Felicia Luna Lemus was born on the East Coast in 1975 to two science nerds with stars in their eyes and flowers in their hair, and she was raised by an extended network of familia in the OVC (Orange Barrio, Cypress Street) of Southern California. She lived next door to the Sunkist packinghouse and the railroad tracks, and she spent many an afternoon bouncing a handball against the old-school cholo murals that adorned the streetside wall of her great-grandparents' little neighborhood grocery store. That beginning has defined everything about who she is. She has hippie-dippy Technicolor dreams, craves pan dulce each morning and feels most at home in the urban borderlands where nopales and concrete meet.
Felicia is the author of two novels—Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003; Seal Press, 2004) and Like Son (Akashic Books, 2007). Her writing has also appeared in numerous anthologies, including Lengua Fresca: Latinos Writing on the Edge (Mariner Books), Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and other Quinceañera Stories (HarperCollins), and It’s So You: 35 Women Write About Personal Expression Through Fashion and Style (Seal Press), as well as in magazines such as BOMB, The Believer, Latina, and ZYZZYVA.
Felicia holds an MFA in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts (2000), graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Irvine (History, 1997), was a Graduate Opportunity Fellow in the Teacher Education Program at UCLA, and also attended Orange Coast College. She currently sits on the Advisory Board for The Queer Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving educational opportunities for LGBTQI youth.
Currently Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Pitzer College, Felicia will join the English Department and the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at California State University, San Bernardino as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2013. Felicia has also been a Fiction Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, has taught at Antioch University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program, The New School, the UCLA Writers’ Program, as a kindergarten teacher in urban Los Angeles, and has been a featured speaker at universities including Stanford, Yale, Cornell and Harvard.
Sharpie Ultra Fine black markers, strong coffee, and mountain wildflowers are among her favorite things. She lives in Northeast Los Angeles with her partner, their wild ones, and a pair of Great Horned owls.