Raina J. León is a former Cave Canem graduate fellow and member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective. She earned a BA from Pennsylvania State University, MA in teaching from Teachers College Columbia University, and PhD in education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her first collection of poetry, Canticle of Idols, was a finalist for both the Cave Canem First Book Poetry Prize (2005) and the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize (2006), and is now available through Wordtech Communications.  Her second collection, Boogeyman Dawn (2013), was a finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award and published by Salmon Poetry.
León’s honors and awards include fellowships from and residencies with CantoMundo, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Macdowell Colony, the Montana Artists Refuge, the Tyrone Guthrie Center, and the Vermont Studio Center. Co-founder and editor of The Acentos Review, an online journal devoted to Latino and Latina arts, León is an assistant professor of education in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at St. Mary’s College of California.