Mayra Santos-Febres

Writer and Professor

Afro-Latina author, poet, novelist and professor of literature at the University of Puerto Rico

Mayra Santos-Febres is a Puerto Rican writer, novelist, professor of literature, essayist and literary critic of African descent. Her parents were teachers who instilled within her a passion for literature.

Her work focuses primarily on themes of race, diasporic identity, female sexuality, the erotic, gender fluidity, desire and power. She has also published children’s books. Santos-Febres has been an influence in bringing about and spotlighting new youth writers in Puerto Rico. In 2010, she founded “El Festival de la Palabra,” a literary fair for the diversification of readership and the support of educational communities.

After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico experienced a 40% increase in school desertion, and massive migration from the island. In response to the situation, Santos-Febres founded #Noestasolo #Quenoseacabenlaspalabras, a program to help Puerto Rican children from disenfranchised communities to stay in school. The initiative leverages art and literature to strengthen the bonds of youth, and supports them as they recover their hope, emotional stability and curiosity toward learning.