Clemonce Heard was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. He is the winner of the 2020 Anhinga Robert Dana Prize, selected by Major Jackson. His poetry collection, Tragic City, which investigates the events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, was published in October 2021 and was recently awarded the Wisconsin Library Association Award and shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. His work has appeared or is forthcoming from Obsidian, The Missouri Review, Cimarron Review, Iron Horse, World Literature Today, Poetry, Rattle, Ruminate, and elsewhere.
While at MacDowell, Clemonce researched and drafted essays and poems that belong to his next two books. Both books deal in his family history of education and racial trauma.
Portrait by Melissa Lukenbaugh