MFA Students

Paola Liendo


Paola Liendo is a bisexual Latina poet from Laredo, Texas. A first-generation college student, she graduated with highest honors and a B.A. in English from Kenyon College with a minor in Anthropology and an emphasis in Creative Writing. There, she studied the politics of intimacy in postcolonial literature and the poetics of such intimacy across dynamics of power. She is interested in physical and metaphorical borderlands, having grown up five minutes from the Rio Grande herself, and she tries to live and write by Audre Lord’s advice against injustices and quietude: “there are so many silences to be broken.”

She is currently an MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh and a 2020-2021 Dietrich Fellow. She hopes to continue studying the borders and bridges that poetry creates for us as she examines personal and global engagements of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and nationality. Her work centers family, queerness, and a stubborn dedication to unlearning falsehoods. It has been published in Laurel Moon and, and has won her an Academy of American Poets Prize, the John Crowe Ransom Poetry Prize, and the Propper Prize for Poetry. In her free time, she spends what she suspects is too much time analyzing TV shows and loving her friends.

Revised 08/11/2022
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