Bio

I am a writer currently based in the Georgia Piedmont, where I roam the banks of Big Creek. I spent the last six years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, roaming the banks of the Little River and its West Fork. I grew up outside the Great Smoky Mountains, in Boyd’s Creek, Tennessee, home of my great-great-great-great grandmother and grandfather. I honor the lands and lineages that have shaped me.

My work has been included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and listed as notable in The Best American Travel Writing. My work has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. My essays appear in The New York Times Magazine, Orion, Oxford American, Terrain.org, Parabola, Paste, Virginia Quarterly Review, In These Times, The Utne Reader, Lapham’s Quarterly, Sierra, the On Being radio program blog, and elsewhere.

I have written about rivers; mountains; ancient fossils; extinction; deep time; the night sky; Hawaiian star navigation; the harvest of mescal agave; mycelium networks; mushroom foraging; urban watersheds; root-digging and medicinal plants; the timber, gas, and coal-mining industries, coal ash spills and coal ash dumps; the detriments of artificial night lighting; public art; square dancing; native freshwater mussels; cricket song; music and sound; walking; and long train rides.

I am a recipient of the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, the Thomas J. Lyons Fellowship from the Western Literature Association, and the Jackson Fellowship at Hollins University, where I earned an MFA. In 2015, I was the Artist-in-Residence at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. My essay “Places that Have No Names” was listed as notable in The Best American Travel Writing. My essay “The Fading Stars: A Constellation” was selected by Sy Montgomery for The Best American Science & Nature Writing. My essay “A Complicated Belonging” accompanied Jeff Rich’s photographs in the book Watershed: The Tennessee River (Fall Line Press 2018).

I’m currently at work on my first book and am represented by Bonnie Nadell at Hill Nadell Literary Agency.

In addition to writing, I am an educator and naturalist. I earned a Southern Appalachian naturalist certificate at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute.

Contact

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You can write to me at stalkingthewildspirit [at] gmail [dot] com, and follow me on Instagram @stalkingthewildspirit

{photo taken at Kīlauea Iki crater, Kīlauea volcano, Big Island, Hawai’i, by Isaac Haworth}