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people talking illustration
Liz Santiago's photo

Liz Santiago



About Liz

I have been a storyteller for almost as long as I have been alive! I read voraciously as a child, but had always been struck by the stories that weren't being told. Stories about my ancestors, my community and my neighborhood. I set out early to tell those stories. I earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College then a Masters in Education. I taught writing and literacy courses for many years before I decided to take my passion for storytelling to the next level. I completed a PhD program at Lesley University focused on creative writing for literacy acquisition and liberation. As a result of that work, two projects emerged. One is a contemporary young adult novel titled, The Moonlit Vine, featuring 14-year-old Taína, descended from a long line of Taíno women who must rise within her own strength to bring peace and justice to her family and her community. The novel was published by Lee and Low in May of 2023. The second project is a website called The Untold Narratives to support all writers, emerging and experienced, in finding and sharing stories that are not typically told due to marginalization. Please visit the site and learn more about the novel here: https://www.theuntoldnarratives.com/the-moonlit-vine


  • Novel
  • Young Adult & Children's Literature

Not to Miss

Upcoming Classes See all of Liz's Classes

Liz's Works

  • The Moonlit Vine

    Fourteen-year-old Taína just learned that she is a descendant of a long line of strong Taíno women, but will knowing this help her bring peace and justice to her family and community? Despite her name, Taína Perez doesn't know anything about her Taíno heritage, nor has she ever tried to learn. After all, how would ancient Puerto Rican history help with everything going on? There's constant trouble at school and in her neighborhood, her older brother was kicked out of the house, and with her mom at work, she's left alone to care for her little brother and aging grandmother. It's a lot for a 14-year-old to manage. ​ But life takes a wild turn when her abuela tells her she is a direct descendant of Anacaona, the beloved Taíno leader, warrior, and poet, who was murdered by the Spanish in 1503. Abuela also gives her an amulet and a zemi and says that it's time for her to step into her power like the women who came before her. But is that even possible? People like her hardly make it out of their circumstances, and the problems in her home and community are way bigger than Taína can manage. Or are they? A modern tale with interstitial historical chapters, The Moonlit Vine brings readers a powerful story of the collective struggle, hope, and liberation of Puerto Rican and Taíno peoples. ​ Published by Lee and Low. Also available in Spanish, Claro de luna

    Type: Book