MAYA CHINCHILLA is a Guatemalan, Bay Area-based writer, video artist, and educator with an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. She writes and performs poetry that explores themes of historical memory, heartbreak, tenderness, sexuality, and alternative futures. Her work —sassy, witty, performative, and self-aware— draws on a tradition of truth-telling and poking fun at the wounds we carry.
Born and raised in Long Beach, CA, by a mixed class, mixed race, immigrant activist extended family, Maya has lived and loved in the Bay Area for the second half of her life. Her work has been published in anthologies and journals including: Mujeres de Maíz, Sinister Wisdom, Americas y Latinas: A Stanford Journal of Latin American Studies, Cipactli Journal, and The Lunada Literary Anthology, and is quoted (and misquoted) in essays, presentations and books on U.S.-Central American poetics; Chicana/Latina literature; and identity, gender, and sexuality.
Maya is a founding member of the performance group Las Manas, a former artist-in-residence at Galería de La Raza in San Francisco, CA, and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA, and is a VONA Voices and Dos Brujas workshop alum. She is the co-editor of Desde El Epicentro: An anthology of Central American Poetry and Art and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University.