Saturday, March 16, 2024

The University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program is pleased to announce that writer Chris Dennis has won the 2023 Krause Essay Prize for his essay “We Were Hungry,” which appeared in Astra. The runner up for this year’s prize is Laia Jufresa’s essay “Really Real Dragons,” translated by Rosalind Harvey, which appeared in Words Without Borders.

writer Chris Dennis

Chris Dennis, author of the story collection Here is What You Do (Soho Press), will be honored at the Krause Essay Prize award ceremony on Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Iowa Old Capitol Senate Chambers, where he will present his winning essay. There he will receive the Prize’s $10,000 award and an inscribed walnut letterbox. A dessert reception will follow.

Fiction and essays by Chris Dennis have appeared in the Paris Review, Playgirl, McSweeney's, Lit Hub, Guernica, and Granta. A 2022 NEA fellow, he holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where he also won a postgraduate fellowship.

Laia Jufresa, author of the novel Umami and the work of nonfiction Viente, Veintiuno, will offer a zoom reading of her winning essay on Wednesday, March 20 at 4:00 p.m. (Zoom link: 

Writer Laia Jufresa

Jufresa has written for Netflix and the BBC, and her short fiction and essays have been featured in McSweeney’s, Vogue, and Emergence Magazine. She is the winner of a PEN Translates award, and grants from the Mexican Sistema Nacional de Creadores and the Creative Scotland Open Fund.

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. 

The Krause Essay Prize ceremony is open to the public.