Born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Joan Clark spent her youth in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. She attended Acadia University for its drama program, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree with English major in 1957. Clark lived in Alberta for two decades and attended Edmonton’s University of Alberta. She and Edna Alford started the literary journal Dandelion in that province in the mid-1970s. She eventually returned to Atlantic Canada, settling in Newfoundland. Her novel, The Victory of Geraldine Gull, was shortlisted for the 1988 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Clark lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.