Leslie Contreras Schwartz is the fourth Houston Poet Laureate, serving from 2019-2021. She is a multi-genre writer whose book Nightbloom & Cenote (St. Julian Press, May 2018), was a semi-finalist for the 2017 Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, judged by Ilya Kaminsky. She is also the author of Fuego, and was a featured poet for the 2018 Houston Poetry Fest.
Her work examines the individual versus public bodies and documents lived experiences and narratives of those usually silenced, such as people with mental illness, sex workers, women who are trafficked, or children in custody. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, The Collagist, [PANK], Iowa Review, Verse Daily, Catapult, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others. Her fiction can be found in Houston Noir, edited by Gwendolyn Zepeda (Akashic Press, May 2019). She currently works in Tissue Engineering, a peer-reviewed academic journal, at Rice University. She is a graduate of The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and earned a bachelor's at Rice University.