Dr. Raina J. León, Cave Canem graduate fellow (2006) and member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective and CantoMundo, 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 (2008), was a finalist for both the Cave Canem First Book Poetry Prize (2005) and the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (2006). Her second book, Boogeyman Dawn (2013), was a finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Prize (2010). Her third book, sombra: dis(locate) will be released in 2014, 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 Annaghmakerrig, Ireland and Ragdale. She headed the High School Literacy Project at the University of North Carolina where she 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, MA in Educational Leadership from Framingham State University and PhD in Education under the Culture, Curriculum and Change strand at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She is currently pursuing a MFA in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College of California. 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. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to trendy spots and little holes in the wall around the world, gardening, locating fantastic ingredients for her culinary experiments, and sampling local and far flung arts scenes.