Cheryl Clarke was born in 1947 in Washington, DC. She received a B.A. from Howard University and an M.A., M.S.W., and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Her books of poetry include By My Precise Haircut (The Word Works Press, 2016); Experimental Love (Firebrand Books, 1993), which was nominated for a 1994 Lambda Literary Award; Humid Pitch (1989); Living as a Lesbian (1986); and Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women (1983). Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Black Scholar, The Kenyon Review, Belles Lettres, The World in Us: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Poetry, and Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader (1992). She has read her poetry and spoken at venues throughout the United States and served as member of the editorial collective for Conditions magazine. Clarke is the Director of the Office of Diverse Community Affairs and Lesbian-Gay Concerns at Rutgers University, and she is the co-organizer of the Hobart Festival of Women Writers held annually in Hobart, New York, where she lives.