Heather 'Byrd' Roberts is an award-winning writer and producer of inHERitance: the stories we carry and HERstory of HIStory. Byrd uses her experiences as a black woman to unlocks the opportunity for invisible voices to be heard. With over 15 years of experience being a creative catalyst and an artistic bridge-builder, Byrd uses her unique balance of down-to-earth compassion, authenticity, and imagination to generate results.
Her first chapbook, Mahogany: A Love Letter To Black, is my 14-poem calling card. An invitation for discussion about Blackness and our relationship to this country, each other, and how they intersect. Her work focuses on the cross-over between form and freedom. Byrd's has appeared in CAGIBI’s journal, Sixfold, Expressions from Englewood, and will appear in the upcoming anthology, Trouble The Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue, in fall 2021. She is a core member of FLOW (For Love of Writing) Her favorite words are balloon and bubble.
Her poems focus on the intersectionality between form and freedom - being black and a woman. They speak to the Maafa descendants, anyone who has ever been labeled other or only in spaces that did not acknowledge their existence. For the unsure, for the body needing to be affirmed. Her poems are the necessary clap backs, the snorted laughs with Mama, the crumbled by loss, and the will to forgive and forget it all.
Byrd's poems are in the lineage of Lucille Clifton, Ntozake Shange, India Arie, and Gwendolyn Brooks. They span from childhood epiphanies to unexpected lessons and celebrations, and she uses her experiences to shed light on privilege, love, and familial relationships. Each story tastes like ripe mangoes, cayenne pepper, or an eclectic combination of the two.
Read Byrd's interview with Erin Casey >>