MFA in Creative Writing

Leslie Contreras Schwartz

Leslie Contreras Schwartz is the fourth Houston Poet Laureate. She is the author of three collections of poetry: black dove / paloma negra, Fuego and Nightbloom & Cenote, a semi-finalist for the 2017 Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, judged by Ilya Kaminsky.

Her work, including essays and short stories, has appeared in Pleiades, The Missouri Review, [PANK], Iowa Review, Verse Daily, Catapult and Xicanx: 21 Mexican American Writers of the 21st Century, edited by ire’ne lara silva among others. She has collaborated or been commissioned for poetic projects with the City of Houston, the Houston Grand Opera and The Moody Center of the Arts at Rice University.

Contreras Schwartz was born in Houston with Mexican American and Mexican roots going back several generations in Houston and the state of Texas. She is a graduate of The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and earned a bachelor’s degree at Rice University. Contreras Schwartz is also a member of the Macondo Writers’ Collective. She has taught at the University of Houston and Rice University, teaches community workshops, and is a speaker on the topics of mental health and poetry. Learn more: