cleo wade@cleowade

Poet|Artist|Author of Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom For A Better Life (out now!)
Board member @natblacktheatre
Inquiries: [email protected]

As much as I can. What about you?
I love you.


After three days of hiking the blissful Simien Mountains in Ethiopia with my girlfriends @callmemargot & @lugzy where there was no phone or internet connection of any kind available, I was reminded again of the importance of offline connection. With all that is going on in my country in the world, I know the impulse to want to stay constantly connected to the news and the noise can turn into an unhealthy addiction leaving us feeling drained, outraged ,and helpless. But I try to remember that it is not possible to be an active citizen and change-maker without recharging and giving yourself time and space to process what is happening. I encourage you to unplug and go outside to your local park and be with nature. Nothing renews our strength more than being around the miracles that our Mother Earth produces regularly (I mean, she grows an acorn into an oak tree, fam! If that’s not amazing I don’t know what is). Create quality time with your friends and loved ones where you are completely with them rather than being partially with them and partially in the land scrolling through messaging and imagery in your phone. Maybe create fun rules like no phones at the dinner table or no instagram on a weekend trip. Or maybe instead the gym one day this week go on a long walk. The point is, you deserve (and need) to rest and replenish. Spending time in nature will help you do this. Creating safe, loving, and deliberate spaces with your tribe of friends will do this as well. I love you.
P.S. Scroll to see me pretending Margot was my own personal Simba on the mountaintop. 😆
P.P.S. How do y’all manage spending less time on phones?


Find it inside & share it outside. Page 91 from #HeartTalk


Cairo, you are the most magical place I have ever travelled to. I am forever changed from being on this land. So grateful to my best friends @callmemargot & @sade1111 for sharing this adventure with me.
P.S. @zeromcornejo you make the best clothes to travel the world in. I love you.
P.P.S. So much new writing coming soon, fam.


Love this photo from @mightywatson of one of my favorite pages from #HeartTalk Thank you to everyone who has been bringing my book on your adventures this summer. I love you.


Wow wow wow. Thank you for this photo @msbeatnik I love it so much. Also @schmoozescottsdale how do you even do this! Teach me your ways! Good mood. Good vibe. Good life. I love you.


A few weeks ago @lenscrafters reached out and told me that they partnered with @onesight in supporting the first ever school-based vision center in NYC at PS 188 in Coney Island and asked if I would speak at the opening.
When I found out that not only do 1 in 4 kids in our country have an undiagnosed vision problem, but 1 in 7 people on our planet lack access to vision care, it was so important to me that I was able to show up and be a part of the opening for this amazing center. I got to meet so many incredible young leaders that day including Tyrone King who let me help him pick out his glasses and fit them to face. (So much of what helps kids actually wear their glasses is empowering them to choose the ones they want to wear and making that process fun). Not being able to see clearly has a serious impact on a person’s life (especially a child). It effects their ability to live their fullest potential, whether it’s doing better in school or performing at work or simply seeing the faces of your loved ones and engaging in your community. It was such a special day and I am so happy to have been able to be a part of it. #lenscraftersiswhy
P.S. I mostly only wear my glasses when I am writing at home and reading on a flight but maybe i should start wearing them out and about more so i can TRULY twin with my sister @elainewelteroth!! Lol


I use this poem as a mantra constantly. Whether it’s to keep myself from spiraling over the latest news or actions from the ”leaders” of my country (I hesitate to call those who do not lead with love leaders) or I will use this poem as a mantra when something small yet annoying happens in my life -I just had a 15 hour travel day and my luggage got lost. I literally repeated this to myself the entire car ride to my hotel. Our words can serve us if we use them wisely. I share this because I encourage you to find the words that help calm you and center you so that you are able to actively live your life rather than reactively live your life. Page 90 from #hearttalk I love you.


I am overwhelmed too. I am frustrated too. I am angry too. I am scared too. Hold on to your hope. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but what I know for sure is that love is the only way forward. Everything else is backwards, sideways, or upside down. Take a deep breath and continue forward at your own pace in your own way. I love you. Onward.


If you would have told the little girl who grew up in Louisiana wearing hand-me-downs (shout out to my friend @cassiegailmor who used to give me all of her old clothes and they were literally treasures in my 8 year old eyes) that I would be on the cover of the @washingtonpost style section wearing a power suit (shout out to my beloved @gucci family), that little girl would have never believed you. If you would have told the teenage girl who struggled to love, accept, and be kind to herself, that she would be talking to the newspaper she admires most in America about living a life that revolves around creating safe spaces for love, acceptance, and kindness to flourish, that teenage girl would have never believed you. The woman I am today knows that anything is possible and the only way forward is through love. I know love to be powerful because it has gotten me this far. I know love to be powerful because it has transformed my life. I know love to be powerful because when the leaders in our country make loveless decisions they are always the wrong decisions. Most importantly, I know love to be powerful because it has brought each of you into my life. My work would not be possible without you and I am forever grateful. Link in bio for full article by @sonia.rao ! Okay, off to go cry and wonder how early is too early to have a celebratory glass of champagne 😭🤔 Cheers to you. I love you so much. ❤️


Two thoughts today:

1. Learning from your past (and changing your ways) allows you to evolve as a person.
2. Learning from our past (and changing our ways) allows us to evolve as a country.
Do not drown in what you have gone through, allow it to teach you how to swim. Then you can actually get somewhere. I love you.


Release. Page 114-115 of #hearttalk I love you.