News Release
University Affairs Office
1801 E. Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
(707) 664-2057
    August 19, 2004   
    Contact: A. Darius Spearman, InterCultural Center Coordinator, (707) 664-2710


Aya De Leon Brings Her Campaign Speech in Poetry and Spoken Word to SSU Stage, Aug. 23

Aya de Leon is a spoken-word artist.Aya de León brings her poetic activism to the North Bay with her new one-woman show, “Aya de León is Running for President: A Campaign Speech Remix in Poetry and Spoken Word ” at 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23 in Person Theatre at Sonoma State University.

De León is an award-winning African-American/Puerto Rican writer, performer, and teacher. A graduate of Harvard College, she has been an artist-in-residence at Stanford University, teaching spoken word in 2002.

In 2001, she toured throughout the country, including Lincoln Center in New York, and developed a one woman hip-hop theater show, "Thieves in the Temple: The Reclaiming of Hip-Hop," which received critical acclaim there and in the national press. In 2002, she received a California Arts Council fellowship in spoken word. That same year, she performed in the NYC Hip-Hop Theater Festival and toured with the Hip-HopTheater All Stars. 

She was recently selected by the California Arts Council for an Artist Fellowship in spoken word.

Her style ranges from saucy, biting irony to the lyrical faith of her prayer poetry. Her publishing credits include "Deciding to Marry Myself", featured in Essence Magazine and pieces in several anthologies including "Children of the Dream: Growing Up Black in America." Her vivacious performances draw from her spoken word collections. De León also leads workshops on writing, performance and poetic activism.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Aya de León was raised in Berkeley by her artist/activist Puerto Rican mother Anna de León. She studied theater at the Jean Shelton School of Acting, with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the People’s Theater Coalition, as well as with Arina Isaacson and Whoopi Goldberg. In her teens, she was also a youth organizer in the peace and anti-nuclear movement in the early 1980s.

Ticket prices are $15 for general admission, $10 for SSU faculty and staff and free for Sonoma State University students. The ticket includes a poetry-writing workshop. Participants must pre-register by calling the ICC at (707) 664-2710 or Space is limited.

For more information on these or other ICC events please call (707) 664-2382, or visit

NOTE: Digital photos of the artist are available upon request from Jean Wasp, Media Relations Coordinator, (707) 664-2057.


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Last Modified: 08/19/2004