Nathan C. Heard

Nathan C. Heard photo

Nathan C. Heard (November 7, 1936 – March 16, 2004) was an author, teacher and actor.

Heard is considered one of the forefathers of "street literature". His most famous book, Howard Street (1968), was written while serving time in the Trenton State Penitentiary for armed robbery.

Howard Street sold more than 1 million copies. Heard also wrote five other novels in the genre.

After the notoriety of Howard Street, Heard turned his life around.

Heard was a speech writer to Newark’s first African-American Mayor Ken Gibson and, a contributing writer for Essence Magazine and the New York Times. Heard also appeared in several "Blaxploitation" films such as Gordon’s War.

He spent some time teaching creative writing at Fresno State College, now known as California State University, Fresno. He also taught creative writing at Rutgers University.

Nathan C. Heard died on March 16, 2004, he was 67 years-old.

Amiri Baraka said: "[Heard] was a leading force in fiction because he showed how writers could take a real experience and transform it into a useful vision…"

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4 Books by Nathan C. Heard