Dr. Raina Leon

California, United States

Member Since: 08/05/2013

Dr. Raina J. León, Cave Canem graduate fellow (2006) and member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, has been published in Danse Macabre, Mandala, Connotation Press, Contrary Press, The Holly Rose Review, Bosphorus Art Project Quarterly, The Osprey Journal (Scotland), Verdad Magazine, The Sixers Review, The Externalist, Minglewood, The Cherry Blossom Review, Natural Bridge, African American Review, OCHO, Spindle Magazine, Black Arts Quarterly, Poem.Memoir.Story, Womb, Boxcar Poetry Review, Salt Hill Journal, Xavier Review, MiPoesias, Torch, Poetic Voices without Borders, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade, Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces, AntiMuse, Farmhouse Magazine, Furnace Review, Constellation Magazine and Tiger's Eye Journal,  among others.  Her first collection of poetry, Canticle of Idols, was a finalist for both the Cave Canem First Book Poetry Prize (2005) and the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (2006) and is available through Wordtech Communications.  Her second manuscript, Boogeyman Dawn, was a finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Prize (2010) and was published by Salmon Poetry in 2013.  Her third collection, sombra: (dis)locate, will be published in 2016, Salmon Poetry.  She has received fellowships and residencies with Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Montana Artists Refuge, the Macdowell Colony, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annamaghkerrig, Ireland and Ragdale.  She headed the High School Literacy Project at the University of North Carolina where she recently received her doctorate in education and is currently an assistant professor of education in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at St. Mary's College of California.  She came to Saint Mary’s from the Department of Defense Education Activity, where for three years she taught military dependents in Bamberg, Germany.   Raina received her BA in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University, MA in Teaching of English from Teachers College Columbia University and PhD in Education under the Culture, Curriculum and Change strand at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  Her research interests include high school engagement and the teaching of poetry, critical literacy in the high school classroom, facilitating freshmen transitions and educational technology usage among high school educators.  She also is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latino and Latina arts. 

Website: http://www.rainaleon.com

Twitter Username: @profesoraleon


  • Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University (May 2003)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching of English from Teachers College Columbia University (May 2004)
  • Doctoral Degree in Education from University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (May 2010)
  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Framingham State University (June 2014)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Saint Mary's College of California (May 2016)

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Playwriting, Children's literature , Poetry