Next Picador Professor Daniel Pena

American Studies Leipzig is proud to announce Daniel Peña as our next Picador Guest Professor for Literature. He will hold the professorship in the winter term of 2017/18.

Daniel Peña is a writer, reviewer, journalist, and blogger. His debut novel, BANG, chronicles the fate of two brothers living on the border between Mexico and the USA, “[v]ividly portraying the impact of international drug smuggling on the average person” and “prob[ing] the loss of talented individuals and the black market machines fed with the people removed and shut out of America.” It will be published by Arte Público Press in the fall of 2017. Peña has also written numerous short stories and essays for venues like Ploughshares, Callaloo, and The Guardian, winning the Pushcart Prize in 2017 for his short story “Safe Home.”

Peña holds both Mexican and US citizenship, speaks English and Spanish fluently, and has lived in Mexico City for a while before settling in Texas, where he teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Houston-Downtown. Previously, he worked at Louisiana State University and at Cornell University, from where he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in 2013. He has received grants and awards from Cornell University as well as a Fulbright Scholarship to Mexico City, and he has held fellowships and residencies at both Cornell and Texas A&M University.

You can find out more about his works on his homepage.

Professor Peña will be teaching two classes during his term as the Picador Professor for Literature, a seminar on “Chicano Literature” as well as a creative-writing workshop on “Writing Trauma.”

The Picador Professorship for Literature at the University of Leipzig is unique in Germany. Located at the University's American Studies Program, it is based on a partnership between the Veranstaltungsforum der Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, the DAAD, and the University of Leipzig. For more information on the Picador Professorship for Literature, please refer to

Meet Daniel Peña

American Studies Leipzig is very much interested in organizing Picador Professorship Events (readings, round tables, panel discussions, etc.) with local, regional, and national partners. If you are interested in inviting Daniel Peña for such events, please contact American Studies Leipzig directly ( to discuss possible arrangements.