Aya de Leon
Aya de Leon (born 1967 in Los Angeles, California) is a writer, poet, and spoken word artist in the underground poetry scene in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her heritage of both Puerto Rican and African American influence her work to explore issues with race, gender, socio-economic class, etc.
She attended Harvard University, where she received a BA. After, she returned to the Bay Area and began to perform spoken word with the San Francisco Slam Team (winner of the Nation Poetry Slam in 2000). She has been a regular performer at many events and clubs, including the Justice League in San Francisco and the Lincoln Center in New York City. Her work has been published in Essence and Blu magazines. She has taught various writing workshops for Stanford University and in 2000 she won the Burning Books award. In September 2006, she was the Guest-in-Residence of Unit One, a living-learning community attuned to the creative arts, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Aya has released her first spoken word CD, Aya de León: Live at La Peña. Her other published works include Valentine's Day Has Been Cancelled: Love Poems for Real Life, Thieves in the Temple: The Reclaiming of Hip Hop (which she later turned into a one-woman show), Prayer Warrior, Poems of Struggle and Love2K: Sober Love Poems.