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Cover for How to Communicate

How to Communicate


John Lee Clark


List Price: 26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A stunning debut that “brims with the talent and generosity of a living classic” (Ilya Kaminsky), from an award-winning DeafBlind poet.

Formally restless and relentlessly instructive, How to Communicate is a dynamic journey through language, community, and the unfolding of an identity. Poet John Lee Clark pivots from inventive forms inspired by the braille slate to sensuous prose poems to pathbreaking translations from ASL and Protactile, a language built on touch. Amid the astonishing task of constructing a new canon, Clark reveals a radically commonplace life—the vagaries of family, grief, and small delights: visiting a museum, knitting, and, once, encountering a ghost in a gas station. A rare work of transformation and necessary discovery, How to Communicate offers a “steadily revelatory gift” (Carl Phillips).

From “To Ask”

The ASL words Braille and Forgive are almost the same so it was like I was saying

forgive me while brushing my fingers over the dots

Forgive me forgive me forgive me

W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324035343, 96pp.

Publication Date: December 6, 2022

About the Author

John Lee Clark is a National Magazine Award–winning writer. A 2021–2023 Bush Leadership Fellow, he travels and teaches extensively. He makes his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the artist Adrean Clark, their three kids, and two cats.