Dahlma_Llanos-Figueroa_web photo .jpg

Photograph by Orlando Gonzalez

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 2020. In 2021, she was awarded the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship for Fiction. Dahlma's 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 1980-2012and Growing Up Girl. Dahlma's work also appears in various literary magazines such as the Afro-Hispanic Review and Kweli Journal. English and Spanish language editions of Dahlma's second novel, A Woman of Endurance, are scheduled to be published in March 2022 by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins. 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. 


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

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, FL