Cheryl L. Clarke was born in Washington DC, on May 16, 1947. She is a lesbian poet, essayist, educator and a Black feminist community activist. Her scholarship focuses on African-American women’s literature, black lesbian feminism, and the Black Arts Movement. Retired from her work in higher education, she maintains a teaching affiliation with the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Clark is the co-owner of Blenheim Hill Books a used and rare bookstore in Hobart, NY. She is also the cofounder, with her younger sister, novelist Breena Clarke and Barbara Balliet of the, Festival of Women Writers. Clarke lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Hobart, New York with her life partner, Barbara Balliet.