the East Bay Express. A graduate of Harvard College, with an MFA 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 various media outlets such as xojane, Ebony, Guernica, Huffington Post, Reductress, Essence, Writers Digest, Bitch Magazine, Racialicious, Fusion, Quartz, and The Toast. She has self-published a children's book called puffy: people whose hair defies gravity. She also blogs and tweets about culture, gender, and race. Visit her at @ayadeleon or ayadeleon.com.