Helen Klonaris is a Bahamian writer and teacher who lives between Berkeley, California and Nassau, Bahamas.
Her early years in The Bahamas were spent working as a human rights activist. Additionally, she was the founder and co-founder of several socially significant organizations, including The Rainbow Alliance of The Bahamas, and several literary journals, collectives, and associations, including WomanSpeak, a Journal for Caribbean Women’s Literature and Art and most recently, the Bahamas Writers Summer Institute.
Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published in numerous journals including Calyx, So to Speak, The Caribbean Writer, Poui, Small Axe Salon, Proud Flesh, Anthurium, Tongues of the Ocean, Sargasso, Yinna, and Lucayos. Her work also appears in several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers and the Life of the Mind, Haunted Tropics: Caribbean Ghost Stories, and Let's Tell This Story Properly. Her short story “Cowboy” was shortlisted in the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and she was the International Writer in Residence in the 2017 Small Wonder Short Story Festival.
In 2015 she co-edited the anthology Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices with Amir Rabiyah, and in 2017 her debut collection of stories If I Had the Wings was published by Peepal Tree Press. If I Had the Wings was longlisted for the prestigious 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.
Klonaris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Wesleyan University, has studied with renowned Caribbean writers at the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami, and received her Master of Fine Arts in Writing and Consciousness from the New College of California. She teaches comparative mythology and religion at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.