Winners of the 2023 Terry Tempest Williams Prize in Creative Nonfiction

We are pleased to announce that Ira Sukrungruang has selected a winner and runner-up from a slate of finalists and semi-finalists. See the full list below. All entrants will receive a copy of the Fall 2023 issue of North American Review in which the winner and runner-up appear. A big thank you to everyone who submitted an essay for the prize. We had 295 entries, and it was a pleasure to read such an abundance of fine nonfiction.



Serena Alagappan, “Untranslatables”



Thomas Le, “If You Believe It”



Leah Mensch, “Eighty-Nine Moments Below Lexington Avenue”



Acamea Deadwiler, “Waiting For The World To End”

Carmela Starace, “Still Life with Tumor and Mandolin”

Alex Dodt, “Six Stages of an Ex-Catholic”

Andi Myles, “Proposed Treatment: Embodiment”

Brittani Sonnenberg, “That's All The Time We Have”

Hannah Hindley, “A Fish in Winter”



Lisa Hibl, “Roof Bones”

Jon Weldon, “The Long Slow Distance of Zikr”

Lee Robinson, “Morning Prayer”

Amy Glynn, “Magnum Opus”

Cheryl Merrill, “Before We Are Gone”

Susan Dwyer, “Vulnerability”

Renee Ozburn, “Making a Zebra”

Bridget Lyons, “When the Chestnut Falls Far”

Maura Smith, “My Sister, My Self”

Michele Haber, “Two dads and a lump of clay”

Cynthia Hughen, “The Accident”

Sofi Stambo, “Lice Busting”

Laura Smith, “ABCs of Housewifery”

Brandon Lewis, “Horse Heads toward Eternity”

Amy Lee Scott, “Airborne Toxic Events”

Brian Wedlake, “Swimming in Circles”

Kathleen Arceneaux, “Expatriates”

Allen Price, “Racism: A Prelude to a Negro's Suicide Note”

Mariana Graciano, “Becoming American, Volverse Americana”

Amy L. Clark, “Not My First Rodeo”


Headshot | Ira Sukrungruang


IRA SUKRUNGRUANG was born in Chicago to Thai immigrants. He earned his BA in English from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and his MFA from The Ohio State University. He is the author of four nonfiction books This Jade World (2021), Buddha’s Dog & Other Meditations (2018), Southside Buddhist (2014) and Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy (2010), the short story collection The Melting Season (2016), and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night (2013). Sukrungruang is the recipient of the 2015 American Book Award for Southside Buddhist, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Anita Claire Scharf Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including The Rumpus, American Poetry Review, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction. He is the president of Sweet: A Literary Confection, a literary nonprofit organization, and is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College.