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Jennifer De Leon

Reading and Writing about Culture, Race, and Identity

Jennifer De Leon is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (University of Nebraska Press). Selected as a tuition scholar in fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2015, De Leon was also named the 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence by the Associates of the Boston Public Library. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Ms., Brevity, Poets & Writers, The Southeast Review, Guernica, Best Women’s Travel Writing, and elsewhere, and her essay, “The White Space,” originally selected as first place recipient of the Michael Steinberg Essay Prize and published in Fourth Genre, was listed as notable in Best American Essays 2013, edited by Cheryl Strayed. She was also named a 2016-2017 Artist-in-Residence by the City of Boston.

Jennifer has published author interviews in Granta and Agni, and she has been awarded scholarships and residencies from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Hedgebrook, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Blue Mountain Center, and the Macondo Writers’ Workshop. She was born in the Boston area to Guatemalan parents. After graduating from Connecticut College, she moved to San Jose, California, where she taught elementary school as part of the Teach for America program and earned a master’s in teaching from the University of San Francisco’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Social Justice. After moving back to Boston, she designed college access programs and mentored first-generation college students and then earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts–Boston.

After a decade teaching in Boston Public Schools, Jennifer is now an English professor at Framingham State University and a creative writing instructor at GrubStreet Independent Creative Writing Center, as well as a freelance writer, editor, and consultant. She also has an active career as a public speaker on issues of diversity, college access, and the power of story.