Daniel Peña

Daniel Peña - Picador Guest Professor in the winter semester of 2017/18

Daniel Peña is a Pushcart Prize winning writer and Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston-Downtown. Formerly, he was based out of the UNAM in Mexico City where he worked as a writer, blogger, book reviewer and journalist. He is a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar and a graduate of Cornell University. His fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, the Kenyon Review Online, Callaloo, and Huizache among other venues. He’s currently a regular contributor to the Guardian and the Ploughshares blog and his novel, BANG, was published from Arte Publico Press. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Oksana Marafioti in conversation with Daniel Peña

The current Picador Guest Professor Oksana Marafioti is an US-American author of Armenian and Russian Romani descent. Her book American Gypsy: A Memoir was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2012. Here she interweaves stories from her childhood and youth in the Soviet Union with her experiences as an immigrant in the USA, where she moved at the age of 15. Her texts have appeared in The Rumpus, Slate and TIME, as well as in The Fairy Tale Review and Pilgrimage.

Oksana Marafioti read from American Gypsy and her essay On Making Wishes (The Rumpus) and spoke with Daniel Peña about how literary activism shapes cultural identity.

Oksana Marafioti | Photo: Hazuki Fong
American Gypsy
Daniel Peña | Photo: Paula N. Luu

Daniel Peña was the Picador Guest Professor at the University of Leipzig in the Winter Semester 2017/18. He is a Pushcart Prize-winning writer and Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Houston-Downtown. His texts have appeared in The Rumpus, Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review, NBC News and the Guardian. His novel Bang was published by Arte Publico Press.

Reckonings and Revolution in 2020


Former Picador Professor Daniel Peña has sent us a brilliant audio essay on Reckonings and Revolution in 2020 in which he explores the possibilities for a revolution in the USA based on the peaceful revolution in Leipzig in 1989:

Who better to save America from itself than the black and brown people who still buy in the idea of it.

Daniel Peña

Our Guest Professors

  • All
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024