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_Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa_Matvey  Zabbi_4.png

Photograph by Matvey Zabbi

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. She is a product of the Puerto Rican communities on the island and in the South Bronx. She attended the New York City public school system and received her academic degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Queens College–City University of New York. As a child she was sent to live with her grandparents in Puerto Rico where she was introduced to the culture of rural Puerto Rico, including the storytelling that came naturally to the women in her family, especially the older women. Much of her work is based on her experiences during this time. Dahlma taught creative writing and language and literature in the New York City public school system before becoming a young-adult librarian. She has also taught creative writing to teenagers, adults, and senior citizens throughout New York while honing her own skills as a fiction writer and memoirist. 


The hardcover edition of Daughters of the Stone was listed as a 2010 Finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.  In 2020, the self-published the paperback edition of Daughters of the Stone won the 16th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards for Multicultural Fiction. In 2021, she was awarded the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship for Fiction, a City Artists Corps Grant, and the Letras Boricuas Fellow. Her short stories appear in several anthologies, including: Bronx Memoir Project, Latina Authors and Their Muses, Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul, Breaking Ground: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980-2012, and Growing Up Girl. Dahlma's work also appears in various literary magazines such as the Afro-Hispanic Review and Kweli Journal. Her her second novel, A Woman of Endurance (Amistad, 2022) is available in hard cover and paperback (Amistad, 2023); as well as a Spanish language edition Indómita (Harper Español, 2022)Since her retirement, Dahlma continues to dedicate herself to her writing, speaking engagements, panels, and workshops. She resides in the Bronx with her husband, photographer Jonathan Lessuck. 


2023   Best Novel - Historical Fiction, Spanish -

           Indómita by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa (Bronze Medal)

2023   Best Fiction Book Translation, English to Spanish -

           Indómita by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa,

           translated by Aurora Lauzardo Ugarte (Gold Medal)

2021   Letras Boricuas Fellowship / Mellon Foundation Award

2021   City Artist Corps Grant 

2021   NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow for Fiction

2017   Hedgebrook at Widbley Island—Residency

2013   Vermont College of Fine Arts—Partial Fellowship

2012   Las Dos Brujas Workshop—Partial Fellowship

2010   Go on Girl Best New Author of the Year Award

2010   Go on Girl Best Female Author of the Year Award

2010   PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fellowship, Finalist

2010   Summer Literary Series, Montreal, Canada, Partial Fellowship

2007   Summer Literary Series, St. Petersburg, Russia, Partial Fellowship

2006-7 Bronx Council on the Arts Fellows for Fiction    

2002   BRIO Award for Creative Non-fiction, Bronx Council on the Arts

1997   BRIO Award for Fiction, Bronx Council on the Arts

1997   Long Distance Runner Award/John Oliver Killens Writer’s Workshop

1995   ACE Award for Fiction, Bronx Council on the Arts

Workshops, Conferences, and Retreats

2023   VONA Winter Intensive

2023   Hedgebrook Radical Craft Retreat, Tuscany

2023   State of Our Union, Telling the American Story, Mellon Foundation, San Juan, PR

2023   Libreria Esquina, book launch, Indómita, San Juan, PR

2022   VONA January Workshop: The Next Chapter

2022   Cafecito con Dahlma, Centro, Hunter College, CUNY, interview

2022   Latino USA interview, Maria Hinojosa

2022   Trauma, Tresses and Truth presentation, AWP22

2022   Bronx Buzz, A Woman of Endurance, Bronxnet

2022   Turn the Page Interview, Stonybrook University, NY

2022   Epigraph Literary Festival--presentation

2022   19th Annual Latinas in Power Symposium, presentation, Hartford, CT

2022   Kweli Afro-Latina Panel

2022   Yale University, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, presentation AWE

2022   In Conversation with Esmeralda Santiago, Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia, PA

2022   Mark Twain House and Museum, presentation AWE, Hartford, CT

2022   Las Comadres de las Américas, presentation AWE

2022   Voices for Resistance, Straw Dogs, presentation, Northampton, MA

2022   El Gran Combo, Recirculation, Word Up Bookstore presentation, NYC

2022   Entre Aguas, DSL Solidarity Speakers Series, Johns Hopkins, MD

2022   Morristown Book Festival, presentation AWE, Morristown, NJ

2022   Prince George County Office of Civil Rights, presentation AWE, MD

2022   Racial Justice Reads: Facing Race National Conference, presentation AWE, Phoenix, AZ

2021   Vermont College of Fine Arts, Novel Retreat, Montpelier, VT

2021   Trauma, Tresses and Truth Conference, presenter

2021   AROHO Global Summer Camp Conference for Writers

2020   Kweli Workshop

2020   Hurston/Wright Foundation Workshop

2019   Hedgebrook Masterclass at Tuscany

2018   Yucatan Writers’ Workshop, Cozumel, Mexico

2017   Yucatan Writers’ Workshop, Cozumel, Mexico

2017   Las Dos Brujas Writing Workshop, Albiqui, NM,

2017   The Writers’ Hotel Writing Conference, NYC

2016   Yucatan Writers’ Workshop, Merida, Mexico

2016   Vermont College of Fine Arts Novel Retreat, Montpelier, VT

2015   St. Augustine Writers’ Workshop, St. Augustine, FL

2015   Summer Literary Series, St. Petersburg, Russia

2014   Vermont College of Fine Arts—Novel Retreat

2014   St. Augustine Writers’ Workshop, St. Augustine, FL

2013   New York State Summer Writers’ Institute, Saratoga Springs, NY

2008   Centro Pikkoli Writing Workshop, Vitorchiano, Tuscia, Italy

2002   Writers of the Americas, Havana and Matanzas, Cuba

1995   Byrdcliff, The Woodstock Writers’ Retreat, Woodstock, NY

1995   Caribbean Writers’ Conference, University of Florida, Coral Gables

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