John Lee Clark, "Against Access" in McSweeney's

The University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program is pleased to announce that writer John Lee Clark has won the 2022 Krause Essay Prize for his essay “Against Access,” which appeared in McSweeney’s.


John Lee Clark—a DeafBlind poet, essayist, historian, and translator— will be honored at the Krause Essay Prize award ceremony on Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Iowa Old Capitol Senate Chambers, where he will read from his winning essay. There he will receive the Prize’s $10,000 award and, later, an inscribed walnut letterbox handcrafted by a local Iowa artisan. A conversation with Nonfiction Writing Program graduate students and faculty will follow.


Clark is the author of How to Communicate: Poems (Norton, 2022). His essay collections include Where I Stand: On the Signing Community and My DeafBlind Experience (Handtype Press, 2014) and Touch the Future: A Manifesto in Essays, forthcoming in 2023.


A National Magazine Award–winning writer, a 2021-2023 Bush Leadership Fellow, and a core member of Protactile Language Interpreting National Education Center, Clark also serves as a research consultant with the Reciprocity Lab at the University of Chicago. He makes his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, with his family.


Made possible by the Kyle J. and Sharon Krause Family Foundation, and run by The Nonfiction Writing Program, the Krause Essay Prize is awarded annually to the work that best exemplifies the art of essaying. Nominations for the Krause Essay Prize are made each year by a committee of writers, filmmakers, radio producers, visual artists, editors, and readers. The nominated essays then become texts in a graduate writing seminar offered by The Nonfiction Writing Program each spring, in which graduate students ultimately select the winning work.


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