Anna Clark is a journalist living in Detroit. She is the author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy (Metropolitan Books, 2018), which was named one of the year’s best books by the Washington Post, Amazon, the New York Public Library, and others. Her writing has appeared in Elle Magazine, The New York Times, Politico, Next City, and other publications. She was a correspondent for the Columbia Journalism Review for nearly five years. She received the 2017 Excellence in Environmental Journalism award from the Great Lakes Environmental Law Council.
Anna was part of the 2017 class Knight-Wallace journalism fellows at the University of Michigan. She edited A Detroit Anthology, a Michigan Notable Book, and she is the author of Michigan Literary Luminaries: From Elmore Leonard to Robert Hayden. The Poisoned City won a State History Award and was also longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. Her writing was a “notable” pick in Best American Sports Writing 2012; a “best commentary” finalist from the Mirror Awards; and a first-place winner from SPJ-Detroit in online investigative reporting. She also serves as a contributing editor at Waxwing Literary Journal, where she especially liked to review literature in translation.
Anna was a Fulbright Fellow in Nairobi, Kenya, where she wrote, taught, and explored. She was a founding board member and applications director for Write A House through the time that it rehabilitated three vacant homes in Detroit and gave them away to writers, for free. She was also a writer-in-residence in Detroit high schools through InsideOut Literary Arts for four years, and the founder of Literary Detroit. She has been a longtime co-leader of an improv theater workshop at a men’s prison in Macomb County, Michigan.
Anna graduated from the University of Michigan’s Residential College with highest honors, double majoring in History of Art and Creative Writing & Literature, and minoring in Crime and Justice. She also graduated from Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, where she focused on fiction.
Anna grew up in St. Joseph, Michigan, a little town on Lake Michigan. She wrote about it here. For a few years, after college and before moving to Detroit, Anna lived and worked in Boston in an intentional community—kind of like an urban commune—called Haley House. For more than fifty years, the live-in community at Haley House has been grounded in the active work of simplicity, creative nonviolence, self-governance, community, and social justice, especially as it relates to poverty and economic inequity. There is also a lot of laughter.
Sometimes, Anna likes to do things that involve neither writing nor reading nor asking people questions. These things include running, hiking, bike-riding, cheering for Detroit and University of Michigan sports, going to see fun shows (comedy, movies, theater, music), playing games with her nieces and nephews (or anyone, really), and generally wandering around.