Helen Klonaris is a Greek-Bahamian writer and teacher who lives between the Bay Area, 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 LGBT Bahamians. She was a member of the Bahamian feminist organization DAWN (Developing Alternatives for Women Now) and of the regional CAFRA (Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action). She co-founded several socially significant organizations, including The Rainbow Alliance of the Bahamas, and several literary journals, associations, and organizations including WomanSpeak: A Journal for Caribbean Women's Literature and Art, The Bahamas Association for Cultural Studies, (BACUS) and the Bahamas Writers Summer Institute (BWSI).
Her nonfiction and fiction have been published in a number of North American journals including Calyx, So to Speak, Mission at Tenth, and The New Guard, and in Caribbean journals including The Caribbean Writer, Poui, Small Axe Salon, Sargarsso, Proud Flesh, Anthurium, Tongues of the Ocean, Yinna, and Lucayos. Her work also appears in numerous anthologies including Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writings, edited by Thomas Glave, Caribbean Erotic, edited by Opal Palmer Adisa and Donna Weir, Let's Tell This Story Properly, edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, Haunted Tropics: Caribbean Ghost Stories, edited by Martin Munro, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers and the Life of the Mind, edited by Claudia Rankine and Beth Loffreda. Most recently, her short story "Cowboy" was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Helen is the co-editor with Amir Rabiyah of the anthology Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, published by Trans-Genre Press, 2015.
A writer and performer, she co-curated The Walls Project, performed at the 2011 National Queer Arts Festival, and collaborated on and performed in Mixed, Blended, and Whole, NQAF 2012.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Wesleyan University, studied with renowned Caribbean writers at the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami, explored feminist liberation theology at the Women’s Theological Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and Consciousness from New College of California, a program now at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).
Helen is an energy medicine practitioner at Soul Healing Arts, and the founder 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. She teaches mythology and comparative religion at the Academy of Art University.