Clifford Thompson received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction in 2013 for Love for Sale and Other Essays, published by Autumn House Press, which has also published his memoir, Twin of Blackness (2015). His personal essays and pieces on books, film, jazz, and American identity have found homes in publications including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, The Times Literary Supplement, The Threepenny Review, The Iowa Review, Commonweal, Film Quarterly, Cineaste, Oxford American, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Best American Essays 2018. He is the author of a novel, Signifying Nothing. For over a dozen years he served as the editor of Current Biography, and he has taught creative nonfiction writing at The Bennington Writing Seminars, Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, Queens College, and New York University. Since 2015 he has been a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities. He lives in Brooklyn.
His nonfiction book What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man's Blues is now out from Other Press. NPR called it "captivating."
Thompson is also a visual artist (see the Paintings page). One of his paintings, Going North, appears in the public television documentary The Bungalows of Rockaway. In addition, his paintings grace the front and back cover of Blink-Ink Issue #38 as well as the cover of What It Is. In March 2020 he became a member of the Blue Mountain Gallery, a Manhattan-based artists' collective.
Thompson's graphic novel Big Man and the Little Men, which he wrote and will illustrate, is due out from Other Press in Fall 2022.