Pearl Cleage Biography (1948-)

Full name, Pearl Michelle Cleage; surname pronounced "cleg"; born December 7,1948, in Springfield, MA; daughter of Albert Buford (a minister) and Doris (a teacher; maiden name, Graham) Cleage; married Michael Lucius Lomax (an elected official of Fulton Country, GA), October 31, 1969 (divorced, 1979); children: Deignan Njeri. Addresses: Office--Just Us Theater Co., P.O. Box 42271, Atlanta, GA 30311-0271.

Birth Details
December 7, 1948
Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Famous Works

  • Writings
  • ONE-ACT PLAYS Hymn for the Rebels, Howard University, Washington, DC, 1968.
  • Duet for Three Voices, Howard University, 1969.
  • The Sale, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA, 1972.
  • Writings; Chain, produced Off-Broadway by the Women's Project and Productions and the New Federal Theater, 1992, published in Playwrighting Women
  • Seven Plays from the Women's Project, edited by Julia Miles, Heinemann Press, 1993.
  • Late Bus to Mecca, produced Off-Broadway by the Women's Project and Productions and the New Federal Theater, 1992, published in Playwrighting Women: Seven Plays from the Women's Project, edited by Julia Miles, Heinemann Press,1993.
  • Writings;PLAYS
  • puppetplay, Just Us Theater Co., Atlanta, GA, 1983.
  • Hospice, produced Off-Broadway at the New Federal Theatre, New York, 1983, first international production by the MAMU Players, South Africa, 1990, published in New Plays for the Black Theater, edited by Woodie King, Jr., ThirdWorld Press, 1989.
  • Good News, Just Us Theater Co., Atlanta, 1984.
  • Essentials, Just Us Theater Co., Atlanta, 1985.
  • Porch Songs, Phoenix Theater, Indianapolis, IN, 1985.
  • Come and Get These Memories, Billie Holiday Theater, Brooklyn, NY, 1987.
  • Flyin' West, produced by Atlanta's Alliance Theater Company, Atlanta, GA,1992.
  • "Banana Bread" (two-character piece), Playhouse 30, PBS, 1985.
  • Author and performer of performance pieces, including The Jean Harris Reading, 1981; The Pearl and the Brood of Vipers, 1981; Nothin' but a Movie, 1982; My Father Has a Son, 1986; A Little Practice, 1986; (with Zaron Burnett) Love and Trouble, 1987; (with Burnett) Live at Club Zebra!, 1987-88; (with Burnett) The Final Negro Rhythm and Blues Revue, 1988; Clearing the Heart, 1989;and Mad at Miles, 1990.
  • Writings;OTHER
  • We Don't Need No Music (poetry), Broadside Press, 1971.
  • (Under name Pearl Cleage Lomax) P. H. Polk, Photographs (essay), Nexus Press, 1980.
  • Dear Dark Faces: Portraits of a People (poetry), Lotus Press, 1980.
  • One for the Brothers (chapbook), privately printed, 1983.
  • Mad at Miles: A Blackwoman's Guide to Truth, Cleage Group, 1990.
  • The Brass Bed and Other Stories (young adult, short fiction and poetry),Third World Press, 1991.
  • Deals with the Devil: And Other Reasons to Riot (essays), Ballantine, 1993.
  • Also author of Christmas, 1967 and Christmas, 1981 (short fiction).
  • Author (with Zaron Burnett) of Live at Club Zebra: The Book, Volume 1, Just Us Theater Press. Contributor to The Insistent Present, edited by John Mahoney and John Schmittroth, Houghton, 1970; We Speak as Liberators: Young Black Poets, edited by Orde Coombs, Dodd, 1970; A Rock against the Wind, edited by Lindsay Patterson, Dodd, 1973; The Poetry of Black America, edited by Adoff; and Dues, edited by Welburn. Columnist for Atlanta Gazette, 1976--, AtlantaConstitution, 1977, and Atlanta Tribune, 1988--. Contributor to various periodicals and journals, including Readers and Writers, Promethean, Afro- American Review, Journal of Black Poetry, Essence, Pride, Black World, Ms., AtlantaMagazine, New York Times Book Review, Southern Voices, and Black Collegian.Founding editor, Catalyst, 1987--.

Further Reference


  • In Black and White, third edition, 2 volumes, Gale, 1980, third edition,supplement, 1985.
  • Peterson, Bernard L., Contemporary Black American Playwrights and TheirPlays, Greenwood Press, 1988.

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