Helen Klonaris

marlene lopez

(Klonaris, Helen) 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 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). The main characters in Helen Klonaris’s poetic, inventive and sometimes transgressive collection of short stories, if i had the wings (Peepal Tree Press) confront the challenges of growing up gay in the small Greek-Bahamian community. Yet there are also ways in which young women in several of the stories search for roots in that tradition – to find within it, alternatives to the dominant influence of the Orthodox Church.