Helen Klonaris

  • Helen  Klonaris
© Helen Klonaris
Principal country concerned : Column : Literature

Helen Klonaris is a Greek-Bahamian writer and teacher who lives between Oakland, California and Nassau, Bahamas.

Her early years in the Bahamas were spent working as a human rights activist, raising awareness around issues that ranged from capital punishment to violence against women to discrimination against GLBT Bahamians. 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 BACUS (Bahamas Association for Cultural Studies).

Most recently the co-founder and co-director of the Bahamas Writers Summer Institute, Helen now spends summers teaching memoir and fiction in the Bahamas, and the rest of her time in the Bay Area, teaching creative writing in the community and at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Her nonfiction and fiction have been published in a number of North American journals including Calyx, So to Speak, and HLFQ, and in Caribbean journals including The Caribbean Writer, Poui, Small Axe Salon, Proud Flesh, Anthurium, Tongues of the Ocean, Yinna, and Lucayos. Her work also appears in three anthologies: Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writings, edited by Thomas Glave, Caribbean Erotic, edited by Opal Palmer Adisa and Donna Weir, and A Sudden and Violent Change, edited by Sonia Farmer. Most recently, her short story "Cowboy" was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Helen is co-editing with Amir Rabiyah the anthology Writing the Walls Down, and her collection of short stories is forthcoming.

A writer and performer, she co-curated The Walls Project, performed at the 2011 National Queer Arts Festival, and collaborated and performed in Mixed, Blended, and Whole, NQAF 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberation Theology from Wesleyan University, studied with renowned Caribbean writers at the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami, and gained a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and Consciousness from New College of California. She combines her passion for the Sacred, social justice and the literary arts to create transformative experiences within community.

Helen is the founder and director of The Gaulin Project, a migratory narrative storytelling program that believes in imagination as a source of power, and stories as a place of exquisite transformation and possibility.


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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