Kelly Harris-DeBerry earned her MFA in poetry from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. She has been awarded fellowships by Cave Canem and the Fine Arts Work Center and won a Wendy L. Moore Emerging Artists Award from the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. Her poems have appeared in Say It Loud: Poems for James Brown, Yale University’s Caduceus, PMS, The Southern Women’s Review, PLUCK Magazine, DrumVoices Revue and publications. She serves on the board of STAIR (Start the Adventure) in Reading and is the editor/founder of brassybrown.com. She is the producer/editor of the CD Fresh Flames: Cleveland African American Voices. Her poems have appeared in Say It Loud: Poems for James Brown, Yale University’s Caduceus, PMS, The Southern Women’s Review, PLUCK Magazine, DrumVoices Revue and on metro buses in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. In Cleveland, Harris-DeBerry served as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame arts-in-education facilitator, helped develop a poetry and art distance learning program for the Cleveland Museum of Art, and started an empowerment program for African-American girls called GAP: Girls. Achieving. Possibilities. The 2007 Akron Art Museum New Words Winner also performed in an Ohio correctional facility arts program for two years. The Kent State University graduate relocated to New Orleans in 2008.
Her literary activism continues in the Big Easy. She is the creator of Poems & Pink Ribbons©, a poetry workshop for breast cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones, and has been a guest poetry instructor at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Lusher High School. She is a proud member of Melanated Writers NOLA, a workshop for writers of color. She serves on the board of STAIR, a local reading program for 2nd graders, and is the chair of community outreach for the New Orleans chapter of the Women’s National Book Association. Most recently she has launched The Literary Lab, a small business that focuses on literary events that encourage public discourse and promotes local writers, especially those of color, through public relation strategies and new technology. In the midst of it all, Kelly is completing her poetry manuscript, Revival.