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Reyna Grande, MFA

Antioch University Los Angeles

Antioch alumna, Reyna Grande, is the author of the bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us (Atria 2012), where she writes about her life before and after she arrived in the United States from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant. The much-anticipated sequel, A Dream Called Home was released in 2018. Her other works include the novels, Across a Hundred Mountains (Atrial 2006) and Dancing with Butterflies (2009) which were published to critical acclaim. The Distance Between Us is also available as a young readers edition.

Her books have been adopted as the common read selection by schools, colleges, and cities across the country. Reyna has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards, and in 2015 she was honored with a Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. The young reader’s version of The Distance Between Us received an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award in 2017. Writing about immigration, family separation, language trauma, the price of the American Dream, and her writing journey, Reyna’s work has appeared in The New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, CNN, The Lily at The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, among others. Reyna is a proud member of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros, where she has also served as faculty. She has also taught at several writers’ conferences, including the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and VONA (Voices of Our Nation’s Arts). She has two forthcoming books: A Ballad of Love and Glory, a novel set during the Mexican-American War (Atria, March 2022); and a collection of essays by and about undocumented Americans called Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings (Harpervia, June 2022).

Educational History

  • UC Santa Cruz, B.A. Creative Writing & Film and Video
  • Antioch University, MFA Creative Writing

  • Across a Hundred Mountains, Atria 2006
  • Dancing with Butterflies, Washington Square Press 2009
  • The Distance Between Us, Atria 2012
  • The Distance Between Us, Young Readers Edition, Aladdin 2016
  • A Dream Called Home, Atria 2018
  • Spare Parts, Young Readers Edition, Farrar Straus Giroux Books, 2022
  • El Premio Aztlan Literary Award 2006
  • American Book Award 2007
  • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist 2012
  • 2017 ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Award
  • Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature
Reyna Grande

Affiliate Faculty,

MFA in Creative Writing Program


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