Jasminne Mendez, an Afro-Latina who loves cupcakes, wine, and her husband Lupe, received her BA in English Literature and her MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in The Acsentos Review, Crab Creek Review, Texas Review, La Galeria, Label Me Latino/a, and others. Her first multi-genre memoir Island of Dreams (Floricanto Press, 2013) was awarded Best Young Adult Latino Focused Book by the International Latino Book Awards in 2015. She is looking forward to the publication of her second book, Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays & Poems (Arte Publico Press) forthcoming in Spring 2018. She is a 2016 VONA Alumni, a Macondo Fellow, a 2017 Canto Mundo Fellow, and an MFA candidate in the creative writing program at the Rainier Writer's Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.