Star of Happiness promotional shot: Godin in white, sleeves hanging down. The End looms large in projection.


Dr. M. Leona Godin (pronounced like French sculptor Rodin) is a writer, performer, speaker, and editor. Her nonfiction debut is There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness (Pantheon Books, 2021), which The New Yorker called a “thought-provoking mixture of criticism, memoir, and advocacy.” Her writing can be found in such places as The New York Times, Playboy, O Magazine, and Literary Hub. For more of her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, check out her list of publications.

As a 2023-24 NYPL Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellow, Godin is working on a series of essays about photography, blindness, and image description.

She  received her PhD from NYU in Early Modern Literature and promptly turned around and wrote two plays: The Spectator & the Blind Man, about the very sexy history of the invention of braille, and The Star of Happiness, about Helen Keller’s time on Vaudeville. Her first storytelling solo show, “SIGHTED PEOPLE SUCK!,” Debuted at Under St. Marks Theater in November 2023 and she’s currently performing “Becoming Blind (as a Bat): A Scented Storytelling Journey” at Olfactory Art Keller. You can learn more about her performance adventures HERE.

Besides her many years teaching literature and  humanities courses at NYU, she has lectured on art, accessibility, technology, and disability at such places as Tandon School of Engineering, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, and the American Printing House for the Blind. For a list of keynotes, classes, and conversations, visit Talks & teaching.

Godin is the founding editor of Aromatica Poetica, an online magazine exploring the arts & sciences of smell & taste.

M. Leona Godin was born with the birth name Michelle Leona Goodin–but if you call her by the “M” word, she’ll not talk to you anymore. Check out “Me by Any Other Name,” for more on the momentous name shift.

Don’t be shy!

Find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or  email her at

Leona is represented by Markus Hoffmann at RHA Literary for writing.

And KMR Diversity for acting.

Thanks for visiting!