Photo of Raina J. León

Raina J. León

Raina J. León, PhD, is Black, Afro-Boricua, and from Philadelphia (Lenni Lenape ancestral lands). She is the author of black god mother this body (Black Freighter Press, 2022), Canticle of Idols (CW Books, 2008), Boogeyman Dawn (Salmon Poetry, 2014), sombra : (dis)locate (Salmon Poetry, 2016), and the chapbooks profeta without refuge (Black Lawrence Press, 2016) and Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self (Alley Cat Books, 2019). She publishes across forms in visual art, poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and scholarly work. She has received fellowships and residencies with the Obsidian Foundation, Community of Writers, Montana Artists Refuge, MacDowell, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, and Ragdale, among others. León is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latinx arts. She recently retired early as a full professor of education at Saint Mary’s College of California, only the third Black person (all Black women) and the first Afro-Latina to achieve that rank there. She was granted standing as professor emerita in recognition of her teaching, scholarship, and service, most likely the first Black and first Latina professor at this rank there. She currently supports poets and writers at the Stonecoast MFA at the University of Southern Maine. León is additionally a digital archivist, podcaster (Generational Archives), emerging visual artist, writing coach, and curriculum developer.

Winter 2024

For Feeling

By Raina J. León

my father calls my children crazy for running, for shouting with glee, as they run from him. get that boy, pop! get that boy! and though it is sweet, and […]