Clemonce Heard was born and raised in Uptown and Algiers New Orleans. At the beginning of his senior year of high school, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and his family evacuated to Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he stayed to attend Northwestern State University. A graphic communications major and culinary arts minor, Heard spent most of his undergrad working as a cook at several local restaurants. In 2010, Heard, along with Brandi (White) Gonzales, cofounded the presently active, campus organization, Brainy Acts Poetry Society. After graduating, Heard spent nearly three years working for Apple Inc. before attending Oklahoma State University, where he received his MFA in creative writing. In 2018, Heard was awarded a Tulsa Artist Fellowship. He left the fellowship program early to accept a fellowship from the University of Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Currently, Heard is an artist-in-residence at Sala Diaz in San Antonio.
About Tragic City:
Heard's sojourn in Tulsa and the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre comes to a head in these poems that investigate the incident's resounding trauma with lyric and historic precision.