Origin Story

When my fifth grade teacher held auditions for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the girls in my class lobbied for the parts of Helena or Hermia. 

I wanted to be Puck. 
Of German, Mexican, and pioneer descent, I had a childhood rife with foreign idioms, pragmatic life lessons, and a sprinkling of Spanish language. Because my dad worked for the US government, my family uprooted every four to five years to live in such exotic states as Texas, Nevada, Missouri, and Mississippi. 

In 1999, I graduated from Hancock High School in Kiln, Mississippi and relocated to Utah to attend Utah Valley University. As a student, I published short stories in campus journals, wrote for The College Times, and won 2nd place in the Helper Literary Arts Festival. I graduated with a BA in English Education. Later, I earned a reading endorsement from BYU and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Cedar Crest College's Pan-European program. 

While teaching high school English and creative writing, I also dabbled in journalism as a book reviewer for The Foothill Breeze and a correspondent at The Daily Herald. Other prose of mine has appeared in Segullah, Ruminate, Superstition Review, Gris-Gris, Pinball, Bloody Key Society, The Lily, The Washington Post, and The Salt Lake Tribune. I was a finalist for the 2015 Heather Campbell Prose Contest and a semi-finalist for the 2016 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize. Now, I am an English professor at UVU.

In my spare time, I dream up cosplay ensembles and themed birthday cakes. Outside, I jog, bike, hike, and jump on the trampoline with my kids. Inside, I prepare simple slow-cooker meals, dance to Weezer while washing dishes, and write write write.  I reside in Utah with my two kids and our dog, Spike.

Contact me at: rena.lesue@gmail.com


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