Jennifer De Leon, the Guatemalan-American author of the young adult novel Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and essay collection White Space, will appear at UW-Green Bay on Tuesday, March 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Phoenix Room in the University Union. The event will also be live streamed.
The event is open to the public, though pre-registration is required. The registration form is here; a streaming video link will be provided to those who register to attend virtually.
“Last year, I stumbled upon her first fiction novel called, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, and it’s about a young Latina girl in the Boston area who gets invited to a prestigious, predominantly white high school,” said Cindy Johnson, UW-Green Bay multicultural student success manager and organizer of the event. “I read it in my free time, and I found myself really relating to the main character.”
De Leon is author of the YA novel Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (Simon & Schuster) which was chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection, and the essay collection White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing (UMass Press) was honored with the Juniper Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is also the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (University of Nebraska Press), an anthology that won an International Latino Book Award. An Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Framingham State University and faculty member in the MFA in Program at Bay Path University, she has published prose in over a dozen literary journals including Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and more. Jenn makes her home outside the Boston area with her husband and two sons. Her next YA novel, Borderless, is forthcoming in August, 2022. Also on the way are two children’s picture books: So Many Gifts and a biography of Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú.
Johnson said the event is open to UW-Green Bay students, staff and faculty members, and people of all ethnic backgrounds will learn something. She said she used Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From in a summer precollege program last year.
“I had students from different ethnicities and a lot of them were like, ‘Even though I’m not Latinx, I still related to a lot of her experiences,'” Johnson said.
This will be De Leon’s second appearance at UW-GB; the university’s Organizacion Latino Americano hosted a virtual visit last year.