Breena Clarke 42nd Annual ODU Literary Festival


Breena Clarke

Document Type

Featured Participant

Festival Date



University Theatre

Author/Artist Bio

Breena Clarke’s debut novel, River, Cross My Heart, was an October 1999 Oprah Book Club selection. Clarke, a native of Washington, D.C., is the recipient of the 1999 award for fiction by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association and the Alex Award, given by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Clarke, who survived the death of her only child, writes with depth and clarity about grief. Her work is marked by compassion and magnificent use of language. Fascinated by the vast array of small and insignificant objects that contain finely detailed denigrating images of African-Americans, Clarke is a passionate collector of black memorabilia. A graduate of Howard University, Clarke is co-author with Glenda Dickerson of “Remembering Aunt Jemima: A Menstrual Show,” which is included in Contemporary Plays by Women of Color and Colored Contradictions, An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Plays. Her short fiction is included in Black Silk, A Collection of African American Erotica, and Street Lights: Illuminating Tales of the Urban Black Experience. Her recollections are included in “Growing Up In Washington, D.C., An Oral History,” published by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.


The reading of HOMEsick took place on Tuesday October 8, at 1 p.m. in the University Theatre.


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