León Salvatierra is a poet from Nicaragua who migrated to the U.S. at the age of 15. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Davis (June 2020) and a Ph.D. in Latin American Literatures with an emphasis on U.S. Latinx literature from UC Berkeley (2014). He has published a book of poetry, Al Norte, with the University of Nicaragua UNAN-León (2012). The collection of poems, written in Spanish, explores the transnational experience of Central American migrants in their journey to the U.S. A bilingual edition, To the North, Al norte, translated by Javier O. Huerta, is forthcoming from University of Nevada Press.
León’s poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Notre Dame Review, The Best American Poetry, Jung Journal Culture & Psyche, and The Wandering Song, Central American Writing in the United States. He has completed a new manuscript titled, “In the Land of Giants.” It is a collection of poems and creative nonfiction, written in English, that reflect critically on life in the United States from a diverse cast of voices from the Central American diaspora that emerged from the civil wars in the 1980s. A poem from this manuscript, “Teaching the Immigrant to Speak English” (his Spanish translation), won the 2020 Juana Goergen Poetry Prize for Best Poem in Spanish, written in the U.S. Currently, he’s a lecturer in the Chicana/o Program at UC Davis, where he teaches Latinx literatures and cultures. He lives in Berkeley.