David de Leon

David de Leon's picture
Lecturer in English

David M. de León (he/him) is a Puerto Rican academic, writer, and theater artist from New Jersey. He serves as a senior editor at The Yale ReviewHis dissertation, Epic Black: Poetics of Protest in the Time of Black Lives Matter, won the 2021 Sylvia Ardyn Boone prize at Yale for writing on African or African American artistic, cultural and/or historical issues.  David has a BA from Hunter College CUNY and a doctorate in English literature from Yale University.

Epic Black looks at book-length works of poetry by Black poets, as well as certain album-length works of Black popular music, from the years 2014-2016. It examines how their strategies of spectacle, largeness, and “taking up space” reflect and resonate with the political needs of the first wave of BLM. This brings together Black studies, poetics, performance studies, sound studies, lyric theory, and the philosophy of language to highlight the necessary social and cultural actions of Black art in the 21st century. He is also interested in science fiction and the futurisms of marginalized communities. 

David’s poetry has been published in dozens of magazines as well Best of the Net 2021. His debut book of poetry The Cats of Old San Juan was a finalist at PANK books and the Andrés Montoya Prize at the University of Notre Dame.

David has been a 2019 Tin House Summer Scholar and a scholarship recipient at the Fine Arts Work Center, as well as a finalist for the 2022 FAWC Fellowship. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. Other awards include an Academy of American Poets prize, the Mary M. Fay Poetry Award, the Helen Gray Cone Fellowship for Graduate Studies, a Robert Dudley French fellowship, the Blanche Colton Williams Fellowship, the Miriam Weinberg Richter Award, the McGlinchee Prize for a Play, and the Matthew Ray Weisen Prize.



Other Futures (ENGL 114); Serious Play (ENGL 114), Reading and Writing the Modern Essay (ENGL120)