Tess Clarkson is a writer, speaker and teacher based in the Midwest.
For fifteen years in New York, Tess worked as an attorney, regulating financial markets and defending brokers and financial institutions. She earned her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, received her B.A. from Loyola University Chicago, was a creative-nonfiction fellow at the City College of New York Writers’ Institute, and studied creative writing at The New School and NYU School of Professional Studies.
Before practicing law, Tess competed as an Irish dancer throughout the United States, Canada, and Ireland. During her initial first year at Fordham, she was offered a spot in the Irish dance chorus of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and put her academic plans on hold to join the cast. While touring North America and after performing in London for Flatley, Tess earned the role of understudy for “Morrighan, the Temptress.” Tess later returned to New York to resume studying law and was offered a place as an Irish dancer in the Broadway production of Riverdance and in promotional events for the show.
Tess was a member of The Writers Room in Manhattan and studied creative writing under many talented authors, including Jennifer Belle, Kimberlee Auerbach Berlin, Estelle Erasmus, Ann Hood, and Susan Shapiro. Now in Missouri, Tess is an essayist. She’s also writing a grief book and completed her first memoir.
Tess trained as an end-of-life doula through the Open Center in New York and is certified through Doulagivers. For years, she served as a hospice volunteer. She now leads a local end-of-life doula collective and serves on the Advisory Counsel for the St. Louis Elder Financial Protection Coalition. She speaks in the community about end-of-life concerns, and teaches grief and creativity classes.
For decades, Tess has practiced yoga. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training and is enrolled in a 300-hour yoga teacher training. She is certified as an astrologer (I.S.A.R.) and is a constant student, especially of spirituality. Currently, Tess teaches astrology, meditation, and yoga classes.
Tess grew up in St. Louis County, Missouri. After two decades in New York City, she returned to her home state to start a life in suburbia with her husband and their dogs. Tess and her husband are avid travelers and hope to visit all 63 U.S. national parks!